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This is amazing and probably speaks volumes about the culture there, but in this PR (I assume) statement it is all about the harm to VW. Nobody else. Not harm to the customer. Not the air-breathing public. Not those afflicted with respiratory issues. So what would happen if there was no harm to VW? Promotions?
Woops! My bad. That's actually a 3 mpg advantage over the competing Chevy. Looking better . . . .
Ford put a lot of money and effort into the new 150 but the end result is only a 1 mpg (fueleconomy.gov)advantage over the more orthodox (all steel, V-8) Chevy Silverado. GM can be very clever when it needs to be.
Good article Michael but unfortunately you hit upon my pet peeve. Because you can count them it should be " . . . many fewer shale companies around" and not "a lot less."
Interesting and not very surprising. But doesn't this merely point out the difference between competitive commercial (profit motive) and non-competitive personal (many other motivations depending on the individual)activities? There are tremendous pressures to take fuel costs out of the bottom line of a commercial airline. In choosing personal transportation (at least in the USA) fuel economy is just one factor out of many that go into a purchase decision, if it is considered at all. We now live in world where there is a growing choice of cars that get > 33.8 mpg and which are available at all market levels. We would all be driving these except for the fact that there are alternatives available which are cheaper, or more luxurious or more satisfying to drive at each and every price point. And diesel and hybrid technologies still exact a significant premium over conventional models, the cost of which may never realistically pay for itself in terms of fuel saved. Prius comes closest to making the argument for Hybrid technology but the line still suffers if you are allowed to compare it with conventional cars of the same size class, overall finish, and performance (other than mpg). And now that conventional cars are improving with this respect the cost premium is becoming even less justifiable. Mind you, I am glad hybrids and clean diesels exist and sure I wish the green curve was heading downward, but the fact is that the curve represents the decisions of millions of people armed with more knowledge and choices they've ever had before. Get the economy in shape and there is no need to crush the clunkers, but then you just get more inefficient cars in such an environment. No thanks if crushing clunkers means owners of older SUVs get to take advantage of the program and I'm stuck with my '99 Honda Civic. Pass a law electrifying all cars and now it becomes a world where owners of rare earth mines rule. Or make cars very expensive to own and operate through tax disincentives and risk killing an industry which is nearly happening to all car producers in Europe except for those doing business in the USA. There are no easy answers assuming there is a problem.
That 3 cyclinder engine is going to be the base Mini Cooper power plant (turbo charged) for next year's brand new models.
Can't condemn Audi/Volkswagen for wanting to expand their niche in the American market. But beware of the Diesel/Petrol ownership cost comparisons suggested here. The choice is between the mundane to awful petrol mpg performances typical (until quite recently) of German cars sold in the US and their not surprisingly high-achieving diesel counterparts.
This is great! The other part of the story of course should be reducing/eliminating the incentives pushing truckers to go beyond posted speed limits!
I'm not a fan of big government but I was a bit surprised to learn that the EPA does not actually perform the mileage tests that it backs but rather leaves it to the most interested party, the car maker, to do so. First Hyundai. Now Ford? Who's next? Perhaps we should all begin using Consumer Reports numbers!
Interetingly, given the numbers presented here and the census data for 1970 and 2010, in forty years the per capita fuel usage rate in the US stayed at about 1,500 Liters. Wow-talk about stasis!
"As a consequence of the changes in vehicle fuel economy, vehicle distance travelled, and vehicle load, the total amount of fuel used increased by 53% (from 303 to 463 billion liters)." But keep in mind that the US population increased by a similar percentage (52%)during the 1970-2010 period (see US census data). If average driving distances have indeed increased and user occupancy decreased, those factors have actually probably been totally made up for by increases in efficiency. What remains is more fuel being used to move around many more people.
Does any one else see how insanely complicated this design is (to say nothing of its predecessor)for what it has to do? Wouldn't a spring-loaded flap work just as well? If this is how automakers approach design issues no wonder cars and trucks are so heavy.Geesh!
