Fuel Millage/Emissions... Predictions on vehicle design directions?

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Old 12-18-12, 09:08 AM
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Fuel Millage/Emissions... Predictions on vehicle design directions?

Had an interesting discussion on this with a couple co-workers and thought I'd share and to see what others thought was the direction of vehicles will go.

In the discussions we had, everyone agreed electric cars isn't going to be main stream in a very long time, if ever. They are too expensive to manufacture. They are too expensive to purchase, and the range really makes them useless other then commuting a short distance to work (which public transit could/should cover).

Myself, I'm leaning towards smaller, forced induction engines (turbo, superchargers or similar). The turbo or similar helps produce the power while accelerating, leaving the small engine able to maintain power without boosting while cruising.
It doesn't take much power to maintain cruising speed. Our 07 Grand Caravan requires an estimated (roughly calculated) 50-60HP to maintain 110kmph (~68MPH).

A co-worker is leaning towards the fuel with bio-fuel or bio-fuel blend. Using a bio-fuel blend could drop the cost of fuel, which in turn (we could only hope) would reduce the cost of fuel.

So... What do others thing will be the going forward mainstream trend in consumer vehicles, and why?
 
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Old 12-18-12, 09:20 AM
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I agree with the small engine/turbo thing....as well as turbo diesels. Look at the Golf TDI....almost 45mpg highway reported by most people. Thats a 600 mile range on 1 tank.

Biofuels won't be viable alternatives for many years...and even then, only if it comes from things like algae or switchgrass which don't require much resources or human intervention.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 10:01 AM
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I'm not 100% sure why most manufactures have no love for the small diesels other then VW.
It's not like Dodge didn't have access to small diesel engines, or Ford with Jaguar, etc. Maybe those engines last too long.
If only I could afford to import a diesel CUV or small SUV.

Most of the manufactures are going towards the small turbo petrol engines. Looking at Dodge and the Fiat engine, they actually turned up the boost a bit and the Dodge Dart version (stupid name), has a slightly higher compresson ratio.
Hundi has the 2.0T in their Santa fa and Ford with their eco-boost line.
The only kicker to the last two examples, you need to rev to make power, which if these where to be used off-road, no good engine choices.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 10:07 AM
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And the other thing is the transmissions. 8 speed automatics and 6 speed manuals are pretty common now. Less than 10 yrs ago it was 4 and 5 as pretty much standard.

Some of the CVTs are pretty good as well...but others are just plain lousy.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 10:34 AM
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And the other thing is the transmissions. 8 speed automatics and 6 speed manuals are pretty common now. Less than 10 yrs ago it was 4 and 5 as pretty much standard.

Some of the CVTs are pretty good as well...but others are just plain lousy.
I do see this as a going trend. The CVT concept has been around for many, many years and can truely be the ultimate transmission from all perspectives.
There are less moving parts when compared to a standard transmission, and technically less wear parts. With proper R&D, a CVT type transmission can offer peek performance and peek fuel econmy. They also weigh less. The gear ratios are only limited by the size of the CVT gears.
Coming from a snow mobile background, I have seen some amazing things done with the weight and spring version of this transmission. Step over to computer controlled servos and hydrolics...
 
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Old 12-18-12, 12:22 PM
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I don't actually see a lot of trouble with electrics. I was in my high school electric car club in the mid nineties and we had a converted Porsche 914 that did just fine, and last I looked, is now on the road in California as a commuter vehicle.

The biggest stumbling blocks are battery recharge time and battery weight. There are people and companies working on batteries, and they've been making a lot of progress, with battery prototypes that can be recharged to 80% in 20 minutes, and with lighter and smaller batteries with the same output.

I commute 20 miles round-trip every day, and on the weekends I drive such that I usually fill up every couple of weeks, sometimes slightly more often. I live in the Phoenix area, which is geographically huge, but I guesstimate that I could do just about all of my daily driving with an electric and still have the range I need. Most weekdays would be that 20 miles, and even if I leave work and head 50 miles over to the other side of town before coming home I'd still be at less than 150 miles for the day. If I can have that kind of mileage in a car then it wouldn't be a big deal for me if it were electric.

