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Old 06-30-2011, 02:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Its not a supprise to see suv's getting decent mileage now, they are one of the more profitable line of vehicles being sold. Now that gas prices have gone up people are demanding more efficient vehicles. The manufacturers have caught on and are making their more profitable cars more efficient to keep their profit margins up. (or bring them back up out of the red)

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Old 06-30-2011, 04:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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...a similar "frustration" is how Detroit seems "stuck" on HP and not MPG.

...for example, when GM first came out with their 265 cid small block engine, they keep spiraling UPwards, always seeking higher HP, instead of doing this:

1) if the 265 cid can produce 200 hp--and they "knew" there was more where that came from--lets reduce the displacement to 250 cid and see if we can STILL get 200 hp.

2) then, lets try it again; lets reduce the displacement some more, to 200 cid, and see if we can STILL get 200 hp.

3) repeat again!

...that way, they would've eventually had a 100 cid engine producing 200 hp! It would've been SMALLER, LIGHTER and very HP-dense for its size. AND, it would've been ECONOMICAL, too!

...a Mopar example was the LA 273 cid engine which produced 235 hp with a four barrel carburetor, but was replaced by a 318 cid 2BBL which produced 230 hp!

...it's obvious, they ALL took the "easy" way (BIG, BIGGER & BIGGEST) rather than the "smart" way.

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Old 06-30-2011, 05:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The problem with that is that yes they can get the same power out of a smaller engine but the difference in tuning makes the engine use more gas at the rpm range its used.

For example the 3.8L engine used in the Jeep Wrangler is also used in a minivan. The minivan has an optional 4.0L which only makes a little bit more power. The minivan with the 4.0 engine actually gets better mileage than the same minivan with the 3.8.

edit to add: I agree though, they are fixed on peak HP and not the overall picture. Who is going to be able to use the max horsepower when the max horspower is 1000rpm past the rpm limiter?
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
...just goes to illustrate that the car manufacturers COULD have produced cars with much better MPG numbers years ago, if they'd just wanted to do so!
The manufacturer's aren't stupid (for the most part ). They sell what people buy. Any company knows the way to get ahead is to produce whatever the customer wants. If you stop doing that, somebody else will take your business away from you. Case in point, the way Toyota, Honda, etc. came into the US market and took so much business from the Big 3.

The simple fact is, the general public doesn't really care that much about FE, particularly when buying a vehicle. To prove my point, just pay attention to the car commericials you see advertised on TV. Note how many of them metion absolutely nothing relevant about the vehicle's powertrain, let alone effeciency. Note how many of them advertize the vehicle's bluetooth system, dvd players, navigation system, etc.

To answer the question of why the FE has improved, the FE of some vehicles has gotten better for 2 main reasons. First, as fuel prices have gone up there are a few more people who do care more about FE and are willing to pay for it. Secondly, is the government influence (the merits of which I'm sure we could debate to no end). That basically forces customers to pay for things they otherwise would not (which, again, we could debate).

As to whether it bugs me, no, I doesn't. I drive a vehicle that is "supposed" to get worse mileage than a Hummer and my last tank (30.36 mpg) was equal or better FE than the rating of every 2007 non-hybrid vehicle (and even a few hybrids). It's now so much what you drive as how you drive it
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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...I'm just lamenting that they ALL could've been making 40+ mpg vehicles already, instead of being "forced" to do so by Government EPA mandate.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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In an ideal world it wouldn't be an issue, unfortunately the world isn't ideal.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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yes, but we can at least try to make it more ideal.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
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...I recall reading an SAE article back in early 1980's in which GM touted that they "could" make a 60 MPG car--no problem!--but wouldn't because marketing deemed there wasn't enough of a market (Fiero chassis?). So-o-o-o, it was never made nor offered to the public, beyond that SAE article!

...hey, GM, you can't SELL what ain't OFFERED!
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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A vehicle that gets better mileage (and doesn't give up other factors like performance, etc.) costs more to produce--otherwise they would already do it. If the customer is willing to pay the extra $ for the extra FE, then they make the car. It's really as simple as that.

Look at the Prius--it gets good FE, but it cost a bunch too.

Imagine if we got everybody on this site together and gave them unlimited resources to create the ultimate mpg machine (isn't that a COOL thought!). I think we could probably make a sedan that would get over 100 mpg (on gas or diesel). However, with all the added technology we'd have to charge $50k for the thing to make a profit. Most people simply wouldn't pay for it.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
Imagine if we got everybody on this site together and gave them unlimited resources to create the ultimate mpg machine (isn't that a COOL thought!). I think we could probably make a sedan that would get over 100 mpg (on gas or diesel). However, with all the added technology we'd have to charge $50k for the thing to make a profit. Most people simply wouldn't pay for it.
Yeah, 100mpg would probably require some hybrid technology and end up costing a lot of money.

But I could see something with a metro-like platform (small engine, lightweight frame, etc.) plus a few of simple aero mods, getting way above average FE.

It's out there, but I don't blame companies for not producing a vehicle that [they believe] would certainly fail in the market. Doing so would be a travesty for workers, execs and stockholders alike.

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