Higher-octane fuel holds more energy than bargain basement gasoline, giving it the potential to generate more horsepower and deliver highly marketable fuel economy figures to automakers. It should be at the top of every car manufacturer’s wish list. But, because an extra-high octane rating would warrant an extra-large bill at the pump, muscle car owners are left hunting for that one station that sells 94.
Unlike Europe, it’s a low-octane lifestyle here in North America, though hushed, tentative first steps are being taken to give car manufacturers what they so desperately crave.
Still, no automaker wants to say it. (Read More…)
After enjoying zero add-ons to their state gas tax since 1988, New Jersey residents are about to get a shock at the pumps.
The Garden State will raise its gas tax by 23 cents a gallon as early as next week in order to fund state infrastructure projects, the New York Times reports. The move raises the tax from the second-lowest in the country (14.5 cents per gallon) to above the national average.
As bad as this may seem to residents used to low, low pump prices, there’s a trade-off. (Read More…)
Like something from the Nixon era, the U.S. Southeast is currently in the grips of a gasoline shortage, all thanks to the shutdown of the Houston-to-New York Colonial Pipeline. North Carolina and Virginia have declared a state of emergency as gas pumps dry up.
Even TTAC’s Bozi Tatarevic can’t find premium unleaded to save his life. His WRX’s tank runneth dry.
The sudden gas crisis provides a perfect backdrop for a study by the American Automobile Association showing that 16.5 million Americans gassed up their vehicle last year with octane they didn’t need. (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…)
One struggles to count on more than one finger the number of fuels debated more than ethanol — in America, corn-based ethanol specifically. Many detractors claim ethanol’s disadvantages outweigh its benefits. Proponents for ethanol in our fuel supply contend the fuel’s geopolitical positives and other factors give ethyl alcohol much needed consideration. Unfortunately, both sides of the ethanol coin have a multitude of reasons for supporting or protesting the fuel beyond the immediately obvious.
Enter Automobile’s Jamie Kitman. The man is looking to separate the corn from the husk in a new multi-part series dubbed “The War Against Ethanol.”
The Garden State remains the cheapest place to fill up in the Northeast, and you can thank government indecision for it.
Lawmakers in New Jersey can’t decide on what to do about their state’s bone-dry transportation fund, and residents are equally divided on how to pay for future road projects. That means pump prices will stay low for the time being. (Read More…)
AAA hired an independent lab to complete 4,000 miles of simulated driving to compare Top Tier gasoline with the cheaper blends. Their findings show that the additive packages in Top Tier gas resulted in fewer carbon deposits than those found in the non-Top Tier gasoline test.
The study also found that there were some secondary benefits to the better additive packages, including slightly better fuel economy and better drivability. The benefits are apparent, but do consumers really care? (Read More…)
A looming bump in New Jersey’s gas tax would mean fewer drivers from neighboring states crossing the Hudson and Delaware Rivers to take advantage of the state’s famously low pump prices.
The state’s transportation fund is almost empty, roads and bridges need repairs, and Democrat lawmakers and select Republicans are putting pressure on Governor Chris Christie to send the gas tax skyward, according to the New York Times.
How much higher? Try 23 cents/gallon more. (Read More…)
You know the world is a bit upside-down when master wordsmith Jack Baruth spins a web so tight in favor of the EPA and CARB that even the Best and Brightest can’t see through it.
Jack makes a valid point today: light-duty trucks, especially those of the diesel variety, are often driven by people who don’t need the capability that those trucks provide. It’s those diesel pickups that spew tons of particulates and NOx into the atmosphere, both of which are harmful to human health. Goodbye, he says to the light-duty diesel truck, before we turn into Europe. Turbo-fed gasoline engines offer just as much torque as their diesel-powered brethren, he exclaims. There’s no need to buy an $80,000 phallus extender. What do you think of this twin-turbo V6 Raptor?
However, Mr. Baruth stopped just short of saying recreational use of light-duty diesel trucks should be outright banned, instead offering up a solution that’s analogous to gun control.
With European regulators taking a closer look at the continent’s wonder fuel — diesel, that is — in the wake of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, oil burners could hasten their disappearance from European Union streets.
That would be great for police officers in the UK, who seem increasingly confused about what kind of fuel goes in their patrol car’s tank. (Read More…)
Mitsubishi confirms it is going to shoehorn another SUV into its lineup to tempt those utility-hungry Americans.
That, Volvo wants everyone to buy S90s from their beds, Fiat Chrysler isn’t having a dealer’s trash talk, UAW bolsters its ranks, and your gas is going up … after the break!
“What do I gotta do to get you to drive out of here in a brand-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu today?”
That, Ford and Google are moving to the country, Hyundai halts in China and Volvo’s wagon spied in some guy’s garage … after the break! (Read More…)
An interesting combination of reports, compiled by the New York Times, shows that Americans saved money at the pumps from cheaper gas is mostly going to more gas and more expensive gas.
The average American should have saved roughly $41 from cheaper gas prices, according to a report by JPMorgan. Instead of taking home those savings, most people only took home $22. A separate study by Brown University and University of Chicago researchers indicated that most people were buying more expensive gas when gas prices dipped.
The phenomenon, which is called “mental accounting,” roughly translates to people spending a target amount of money — regardless of price. (Read More…)
Speaking at a conference this week, EPA exec Christopher Grundler said automakers have asked for higher octane fuels for higher compression tolerance and more powerful engines, Automotive News is reporting.
Speaking at the CAR Management Briefing Seminar series, Grundler said the EPA has the authority to regulate fuel, but that the agency would investigate whether it would make sense to offer the higher-grade fuel. Grundler is the agency’s director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
(Note to Grundler: You seem like a smart guy. Why can’t we all have race fuel all the time?)
Coming soon to a track near you, DeltaWing will bring its signature design to the GT class, and eyes set on the showroom down the road.