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MetroMPG 05-15-2008 02:07 PM

EM Blog: GM engineers feel MPG gauges should be in all cars
Intrepid blogger Ben recently attended a GM engine technology demonstration (HCCI) and got to talking to the engineers about driver feedback & MPG displays:

Quote: first question for the GM techs was whether or not something indicating HCCI mode or gas mileage would show up on the production models of cars equipped with this technology. I donít know quite what I expected for an answer, but it certainly wasnít the one I got. Paul Najt seemed to like the question, and came to the same conclusion that Iíve long had, which is that fuel economy can become like a game.

The irony of GM's product line to date is that they've reserved MPG displays for their middle and upper product lines. People who have chosen their smaller, less expensive - and less thirsty - new vehicles are driving "blind".

GM's obviously not alone on this front, but hopefully pressure from companies like Toyota & Nissan, who have announced they're putting FE displays in ALL their models, will spur others on to do the same.

tpotts 10-23-2013 08:43 PM

I really don't go by the mph, I am constantly seeking the mpg sweet spot which is determined by the speed, highway slope, surface, etc. I use the mph to stay within the legal limit. I think I will calculate my average mph the next couple of road trips.

Arragonis 10-24-2013 04:56 PM

I would assume this is driven by product design and commonality rather than a desire by engineers or sales to restrict these features. Most car engineers are car guys so they want more info for better MPG and better eco.

The problem is really the disparate production centres that GM uses and where they share their designs and engineering. This means that a lot of engines and trans come from different places and have different interface needs.

For example VAG share a lot of engines and transmissions between models - my previous Fabia VRS (Helga) had the engine and trans originally from an Audi A6, lesser models had the same features from the VW Golf or Polo etc.

But the design of all these components is coordinated from VAG itself no matter if they are made in Germany, the USA or China.

So based on this a 3cyl 1.2 Petrol Polo has the same MPG output and trip computer than a top of the line Audi S6 (twin turbo V8) has.

Same is also true for Toyota, Nissan, Kia and Hyundai.

For GM the situation is less clear. Being a more "global" company their products are based more widely so having a common approach to stuff like on board displays becomes more tricky - a small GM car from korea maybe uses an Ecotec engine not approved for use in the USA but also is sold in the USA with an equivalent engine that is approved (e.g. Chevrolet Aveo). But GM USA does not use the same engine so the car data system is different from the models made there.

GM USA is the odd one out really - quick clue, apart from North America and Australia nowhere else in the world has a production use for a GM Petrol V8 of any kind, same for Ford or indeed Chrysler.

Nope. Nobody.

In Europe we get more torque for less fuel from a Turbo Diesel, and the rest of the world has gotten used to spending more time and less fuel.

If GM could standardise it's design (and Ford too) then it could have these standard features today and probably save a lot of money and get more customers and (probably) have fewer warranty issues as they could test new stuff on other markets.

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