The auto industry’s average fuel economy for new vehicles sputtered upwards by 0.5 miles per gallon last year, according to recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency. While that may sound like cause for celebration, let’s not lose perspective. A statistical record high may be noteworthy, but not necessarily indicative of a new upward trend.
First, let’s try to figure out what happened last year to drive the industry average out of a period of mpg stagnation.
If you think engine displacements have become a little too European over here, you’d hate to see the motorcycle-worthy powerplants motivating econoboxes on the other side of the pond.
Paired with the magic of modern technology, inline threes and parallel twins can now make enough grunt to move respectably sized vehicles. However, those days could soon be over, all thanks to ambitious regulators and the downsized engines’ tendency to spew man-sized amounts of pollution.
And if you think this isn’t America’s problem, think again. (Read More…)
It’s not a revolution in fuel efficiency, but an evolution.
Ford added a healthy dose of new technology to the 2017 F-150’s 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 powertrain, but the significance of the newfound efficiency depends on who you ask. To the folks at the Blue Oval, it’s a mileage boost worthy of celebration. To would-be buyers, it’s a minor perk, but tell me more about the torque. (Read More…)
Throughout its life, the Mustang GT has been called many things, from sexy, to speedy, to downright stupid — but never has it been called a fuel sipper. Ford UK doesn’t seem to care.
For the UK’s annual fuel economy challenge, one of Ford’s entries will be the 410-horse Mustang GT convertible, which is rated for an optimistic 20 miles per gallon in Great Britain. (Read More…)
Ford Motor Company has issued specifications for its 2017 F-150 Raptor off-road performance pickup, and you can thank the company’s engineers for the attractive numbers.
The next-generation Raptor makes serious gains not just in horsepower and torque, but also in fuel economy. The mileage boost should make those dirt-flinging romps through the countryside just a little bit greener. (Read More…)
As low gas prices persist and electric vehicles fail to find the widespread traction once predicted by the Obama White House, automakers have supercharged their fight against the country’s lofty 2025 fuel economy target.
Fuel prices and the popularity of trucks and SUVs means the federal 54.5 mile per gallon target isn’t reasonable, automakers say. Continuing down the same road and pretending the landscape hasn’t changed? That’s a recipe for disaster, according to industry groups. (Read More…)
The next-generation Jeep Wrangler needs to satisfy increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements, which means shaving weight off of the brick wherever possible.
While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has shunned widespread use of aluminum (a la Ford F-150), a significant amount of the lightweight metal will still find its way into the upcoming model, according to an internal Alcoa new release posted to JL Wrangler Forums. (Read More…)
Bosch, the creator of the horsepower-boosting water injection system in the BMW M4 GTS, will now offer the technology to any automaker that wants it.
Spraying distilled water vapor into an engine’s combustion chamber has an added bonus of greatly increasing fuel efficiency — meaning Bosch might have a lineup at its door when the system enters mass production in 2019, Autocar reports. (Read More…)
Whoa, slow down a minute. That’s the message from three Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is reviewing fuel economy targets set out for automakers.
The members want more time for car companies to respond to a key report about the 54.5 mile per gallon corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target, The Detroit Free Press reports. (Read More…)
Low-octane gasoline. It was great for the detuned boat anchors found under the hoods of 1970s Malaise-era barges, because you weren’t having fun, anyway.
The future of gasoline-powered vehicles is all about high-compression engines and ever-stricter environmental regulations, meaning gasoline with higher octane than today’s pumps can provide could be on the horizon. (Read More…)
Apparently, the 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed by Ford and General Motors doesn’t impress Honda, because it wants a gearbox with more cogs.
The Japanese automaker recently filed a patent for an 11-speed, triple-clutch transmission, AutoGuide reports. (Read More…)
With front-wheel drive, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the all-new 2017 Audi A4 Ultra’s EPA highway fuel economy figure is 37 miles per gallon.
Audi says, “No other luxury sedan in its competitive segment offers higher EPA-estimated city or highway mileage” than the new fuel-sipping A4, which the Environmental Protection Agency rates at 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg combined.
The EPA scores the rear-wheel-drive BMW at 32 mpg city and 42 highway and the 330e at a combined 72 mpge equivalent. Audi presumably excluded these non-entry-level, uniquely powered models from the “competitive segment” definition. (Read More…)
Infiniti has a revolutionary new engine in the works that’s both a high-compression mileage-maker and a low-compression pavement burner, giving drivers the option of being lean or mean at any given time.
The world’s first variable compression engine, dubbed the VC-T, ate up 20 years of design work before Infiniti went public with its achievement. The automaker plans to unveil the revolutionary engine next month, at the Paris Auto Show. (Read More…)
The search for better fuel economy takes engineers down weird paths, and the latest plan to wring out extra mileage is no different. It involves an unlikely part of the vehicle — the suspension.
Audi just announced a new suspension system that harvests wasted energy and turns it into electricity, capable of adding juice to a vehicle’s 48-volt electrical subsystem. (Read More…)
The dialogue from Tesla wasn’t all rainbows and puppies this week.
In oddly coordinated diatribes, CEO Elon Musk and his vice-president of business development took off the soft driving gloves and laid into their competition and the country’s regulators. The message? Put up, pay up, or shut up. (Read More…)