By on December 28, 2016

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Car manufacturers have achieved significant fuel economy gains in recent years, but the improvements largely come down to upgraded drivetrain efficiency. Vehicles still weigh substantially more today than they did in the early 1980s, when the previous decade’s demand for fuel economy improvements forced the issue.

Since then, automobiles have gradually packed on the pounds — negatively offsetting the technology encouraging fuel frugality. Modern safety concerns, improved build quality, sound dampening, and consumer demand for bigness have all helped to keep the typical family transport oinking around a two-ton curb weight.

If companies could effectively slim down those autos, without sacrificing structural rigidity, safety, or consumer comfort, the efficiency gains would become all the more significant. However, with few consumers ready to dive back into noisy, frail hatchbacks, weight savings will likely need to be done on the molecular level. In a new study, the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor investigated the materials going into 44 separate 2015 model year cars and asked automakers what would they use if they suddenly needed to reduce weight from essential items.  (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2012

After Hyundai was caught by the EPA with the wrong fuel economy ratings on “select vehicles” (read: most of them) media outlets (including this one) prognosticated that Hyundai would have to abdicate as king of the fuel sippers. Nothing doing, says TrueCar.

According to TrueCar’s sales-weighted rankings, Hyundai continues to put the most automobiles with the lowest fuel consumption on America’s roads – even after Hyundai and Kia had to restate their EPA window stickers, and had to give money back to customers. (Read More…)

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