My wife's commute is about 40 miles a day, double mine. She would definitely benefit well from an electric, and again, would be well within the car's single-charge range. On top of that, we have multiple vehicles, four of which are licensed and theoretically road worthy. If one were an electric and the day's activities would require more range, she'd just take a different vehicle, either swapping with me or else using a different one entirely.

The biggest personal stumbling block for an electric is actually styling. I do not like how the Leaf looks, nor have I liked how the bulk of "hey look! I'm a hybrid!" vehicles look.

In households with more than one vehicle, I can see one electric being very practical as the in-town car for the driver going the longest distance so long as it's no in excess of the charge range.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 12:38 PM
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Oh...I think electrics absolutely have their place.....but not with giant Gov subsidies. Heck, down in Sun City (near you TWX) and to a lesser extent even in my small town...many people use electric golf carts for all their short trips.

Unfortunately, since we have a very poor mass transit infrastructure...pure electrics are unsuitable if any long drives are needed. A simple trip for us to LV or PHX would be out of the question with current pure electrics.

I do the majority of our shopping (10 mi or much less round trip) and I wouldn't consider an electric over the 8 y/o Suzuki I have, unless at replacement time the costs and amenities were equivalent. Even then...the electric wouldn't suffice for trips to family or similar.

I can't afford to have a vehicle just for short trips, since I'm not a golfer....lol.
 

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Old 12-18-12, 01:04 PM
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I like the electric car concept (oh the torque...), but definitely would be a cost effective means for anyone in my area. They will also never be as cheap, or cheaper then a petrol or diesels vehicle to manufacture, which means the total cost of ownership will never be there.
Taking a quick look at the numbers (picking on GM this time around), a Chevy Cruze base model (as per their site 20 minutes ago), is $14,995CND. The Chevy Volt is $42,000. Pretending electricity is free (stealing it from the neighbor), that leaves me $27,005 left over for fuel.

The range is also another killer for them. I couldn't drive one to and from work (live too far). Couldn't take it on a short trip to Southern Ontario as I would have to stop for a charge 2 or more times (~400km drive). After taxes, the Volt I used as an example is ~$50k (give or take). Pretty expensive for something that is no better then a 50cc scooter.

Even if they cured all the above, the Cold weather up here would shorten the life of those batteries which means a costly replacement in a shorter period of time. If I remember correctly, the Volt had brutal range if you needed cabin heat.
 
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Old 12-19-12, 09:24 AM
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I think the near future is going to see smaller displacement engines with turbos and probably a few more hybrids. I agree with Mike, the cost of manufacturing electric cars like the Chevy Volt is just too high right now but I don't know whether it will stay that way.
 
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Old 12-19-12, 10:12 AM
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Frankly I don't expect to see ANY real changes from the recalcitrant auto companies for a very long time. I bought my first new car in 1982--a Dodge Omni 024 which was rated at 51MPG highway, gas engine, 4-speed manual. 51MPG 30 years ago. There were several makes to choose from that got over 50, on regular gas, but I wanted to Buy American. With all this EFI, multi-port, variable valve timing, computer controlled, turbo/super charging, yadda yadda...how far have we progressed in 3 decades?
 
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Old 12-19-12, 10:38 AM
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Frankly I don't expect to see ANY real changes from the recalcitrant auto companies for a very long time. I bought my first new car in 1982--a Dodge Omni 024 which was rated at 51MPG highway, gas engine, 4-speed manual. 51MPG 30 years ago. There were several makes to choose from that got over 50, on regular gas, but I wanted to Buy American. With all this EFI, multi-port, variable valve timing, computer controlled, turbo/super charging, yadda yadda...how far have we progressed in 3 decades?
Funny you mention that.
Our old (no longer owned) 95 2-door Dodge Neon with a 2L 5-speed was in the low 50MPG and would refuse to die. I drove that car hard (in my younger years) and auctioned it off with over 460k km on the clock. That car owed me nothing and if I had spent a few dollars on it, would have seen 500k km. To this day, it's still a favorite car of my wife and myself. I'd almost consider it more fun to drive then my current (summer car) 08 Caliber SRT4.

