I am a road-test editor by trade. Testing fuel-efficiency is a key part of my job. It seems odd that the EPA, NHTSA and CARB have teamed up on TAR, but that the DOE and USDA have been left out.
The Oak Ridge National Labs work on this topic is crucial. The world’s largest automobile manufacturers are all turning to highly-efficient downsized, down-speeded small displacement forced-induction engines. They produce more power with less weight.
Modern forced induction small-displacement engines LOVE high-octane low-carbon fuel. The most cost-effective way to achieve high-octane is with ethanol.
I have begun fuel efficiency testing with E15 fuel. My first E10 vs E15 test with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco produced remarkable results:
There are a lot of folks that think a four-cylinder engine is just about the worst thing you could drop between the fenders of a pony car. I’m not one of them (anymore). While I was skeptical initially, after spending a week in the saddle of an EcoBoost Mustang, I’ve come around to the idea. A traditional muscle car must always have a V8 under the hood. But a pony car can be wicked fun (and fast), without traditional muscle.
I put a Guard Green EcoBoost Mustang Premium to a week-long test. It was fitted with the six-speed automatic, and 201A – Equipment Group (which includes the Shaker Audio System, Memory Driver’s Seat, Blind Spot Mirrors and cross-traffic alert) along with with adaptive cruise control. This is the most refined Mustang I’ve ever driven, edging out the 2015 Mustang GT I tested last month.
Turbocharging allows a small displacement engine to achieve significantly higher levels of horsepower (HP) and torque on demand, while delivering more miles per gallon (MPG) in light-load conditions. Once thought of purely from a performance perspective, forced induction technology has become a cornerstone of the march to higher fuel efficiency. You can have your cake and eat it too.
The top 15 list of highest combined MPG 2015 vehicles includes a mix of diesel and gasoline powered models, with the VW Jetta Hybrid taking the top spot. The Jetta Hybrid’s superior city fuel efficiency provides a significant advantage in tough traffic.
I spent the better part of three days at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this past week. While I’ve been to NAIAS a number of times over the years, this was the first time I flew home knowing that I need to start doing things differently, ASAP. Although the price of gasoline may have plummeted, there’s still a mission (make that multiple missions) that must be accomplished. Gas will not stay this cheap forever.
Ford kindly flew me in with a crowd of “Digital Influencers” and I lived happily in the big blue snowglobe with my new comrades. Our agenda was non-stop, starting with a Sunday night visit to the historic Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, where the Model T was designed and built.
The thought of a half-ton pickup truck achieving 30 miles per gallon (MPG) with a gasoline engine was unfathomable, just a few years ago. A 30 MPG rating for the 2015 Ford F-150 would be nothing short of remarkable. While the F-150’s gas mileage ratings have not been released for 2015, engineering leaps at Ford may have put that magic thirty within reach. The savings potential is based on three core technologies: lightweighting, displacement downsizing, and aerodynamics.
The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in America for years on end. A significant drop in the F150’s fuel consumption = a lot more money in F150 owners wallets and lessened need for our nation to import oil. This will do more than budge the needle. Lets take a look at how Ford made the magic happen …