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Old 05-04-2011, 01:28 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cleanspeed1 View Post
Have a question; why is it that when it comes to bringing the more fuel efficient cars, minivans, and trucks to the US market that the usual answer is that they don't meet the emission and crash standards? It doesn't make sense.
That's because it doesn't really make sense and doesn't hold up.

Many Euro cars are just as crash-worthy if not more so than US cars or the next Korean import.
Then there's the models that do get exported to the US.
While we mostly buy them with the smaller engines, often 2L and less, these aren't even imported in US - you get the top-of-the-range power/displacement engines, and only those.

Lets take the BMW 3 series Sedan.
It gets sold in the US, so it does meet the US crash requirements.
US : 28 mpg at best, in the 2.8i , 3L, 230 HP version
EU : 37.3 mpg , 316i 1.6L, 122 HP petrol version; and if they would let you have them, the 52.3mpg 316d 2L diesel with 116HP

Clearly, it's not really a matter of crash requirements.


Next there is the protectionist ways to keep out diesels in quite a few states, under the guise of environmental protection - while big pick-up trucks with diesels can freely be sold despite polluting far more.

Yes, there is additional NOx and soot (filtered out these days) output with diesels, so it isn't the optimal solution in the long run, but it can help solve part of the problem for the time being.

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Old 05-04-2011, 01:32 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Yes, that's my point. It's not an economy car which doesn't sell because it is perceived as cheap. It's a car which gets better than US average mpg by virtue of being small, and that smallness is part of its sales appeal. Fuel economy is just a side effect.
I can see what you mean. I guess my point was that if people are asking for something more like what is usually bought in Europe, or something efficient, the Mini is neither. It's a small, luxury niche vehicle, that happens to get okay gas mileage as long as you don't compare it to similarly sized cars.

I do agree that there is a long line of bad economy cars that the collective consumer psyche in the US has not forgiven.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:39 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
I wonder if average FE of new cars is a good reflection of trends?
Yes.
Overall fuel use is going down here.

Partly due to more diesels.
Partly due to more modern, more fuel-efficient cars.

We're also now getting small petrol engines with diesel-like fuel consumption.
The US is getting one of those, the Ford Fiesta, and it's a hit.
We can only hope it'll open some eyes and that more manufacturers will follow suit.
There's still a market for new Metro's in the US.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Sadly GM didn't couple the 6.2 with good transmissions from the factory with a handfull of 1993 5sp pickup exceptions.

The 6.2 is capable of up to about 40mpg if in something moderately aerodynamic from what I here of the few who have done 5.7 diesel car to 6.2 conversions.
But does anyone really need a 6L engine - even in a pick-up ?
Over here, we put that kind of engine in trucks. Real trucks that is, lorries.
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:51 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I think the most wasteful and needless use of fuel around these parts is transporting kids to school.

All you see around here is moms making the "commute" with their kids in a surface street traffic jam that rivals the worst of LA freeways.

What ever happened to the School Bus? Riding a bike? Walking?
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:03 PM   #36 (permalink)
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it's part of our culture of fear, and imagined safety. we need giant vehicles to protect us. we need to take our kids to school because so many kids get kidnapped by strangers while walking to school. also part of our culture of spoiling kids, and wanting to hold on to them forever, rather than releasing them into the world. sigh.
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:31 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
But does anyone really need a 6L engine - even in a pick-up ?
Over here, we put that kind of engine in trucks. Real trucks that is, lorries.
I was talking to a gentleman who makes aftertreatment systems for diesels ( add on aftermarket ) who originally was from London and is now based in the States. He explained to me that the Cummins ISB is used in the buses in London ( 5.9L-6.7L ); most of the city buses we have are equipped with 9L and up engines and only average 22 mph.

No we don't need trucks with that much motor. Unless you pull caravans or heavy trailers 90% of the time it's a true waste. Most people never use a pickup for what its meant for anyway, just like the size and image. The euro diesels like the Bimmer 3.0 make like 425 lb/ft of torque. The 7.3 Powerstroke made that when it first came out and its over double the size.

Ford now has a 4.5 ISB Cummins in its pickups that has more than enough torque for a lot of what we do. And they don't sell it here.
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:50 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Piwoslaw has what I want but I can't buy it here, darn.
A VW wagon TDI would more or less do what the 307 does - same size, similar MPG (arguably better with the more modern engines). You would need to mod it and yourself to match PW's progress though

Of course in Europe we also get the 1.6 TDI engine - my dad claims 80+ MPG (imp) in his.

We have to keep some good bits for ourselves.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:02 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zonker View Post
I think the most wasteful and needless use of fuel around these parts is transporting kids to school.

All you see around here is moms making the "commute" with their kids in a surface street traffic jam that rivals the worst of LA freeways.

What ever happened to the School Bus? Riding a bike? Walking?
Our brilliant leaders have knocked down all the neighborhood schools (that most everyone could easily walk to) in favor of sparkling new Taj Mahals on the outskirts of town that nobody walks to, so everyone must be bussed or individually driven there... except for the new housing subdivisions that sprout up next to the new Taj Mahal, which eventually will recreate what was there in the first place, except with a dead zone in the center of town, thus ensuring that sprawl is a permanent blight on the landscape.

Add to that this thing where no longer does living within the boundaries of a school district mean you go to school in that district. Every day, numerous school busses thunder past my house (they really ARE noisy GD things, aren't they???) from several towns up to 25 miles away. Is all this bussing the reason schools are a funding black hole i.e. there is never, ever enough money?
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:02 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Our brilliant leaders have knocked down all the neighborhood schools (that most everyone could easily walk to) in favor of sparkling new Taj Mahals on the outskirts of town that nobody walks to, so everyone must be bussed or individually driven there... except for the new housing subdivisions that sprout up next to the new Taj Mahal, which eventually will recreate what was there in the first place, except with a dead zone in the center of town, thus ensuring that sprawl is a permanent blight on the landscape.

Add to that this thing where no longer does living within the boundaries of a school district mean you go to school in that district. Every day, numerous school busses thunder past my house (they really ARE noisy GD things, aren't they???) from several towns up to 25 miles away. Is all this bussing the reason schools are a funding black hole i.e. there is never, ever enough money?
The school district in the commuter town i live in will not bus a child that is closer than 2 miles as the crow flies even if you offer to pay for the privilege. As it turned out, we lived 3.3 miles from school by street, but only 1.9 as the crow flew. Wish I knew a big enough crow to fly my kid to school lol.


Ah, but that brings up another issue... suburban sprawl and the costs associated with it.

Besides the newer houses being built further from town, the infrastructure to support a more distant community and the subsequent job commuting that follows also wreak havoc on our fuel needs / emission concerns.

One of then Governor Ahhnolds statements after taking office was that the creation of new cities and subdivisions has costs much greater than if we invested in urban redevelopment. Ahhnold was right. Too bad he couldn't do anything about it.


Last edited by zonker; 05-04-2011 at 08:41 PM..
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