That being said, like your, it would not meet emmission requirements of today and it lasts too long for the likes of the manufactures. I auctioned our car off in 2008.
 
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Old 12-19-12, 11:39 AM
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Emissions are a concern - there are so many controls on diesels these days the economy is way down on them. I get trying to make a better tailpipe but if it takes 50% more fuel to reduce emissions 35%, has anything actually been accomplished? I know I'm driving virtually the same car now as what I bought new in 1993 - it's a little bigger now and definitely more powerful but my mileage is 15% less than it was on the 1993. Is that really a sign of any progress at all?
 
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Old 12-19-12, 12:34 PM
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Not all emissions either. Safety stuff adds weight. Compare the number of airbags in most cars now, to what they had 10-15 yrs ago. Now you have 6-7 where you used to have 2.

Also...crash test standards require more "meat" for protection, though use of aluminum and high strength steel has helped....but those materials add cost as well.

And no offense to the to the guys that posted their old cars mileage.....but I'm finding them pretty had to believe. Well....sorta.

The Omni was a tin can with a 90HP (or so) engine...from a 2.2L! Sounds pretty inefficient...but it wasn't hauling all the mandated stuff cars do now. A modern 2.2 engine probably produces 150-175HP or even more. Heck a Honda Fit with a 1.5L makes 117HP. With more safety and probably better performance than the Omni......though I can't confirm that. I did find info that it could top 50MPG.....but I bet if you drove a brand new one now...you'd never consider buying it.

As to the Neon...well, I can't find any references to anything close to 40MPG...let alone 50. Most reports were around 30. We looked at one when car shopping in about '94 and I found it crude and poorly made. Wife wound up with a Nissan Sentra SE-R....ohhhh now that was a car.

I'm not arguing....but...well...you see what I mean.
 
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Old 12-19-12, 01:57 PM
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Not all emissions either. Safety stuff adds weight. Compare the number of airbags in most cars now, to what they had 10-15 yrs ago. Now you have 6-7 where you used to have 2.

Also...crash test standards require more "meat" for protection, though use of aluminum and high strength steel has helped....but those materials add cost as well.

And no offense to the to the guys that posted their old cars mileage.....but I'm finding them pretty had to believe. Well....sorta.

The Omni was a tin can with a 90HP (or so) engine...from a 2.2L! Sounds pretty inefficient...but it wasn't hauling all the mandated stuff cars do now. A modern 2.2 engine probably produces 150-175HP or even more. Heck a Honda Fit with a 1.5L makes 117HP. With more safety and probably better performance than the Omni......though I can't confirm that. I did find info that it could top 50MPG.....but I bet if you drove a brand new one now...you'd never consider buying it.

As to the Neon...well, I can't find any references to anything close to 40MPG...let alone 50. Most reports were around 30. We looked at one when car shopping in about '94 and I found it crude and poorly made. Wife wound up with a Nissan Sentra SE-R....ohhhh now that was a car.

I'm not arguing....but...well...you see what I mean.
The neon (first generation) was a poor man's car. Very similar to the Reliant back in the day. Agree weight was reduced with frameless door windows, 2 air bags instead of a dozen. Also with the 2-door version, it was a couple hundred pounds lighter then the 4-door version. If I remember correctly, our 2-door was 2860lb with a full tank of gas vs. our 2001 (second generation) which was 3150lb with a full tank. I owned both at the same time and use to use them for weight when testing the scales and computer systems where I worked.

I won't go into too much detail on the millage bit. I still have the receipts and calcs from when I did the day trips to one of our offices (~800km round trip) kicking around somewhere. One month I did 8 trips (in January, so -20'C average temp) and held an average of 48MPG (UK).
 
