@Charles – I too don't see the logic behind this thinking, why do we need to use more fuel for the same distance we go. What about the roads we have, do we need much horsepower for day to day travelling.
Jerry, there is one major thing wrong with your vision of the future. If you look at the Tesla S you will see that it is several hundred pounds heavier than the car it competes with (both having similar horespower). Now, the Tesla S uses lightweight materials and lots of new technology, and it is still heavier. As a part of your argument, which I agree with, you point out that we need lighter, more aerodynamic cars. I don't know if you remember the oil shocks of the 1970s. All of a sudden the coefficient of drag became a selling point for automobiles in advertising. In addition, conventional cars have become lighter (for the same size/features/horsepower), other than the German luxury brands (and the electrics). Without a different storage mechanism for energy, the ICE will continue to dominate. Perhaps hydrogen...
I think Tesla showed exactly what the future motors will look like at 90 percent eff. It also puts those mentioned in the rear view mirror because of it's massive, instant flat torque, power from 0 rpm and smoothness..
Vs IC's than in cars are at best 10 percent eff because they rarely run in their eff range, part throttle eff.
The only eff ICE is a tiny 4-30 kw generator to recharge the E motor batteries for unlimited range at about 34 percent eff.
Next the need lighter, more aero vehicles to put these eff motors in.
Facts are in 20 yrs oil will be too expensive to burn and my EV's fuel cost is $.01/mile vs $.10/mile and up for ICE's and only going to get worse.
Vs I can use $700 of solar PV to cxharge mine for 20+ yrs.
So have fun with your dying, costly ICE's as they become the buggy whips of the future. I'll do EV thank you.
You're absolutely right, blairk. This slideshow is geared more toward North American automakers. There's a good reason for that -- Chevy, Ford, Chrysler are still big on displaying their engines on stands at the Detroit Auto Show. Most of the European and Asian automakers do less of that. Similarly, the photos those companies share with the press are more about the exterior design of their products, and less about engines. It may be a cultural difference confined to auto shows. I suspect that it's easier to transport an engine and put it on a stand at the Detroit Auto Show if your facilities happen to be located in Detroit. You're right, though, European and Asian automakers have equally impressive engine technology. But since this was a photo deck coming directly from the Detroit Auto Show, we had to go with what was available.
Charles, us older folks remember the aenemic cars of the 1970's and 80's. To think that a turbocharged Buick V6 was all the rage in the late 80's for our perfomance fixation. Give credit to the automakers, I do not think they want to repeat the reputation they got during this time.
Small, gutless motors that really didn't give us that great of gas mileage! Who would want a full-sized car running a crappy V6 and only getting 24 MPG. Might as well keep driving the Chevy truck with the V8 and get 21 MPG.
Meanwhile the Japanese cars were coming out with high revving 4 bangers that could actually get good gas mileage! Toyota didn't become the #1 car manufacturer by continueing to sell their crap box from the 1970's!
The article should have been titled, "North American Automakers, Start Your Engines!" There is a lot of great new automotive technology coming out of Europe and Asia, too. Too bad the article did not include any.
Nadine, The last time I was in Europe the fuel prices were over three times what they were in the US, and it was obvious that there were two kinds of car owners, those who chose to be careful about fuel consumption, and those who really did not care at all about fuel efficiency. The division was quite similar to those who were very wealthy versus everybody else. That winds up being similar to what I see here in the US.
So while many of us value fuel economy there are still quite a few who hold performance as the main goal.
The downside is that it seems that really good vehicle handling characteristics are reserved for cars with lots of power, while those cars that get much better mileage seem to be designed for octogenarian grandmothers trips to the corner grocery store. A smooth ride but poor vehicle handling, most obvious in the dominance of severe understeer.
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
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