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  #16  
Old 04-10-2010, 10:13 AM
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That's a very astute comment on the Prius being a complicated solution to a simple problem. I wonder what kind of HWY MPG it would achieve if all the hybrid related components were removed instead of going along for the ride.
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  #17  
Old 04-10-2010, 10:21 AM
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Anyone seen the Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion? 71 MPG!!

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/09q4/2010_volkswagen_polo_bluemotion_diesel-quick_spin
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  #18  
Old 04-10-2010, 10:35 AM
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But the prius is ugly, numb to drive, and....slow. I'll take a Golf TDI....the new ones are amazing!
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  #19  
Old 04-10-2010, 10:48 AM
Craig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rscurtis View Post
That's a very astute comment on the Prius being a complicated solution to a simple problem. I wonder what kind of HWY MPG it would achieve if all the hybrid related components were removed instead of going along for the ride.
The current hybrids are "stopgap" technology because fully electric cars are not practical. The first step was the prius type design, followed by the chevy volt type design (plug in hybrid with a full capacity electric motor and backup engine). At some point, we will see straight electric cars with decent range being sold to the mass market. They will be available along side traditional gas/diesel powered vehicles and will serve a different purpose.
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  #20  
Old 04-10-2010, 11:24 AM
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If anyone watches "TopGear" they had a mileage race a season or two back and pitted a VW Polo?, Subaru and Jaguar, all turbodiesels, to a fixed distance race on one tank of fuel. The mileage achieved was spectacular. The VW delivered 70+mpg, the Subaru 60+mpg, and the Jag despite the host driving it hard, still over 50+mpg. Sorry, but for anything other than city driving Hybrids are *****. Most every Hybrid I see is tooling along at 80+mph with the idiot owner in a cloud of "smug". Americans are fools, the US EPA's stance on diesels ridiculous at best, as we are all being shorted by the current situation. You want to cut US oil consumption from passenger vehicles by half overnight? Let the European diesels in! But they won't, they'll keep insisting on electric boxes made in Japan.

RT
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  #21  
Old 04-10-2010, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwthomas1 View Post
Let the European diesels in! But they won't, they'll keep insisting on electric boxes made in Japan.

RT
Regulation is not what keeps diesel out of the USA, at least in the case of Volkswagen. What keeps more diesels from arriving is the weak US dollar. And the fact that the engines are produced in Europe, where they sell for $8,000 more than a US consumer would pay. We are getting the overflow of diesel engines from the European market.

Volkswagen can't keep up with the USA demand for the Jetta TDI. VW will produce 2,000 Golf TDI for the whole USA in 2010 for 700 dealers. If you do the math it works out to 3 Golf diesel per dealer. I work at a high volume VW store that is in the top 25 for the USA. We just received our third Golf TDI since the car was launched 6 months ago.

Two months ago I leased a GTI to a professional on visa from Hamburg, Germany. When he was comparing prices in his head with Euro dollars to US dollars he felt like he was getting the $30,000 car for half price.
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  #22  
Old 04-10-2010, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rscurtis View Post
That's a very astute comment on the Prius being a complicated solution to a simple problem. I wonder what kind of HWY MPG it would achieve if all the hybrid related components were removed instead of going along for the ride.
The simplest way to increase overall fuel economy(assuming about 40% highway and 60% city driving, and assuming driving style remains constant) is to do the following, in order of importance:

1) Reduce aerodynamic drag
2) Reduce weight
3) Reduce engine speed at cruising

There are people at ecomodder.com, gassavers.com, and other places that have doubled the fuel economy of their cars doing these things plus adjusting driving technique.

The automakers have repeatedly designed no-compromises 60+ mpg midsize and/or high performance sports cars as far back as the 1970s that ended up remaining concepts, even when market studies indicated that there was sufficient demand to make a profit on them.

Many of these, like the 2002 Opel Eco Speedster(turbodiesel, 94 mpg US combined, 160 mph top speed), are streamlined and lighter variants of already existing cars.