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Old 12-19-12, 02:21 PM
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I had an '81 Plymouth Reliant that the old man had bought new - 2.2L I4, 25 city and 41 hwy mpg. It seated six people as well. OK, five since mine had a four speed on the floor which made a front center passenger a bad idea. But, it only had 90 hp....

Now I have a 2012 Ford Fusion 2.3L I4 6M with 175 hp and 22/32 mpg. I know it weighs more than the Reliant and it certainly has more power but the fuel economy is noticeably less, as I used to average about 35 mpg in the Plymouth and under 30 mpg now with the Ford.

I think the problem is that we as a society have not demanded more fuel efficient cars. Instead, we have demanded more power and safety features and the manufacturers have responded to us.
 
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Old 12-19-12, 03:45 PM
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I think the problem is that we as a society have not demanded more fuel efficient cars. Instead, we have demanded more power and safety features and the manufacturers have responded to us.
I agree! I have a 2010 jeep jk which compared to most new vehicles gets poor gas mileage. A couple of weeks ago a salesman from the dealership called wanting me to trade jeeps. He didn't say anything about economy but stated the new jk has 60 more hp. Usually it takes more fuel consumption to produce more hp
 
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Old 12-19-12, 04:04 PM
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There is still a lot of room left in current designs to squeeze out more efficiency. Car makers are moving toward using more aluminum in car bodies to reduce weight. There is also a tremendous amount of efficiency to be gained in the drivetrain through tribology (Tribology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). I can't recall the figure quoted, but I recently read about this and tribologists believe they can increase automotive efficiency but something like 30%-40% with tribology.

The other problem with electrics and hybrids is that car makers take some of the efficiency gained from a hybrid system and use it to add more HP. Reducing hp would go a long way in increasing efficiency. I recently bought a new pickup for myself. It isn't a hybrid, but a v6 with 265 hp. I didn't even want or need that much hp for the truck. The 4 cylinder option was only 150 hp which isn't adequate. So I was left little choice to meet my needs.

As far as diesel, there just isn't demand for it. You have an issue of availability and I think the diesels of the 1980's are still stuck in everyone's mind. They were stinky and soot covered.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 10:12 AM
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One of the big reasons that diesels aren't common in passenger cars today is the cost of ownership vs gasoline. If you consider the average person driving 12,000 miles a year and getting 25 mpg, then even at today's prices, the annual fuel bill is about $2k. Let's assume that a diesel would improve fuel economy 25%. The annual savings would only be about $500.
When you consider the additional purchase price of a diesel engine over gasoline and the cost of the emissions controls needed to meet EPA Tier 2 standards, the average driver will probably never recoup the upfront costs.
This is largely why diesel engines dominate in high fuel use commercial applications (big rigs, refuse trucks, etc) but are only part of the lighter HD market (box vans, cargo vans, work trucks, etc).

I think the PC market is really heading toward smaller, turbocharged engines with a bevvy of on-engine features (GDI, cylinder deactivation, hydraulic-electric valve aactuation, etc) and partial electrification of the drivetrain.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 10:36 AM
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I used to drive 53 miles each way to work everyday and I thought about getting a diesel. Now that I drive two miles each way, diesel is out of the question. Yes, you need to fit some narrow parameters for diesel to be the right choice.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 11:09 AM
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Should have said earlier...I think a lot depends on location. Out here in the wild wild west...I'd guess that at least 1/2 of the pick-ups on the road are diesel. Not only do we have a lot of ranchers and snowbirds with RVs...we are 120 miles from a large city. Though I agree a truck isn't the ideal vehicle for shopping road trip...many houses have 2 pick-ups in the driveway. Some of that may just be preference, granted.