The power densities of these engines are best described as archaic. 10-12 HP/Litre?! Are these engine designs pre-war, like pre WWI? I like the idea of reducing weight in just about any context but this doesn't seem to be completely thought out.
ToppaTom: Actually, if that was sarcasm, it was pretty subtle. Sounded to me like you were making a statement of fact.
This is all good to keep in the back of our heads, but until gas prices recover I don't think any firm is going to want to get into this without massive government incentives. Since August of last year wholesale gas prices have dropped 50% to about $2/mmbtu(Inside FERCs gas market report) and continues to head south. Unless this changes, this should also put the brakes on the gas drilling bonanza.
This is really too bad - good looking car too. One wonders if this might be too European a car to be a Chevy. Would of been a nice SAAB. Oh well, more NA market share for Volkswagen/Audi.
Just visited friends in PA who are both very knowledgeable about shale gas and are very excited about its economic prospects for the state - lots of good paying jobs and all that. I asked them how long they expect the gas to last. Answer: about 25 years. As these are both very intelligent people I was really surprised by how deeply they've accepted the "boom and bust" view. And here I was hoping that we'd all learn something from the current economic situation we got ourselves into.
Yes, this is all nice, but what did the exercise actually achieve? That self selected drivers already interested in electric vehicles, who received a subsidized lease, who were given a 200+ HP car, and were able to give the car back in only a year were pleased with the experience. Given this experiment’s design, the cars would have had to have been unmitigated disasters to have received failing grades. Duh. Let's see how the Leaf and Volt do.
and what's with comparing the Cruze (a compact car) to mid size cars (hybrid or otherwise)? It's crap like that that will continue to turn me off to GM. Sheesh!
Seems like a daft idea. Love to know the power/weight ratio of this thing. Seems fairly space inneficient too judging from the pic. Except for a very narrow military requirement of low noise (on pure electric power) I can't see this as at all viable.
"Unlike the engines on most transport aircraft that take in the high-speed, undisturbed air flow, the D-series engines take in slower moving air that is present in the wake of the fuselage. Known as the Boundary Layer Ingestion (BLI), this technique allows the engines to use less fuel for the same amount of thrust, although the design has several practical drawbacks, such as creating more engine stress." How can this be good design? I recall that just such a situation presented huge challenges for the designers of the B-36 which I think was only solved by adding lots of heavy structure. From what I see, these designs will turn out to be tons over-weight. And there is a good reason why high-altitude transport aircraft are shaped like tubes: least structural weight to contain the cabin pressure. Cut the tube and now you have to add structure. Only shape more efficient is a sphere. Appears this design study was way too focused on aerodynamics to the point of missing other issues that will easily cancel any gains expected.
"E85 biofuel has a very high octane rating of 105 but a lower energy content compared to gasoline that requires a 30% increase in the engine fuel flow rate. This necessitated a complete review of the fuel system to identify and, if required, replace components deemed to be insufficiently resistant to the properties of ethanol." So I take it this thing now gets 30% lower mpg? The question is why did Bentley even bother? Was it to attract the half dozen or so individuals who would only buy a Bentley if it ran on E85? Very odd.
It is brave of Ford to take the turbo-charger mainstream. Seems awfully ambitious if the goal also is, though not mentioned here, to get the same durability as the V-6s and naturally aspirated I-4s these engines will replace. Car companies that have built their reputation on durability (Honda, Toyota, Nissan) have tended to shy away from turbo-chargers or have reserved them for very specialized markets (ie. Subaru). Should prove interesting and I think I'll wait to see what happens before I buy one of these.
$74 Million for a car company?!! Hummer for only $150 million! Ford sold Volvo for $2 Billion. No wonder GM needs all that taxpayer cash! I know that no company is getting rich divesting itself these days but man, talk about your fire sales!