Last post on Sep 05, 2008 at 9:44 AM
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Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Automotive News, Future Vehicle
#13 of 52 Re: Here's an example... [michaell]
Aug 21, 2008 (10:15 pm)
One important reason for the weight gain that must be added to the list: all cars are designed to go much faster now than they did in 1980 or 1990. And cars that can go much faster must have chassis and powertrains that can handle and deliver the speed.
I submit that the family midsize sedan or midsize crossover does not NEED to be able to get to 60 mph in 7 seconds, or even 8 or 9. It does not NEED to be able to go 130 mph. Neither does the family commute car, which will be stuck in traffic 80% of the time in middle class America.
Neither one needs to be a rolling living room of driver distractions weighing hundreds of pounds either.
The 128i is a sick little example of this trend, being BMW's new smallest model yet still weighing over 3000 pounds. And the xB you mentioned, well, that has to be the worst single example of this type of bloat we could post here from weight increases this model year anyway. While the xB is still under 3000 pounds, a commendable accomplishment in the age of pork, it still manages to get WORSE fuel economy than the Camry with which it shares its engine. Just imagine if it used the Corolla 1.8 and weighed 400 pounds less instead.
I have made myself a new goal, but I'm not sure if I can make it stick: I will not buy another new vehicle over 3000 pounds. 2500 pounds will be the target weight for now. Since I never buy vehicles bigger than compact cars or crossovers, this goal is not totally delusional (!!), but my choices are still very limited. One of the cars I keep near the top of my wish list, the Subaru Impreza, is permanently out of contention if I stick to this goal. And it's a compact car!
Just. Too. Heavy.
#14 of 52 Re: Here's an example... [nippononly]
Aug 22, 2008 (4:58 am)
I will not buy another new vehicle over 3000 pounds. 2500 pounds will be the target weight for now.
Welcome to the club. My own personal limits are 2500 pounds for FWD and 2900 for RWD, with 150 pounds allowance for diesel and another 150 pounds for AWD.
#15 of 52 Re: Here's an example... [nippononly]
Aug 22, 2008 (2:20 pm)
"I have made myself a new goal, but I'm not sure if I can make it stick: I will not buy another new vehicle over 3000 pounds. "
Well, you are in luck, the Prius is 2920 lbs. However the new one will be larger and presumably heavier...
#16 of 52 Re: Here's an example... [stevedebi]
Aug 22, 2008 (11:03 pm)
Not to mention, driving a Prius is like riding the monorail, little to no fun, little to no driver involvement period if it comes to that.
My other rule, longer-standing than the new one regarding weight, is that it must offer a stick shift.
#17 of 52 Interestingly...
Aug 23, 2008 (7:56 am)
while the cars may be designed to go faster these days, they're not designed to carry quite the load that they used to. Consider this: my buddy's '04 Crown Vic has a GVWR of about 5600 lb, yet weighs about 4200. A spread of 1400 lb. And that's probably about the most you're going to get out of a modern car. I think the spread on my Intrepid is only about 900 lb, and even a Hemi Charger or 300C is about the same.
In contrast, the GVWR of my '76 LeMans is 5622 lb. My old car book lists the weight of a '76 Grand LeMans coupe at 3834 lb, but as equipped (a/c, power windows, locks, seat, etc) I guess it's conceivable that it weighs 4,000. So there's a spread of 1600 lb.
I think the GVWR of a 70's Dart slant six, which only weighs about 3200 lb, is still around 4800 lb. So you had cheap compacts back in the 70's that could carry heavier passengers and trunk loads than some of the biggest cars today!
Of course part of the reason for that is back then, a car was more of a jack-of-all trades. Most of them had to be able to carry 6 passengers plus their cargo, and many of them were used to haul trailers. Today we have pickups, SUVs, and minivans for all that.
I wonder though, if part of the reduction in load capacity might be because of the lower-profile tires and bigger rims they use these days?
#19 of 52 Re: Here's a trend I can get behind [nippononly]
Aug 26, 2008 (1:17 pm)
As long as they didn't just use some little sleight-of hand move, such as making some equipment that had been standard optional. Or cutting the weight in an area that might compromise safety.
I'd be really curious to know, exactly, what areas they were able to cut weight in and how they were able to do it? That kind of stuff fascinates me.
#20 of 52 Re: Here's a trend I can get behind [andre1969]
Aug 26, 2008 (9:59 pm)
I think one of the big ways they accomplish weight reduction is to substitute high-strength steel in more areas in the new model. They can also sub in plastic in place of metal, aluminum in place of steel in the undercarriage, etc.
They can also make the car physically smaller, something we are just seeing the beginnings of in the industry, although not in the case of this Fiesta.
#21 of 52 Re: Here's a trend I can get behind [nippononly]
Aug 28, 2008 (8:28 am)
European small cars have grown significantly in recent years to the point where they may well be able to accommodate beefy Americans.
Sad social commentary.
We're fatter so our cars must be as well.
Aug 28, 2008 (1:21 pm)
Apparently a bunch of people in Switzerland think the same way I do, although they are as concerned about public safety as they are about emissions and fuel economy:
Swiss to vote on SUV ban
Swiss campaigners launched a bid on Monday to ban gas-guzzling SUVs and luxury sports cars, winning enough support for a referendum.
The Young Green party said on Monday in a statement, it had turned in 120,000 verified signatures gathered in support of a referendum, to be held within 18 months.
"Our initiative slows global warming, protects cyclists, pedestrians and children, stops the arms race on the streets..., reduces pollution and is still reasonable," the initiators said on their Web site.
Furthermore, new cars should weigh less than 2.2 tons and have a safer front in order to protect pedestrians.
I would advocate a 2-ton limit for vans and SUVs, 1.5 tons for passenger sedans. So the Swiss aren't quite as strict as I want to be.
And I would rather that consumers demand this of automakers than that regulators get involved.