Case in point...neighbors old Chevy hunting truck finally needed to be replaced. He already had a big 2500 diesel for his towing and his wife asked him to look at a car for the around town. He came home with a 2011 (new) crew cab 2500 with a gas engine. He worked for ADOT for 30+ yrs and I don't think he's driven a car in all that time, according to his wife.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 12:30 PM
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I live in a french farming town. I think I have the only turbo in town that isn't a diesel.
I don't think the small diesels are being pushed because the longevity of the engines. Cars are not suppose to last more then 10yrs, 200k miles. My dad's 03 TDI jetta is a prime example. Engine still runs likes like the day he bought it. The body... shot.
My dad is averaging ~65mpg. That engine will probably make 500k without much or any real work.
Base that milage with the $500 savings mentioned by Sparky31415, That is almost $21k savings over 500k miles. Using the current VW Jetta pricing, a base gas jetta will cost ~$18k, diesel ~$25k.
I still believe they will not be pushed here because they last too long.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 12:48 PM
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Yeah but your dad's Jetta gets a lot better mileage than one new from the dealer today due to all the emission equipment they have that his does not.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 12:53 PM
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Yeah but your dad's Jetta gets a lot better mileage than one new from the dealer today due to all the emission equipment they have that his does not.
True.
I don't think there was a want to maintain the high fuel milage. Also noted is that VW is the only car make (in Canada anyway) that has a diesel in small cars.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 01:05 PM
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I forget sometimes you're in Canada, I don't know if the emissions comparison between here and there is applicable.

I looked and in the US a 2003 Jetta was rated for 44 mpg hwy with a manual transmission, less with an automatic. Seems unlikely that vehicle would average 65 mpg so there could be a difference.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 02:08 PM
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Err. That is UK gallons. Milage here is messured in UK gallon or leter per 100km. Forgot to mention the verion of mpg used.
We pay more for fuel, so using UK gallons makes it hurt less.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 02:11 PM
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Do you still have the imperial gallon like you did back in the 50's and 60's? If I remember correctly it had 5 qts per gallon.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 02:43 PM
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Geez, never thought about gallons not being the same

That said, five quarts in a gallon would explain the mpg difference if that's what you have (Wikipedia makes me think it's a little less than five quarts but close).
 
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Old 02-17-13, 07:39 AM
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Diesel VW Cars

I have followed this thread with interest since my wife and I own three VW TDI diesel cars. One is a 2000 New Beetle with 125K miles, another a 2002 Jetta with 227K miles, and finally a 2012 Jetta with 11K miles. All are manual transmission and the 2012 has a slick 6-speed.

The consensus on Fred's TDI Page. TDIClub.com. VW TDI Enthusiast Community is that these diesel engines will run between 600K and 1 million miles if maintained. Normal maintenance involves changing the 100% synthetic oil every 10K miles, the fuel filter every 20-40K miles, and the anti-freeze every 2-3 years. If I am willing to maintain and upgrade the interiors of these cars, I will never need to buy another one for the balance of our lives.

Diesel cars are not practical for short distance commuting because of the long warm-up, which is due to the extreme efficiency of the motors. It takes 3 miles to get one of these engines to heat up to get heat to start coming out of the heater core. There is so little waste heat from these engines that a radiator needs to remove.

The 2000 NB and 2002 Jetta get 43 mpg around town and 47-48 mpg on the highway at 70 mph, even with the AC running. They run all day long without complaint, are very torquey, and have sport car handling. The 2012 TDI gets only about 43-44 mpg on the highway, with an EPA estimate of 42 mpg. The car weighs more, is a little larger, and has a Diesel Particulate Filer (DPF) that takes all particulate out of the exhaust, but then burns it up with more diesel fuel. With the DPF and new twin cam turbo diesel in my 2012, it has 50% more power than my old diesel cars and less mpg. It still makes a great road car. The tail pipe is so clean that it is still shiny inside.

I am a diehard VW TDI fan simply because they are so practical. The technology is proven and there are no surprises down the road. The problems with hybrid cars like the Prius are that the batteries fail, as all will, in about 200K miles. When that happens, the Prius is salvage. Why? At that time, the car is worth maybe $3,000.00, and the cost to replace the batteries is now several times that amount. The Prius has been described by some as the Bic car because it is usually thrown away when the battery pack fails.

