By on April 28, 2017

1-Ethanol-Gas-006

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…)

By on November 18, 2015

 

cvt. shutterstock user Pixel B

Steve writes:

Sajeev,

My wife drives a first-generation R50 Mini base model with the dreaded CVT. This is a transmission widely reported (read: complained about on message boards) to not last well beyond 75,000 city miles. Hers is just now clearing 80,000 and it shows no signs of early struggles, even under the hellish torment of stop-and-go traffic in Houston temperatures.

Perhaps coincidentally, my wife has never put premium fuel in this car, despite it being a requirement. Premium fuel would supposedly generate 114 horsepower; without premium fuel, I would guess 7-9% lower, at, say, 105 horsepower. It is a slow car no matter what, but at least it makes up for it in urban maneuverability.

(Read More…)

By on October 20, 2015

gas-pump-save-ftr

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…)

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