Since a VW TDI will go between 600K and 1000K miles, a TDI will last as long a 3-5 consecutive Prius cars. The costs of ownership of a VW TDI is much less than any gasser or hybrid when the longevity factor is considered. However, I do all of my own mechanical work and am capable of keeping a car in shape for 1000K miles.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Finally, almost all high mpg cars in Europe are turbo diesel, and average about 62 mpg. They are a bit smaller and definitely lighter because our government requires so much safety equipment and structural design be used, which means several hundred pounds more on US cars than on European counterparts.

Regards,
Chuck
 
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Old 02-17-13, 09:14 AM
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Future Designs

I do apologize for the extensive rant on VW TDIs. As I stated, I am a fan of these cars, but this thread is about the design direction for high mpg cars. I have followed the trends on high mpg cars for years now, and there have been significant advances in efficiency in both gas and diesel engines. However, for all of the advances, federal government has mandated ever cleaner engines and more safety requirements. Both of these mandates add weight and decrease mpg.

Being the cynic that I am about the motives of our government, I do think that tax funds are the driving (pun intended) factor in their bureaucratic decisions. The federal government has about 40 cents tax built into each gallon of gasoline or diesel that is sold. They are already incensed about the decrease in tax revenues due to more efficient engines, and are attempting to design and test GPS devices that will allow them to tax actual miles driven.

The technology already exists to mass produce turbo diesel vehicles that will get over 100 mpg. VW in Europe has already built some of them as rolling test beds. However, there is no free lunch, and these cars are very light and streamlined. The VW Lupo of just a few years ago was a 3-cylinder TDI aluminum block diesel in a small, VW Golf sized body. They were sold in Europe and Mexico, but not in the US because VW did not want to spend a lot of money on redesign to meet US safely standards, and then try to sell enough in the US market to recoup its development costs. As I recall, VW had a driver and mechanic drive a Lupo around the world as a publicity stunt. The car averaged 110 mpg in their hands. For reasons only known to VW, the Lupo TDI is no longer being produced.

As another publicity stunt, VW designed a two person tandem seat car with a tiny TDI diesel motor. The car was built to Formula One racing and safety standards, and was very light. The CEO of VW drove the car across Germany to the annual shareholder meeting and recorded 300 mpg.

So, the technology has existed for many years now to have very high mpg cars, but we would have to give up the driving of SUVs (consumer tanks), still fund the Department of Transportation to build and repair our roads, and pay the development expense for light cars with light safety features. The other variable which we have no control over is international politics. Our government policy makers actually want us to keep buying oil from selected foreign governments like Saudi Arabia as a form of international aid to keep that country stable politically and hopefully at least some of the Middle East. It appears that we have no control over any of these factors, and are just along for the ride. Our only choice is in the specific vehicle that we actually buy. For political reasons, the EPA limits the number of diesel vehicles that can enter the US. The probable reason is that our government has too much vested interests in gasoline engines, whereas European governments have taken the opposite position and have vested interests in diesel powered cars. Over half of all new cars sold in Europe are turbo diesel.

VW also designed and tested a car called the Blue Sport Roadster, which was equipped with the 2.0L, twin cam, TDI, 140 h.p. motor. The body was aluminum, about the size of a Mazda Miata, and was reported to get 65 mpg with almost super car performance. The decision to go into production was almost made when the recession hit in 2007. Dang! I would have bought one of these cars for sure.

Watch European car makers for cutting edge technology and design. They are not hampered by our own emissions and product safety requirements that work directly against higher mpg.

I had a link at one time that was a summary of diesel TDI cars in development that reported absolutely stunning mpg figures. If I can find it, I will post the link.

Regards,
Chuck
 
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Old 02-17-13, 09:17 AM
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Voyage to Forever

Do diesels have a future? Journey to Forever

Here is the link. I love that Opel Eco Speedster. Have fun and don't drool on your keyboard.

Regards,
Chuck
 
  #31  
Old 07-15-13, 07:54 AM
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You are right on about VW TDI's. I owned 2 TDI. 98 Jetta 5 speed w/ 270,000 when I sold it and a 2001 Golf 230,000 still running but the auto trans is shot. I'm going to switch it out for a manual from Europe. It runs in a lower gear even now and still gets 40 mpg. The car is tight with no rattles even after all these miles.

Regarding a light car: how do the smart cars make it here? Or how about people that ride bikes? They are well under the weight limits for safety.
 
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Old 07-15-13, 08:18 AM
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You are right on about VW TDI's. I owned 2 TDI. 98 Jetta 5 speed w/ 270,000 when I sold it and a 2001 Golf 230,000 still running but the auto trans is shot. I'm going to switch it out for a manual from Europe. It runs in a lower gear even now and still gets 40 mpg. The car is tight with no rattles even after all these miles.

Regarding a light car: how do the smart cars make it here? Or how about people that ride bikes? They are well under the weight limits for safety.
From what I heard, the turbo diesels Smart cars had huge fuel savings (heard up to 90MPG). That being said, they are too small to carry much, in a collition, they will get destroyed as they'll be the smaller of any two vehicles, and are not so available now that SMART is not doing too good financially.
When it comes to bikes, my (no longer owned) 2000 600cc Honda Shaddow was in the 60MPG. My dad's newer 1600cc Honda Goldwing is much better on fuel then my 600cc was. That being said, bikes do not, nor will not meet any of the emmisions standards imposed on cars. Most places won't test bikes as it will clog up their equipment.
My thought on it (I know some won't agree), is that if I have much less going into the engine, there is going to be less coming out (per mile).
Safety wise.... I'll take an accident on a bike over a smart car. If I'm going to go, it'll be riding in/on something I enjoy, not in something I'd rather not be seen in.
 
  #33  
Old 07-15-13, 11:02 AM
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FWIW a co-worker who drives a Smart car says there's nothing "smart" about it. You give up space, comfort, safety, power (acceleration = safety too, sometimes) and according to him you get nothing in return. The MPG on most compact cars is way better. It's an "image" car but with no real substance (his words). He does say it handles nice
 
  #34  
Old 07-15-13, 11:22 AM
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FWIW a co-worker who drives a Smart car says there's nothing "smart" about it. You give up space, comfort, safety, power (acceleration = safety too, sometimes) and according to him you get nothing in return. The MPG on most compact cars is way better. It's an "image" car but with no real substance (his words). He does say it handles nice
I've heard very similar about those cars. Should also be noted, useless car for the snow (except easy to pickup and move provided you have a couple friends handy).

As I've mentioned previously, I still think the smaller turbo petrol engines will be the way. Power (boost) when you need the power, and a small engine when you are cruising.
 
  #35  
Old 07-15-13, 11:28 AM
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Coming back from a trip to Vegas a while back...came upon a Smart car that had been blown off the road by the wind (yes, it gets very windy on that stretch of road). Just laying there on it's side like a dead cow. Saw the article in the paper a few days later, driver stated he was doing about 40-45 due to the wind and a strong gust just lifted it up and over.

At least it leaves lots of space in a typical garage. Could probably park 4 in a 2-car.
 
  #36  
Old 07-15-13, 11:36 AM
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Coming back from a trip to Vegas a while back...came upon a Smart car that had been blown off the road by the wind (yes, it gets very windy on that stretch of road). Just laying there on it's side like a dead cow. Saw the article in the paper a few days later, driver stated he was doing about 40-45 due to the wind and a strong gust just lifted it up and over.

At least it leaves lots of space in a typical garage. Could probably park 4 in a 2-car.
I always wondered if one would fit in the back of a pickup.

For me, I'll stick with my hot hatch car (technically in NA, my car is a crossover, not a hatchback) for summer driving.
Going to be replacing the van soon enough. Trying to hold off as long as I can.
 
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