I sincerely hope that Mazda and others start offering low drag cars to the public. A diesel sedan with an inline-6 3L turbodiesel making about 300 horse could easily achieve 50+ mpg if it was in a chassis that had a 0.16 Cd, 20 sq ft frontal area, and used construction methods similar to a Kia or Hyundai to save weight, keeping it at a svelt < 2,800 lbs. And imagine the acceleration...

The automakers aren't too enthusiastic about load reduction though; it dramatically reduces maintenance by putting less stress on the components. This is why the 240D Mercedes is so reknown; while it didn't use load reduction as a strategy, the components were highly overbuilt, and taking a conventional car and streamling/lightening it, without changing to lighter duty mechanical components, would produce similar reliability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig View Post
The current hybrids are "stopgap" technology because fully electric cars are not practical. The first step was the prius type design, followed by the chevy volt type design (plug in hybrid with a full capacity electric motor and backup engine).
I disagree that electrics are impractical. High school kids have managed to take Chevy S10s in the 1990s and make vehicles comparable in range and better in performance than the ones the OEMs were leasing out at the time, using off the shelf components(eg. Seth Murray's electric S10).

There are electric pickup trucks using golf cart batteries that have been able to exceed 100 miles per charge at highway speeds of 70+ mph, and do 0-60 mph in < 18 seconds(see Tony Ascrizzi's "Red Beastie, a Toyota XtraCab with 120 miles range).

A company called solectria, founded by James Worden, built a car called the Sunrise. In 1996, it broke a world record for range that hasn't been beaten today, going 373 miles on a charge. This was a midsized car that could seat 5. Granted, James used hypermiling techniques to increase his range, but this car had a real 200+ miles range when driven agressively on battery technology that has only one-third the specific capacity of today's lithium ion batteries. How? It addressed aerodynamics and weight. GM and other major automakers refused to touch his design; it would have been $20,000 in mass production, had no transmission and could still reach 75 mph, and had a real-world driving range of 200 miles per charge or more. An oil company has since acquired rights to large format NiMH batteries > 10 AH, and this chemistry does not take too well to being charged in parallel, making large format the only practical way to use NiMH. Being that large format NiMH using Stanly Ovshinski's technology is kept unavailable by big oil, small companies making hand-built EVs have to look to less reliable and more expensive to use batteries like lithium ion(although they offer better horsepower and range than NiMH) for their EVs.

Plug-in hybrids like the Volt would actually be more expensive than pure EVs to operate. Why? Wheras pure EVs with 150+ miles range will rarely see their battery deep discharged, plug-in hybrids with only 40 miles range will see deep discharges as a mater of routine. Deep cycling is extremely stressful on a battery and will cause it to fail more quickly. Thus, GM's Volt has a pack sized for 80 miles range, with only 40 miles accessable, and it is a very expensive battery on a per kWh basis, even in mass production. A battery that lasts 500 cycles to 100% discharge in a car with 250 miles range will last 125,000 miles minimum. That same battery in a car with 40 miles range will give out at 20,000 miles, hence why the Volt needs a more expensive technology than lithium cobalt, driving prices up further.

Tesla Motors, on the other hand, can use conventional lithium cobalt technology and still get appreciable battery life; while the battery technology in the Tesla Roadster has dropped to $400/kWh for the components, since the car is virtually hand-built(along with the BMS, thermal management, ect.), the cost to implement it in the car is about $700/kWh. Mass production of EVs would change this, but Tesla does not yet have mass production capability. They are working on it, and know that an affordable, mass market, 150+ mile range EV is possible; it's been possible for almost 15 years(or 35 years if you were willing to settle for the 100 mile range limitation of the 1970s using golf cart batteries in cars like the CDA Towncar or the EXAR-1).

Further, the Volt is an unaerodynamic, heavy pig. It weighs about as much as my 300 SDL, and has a Cd*A that is par for the course when compared to what the rest of the automakers are offering for the 2010 model year. This makes its battery cost per mile of range increase dramatically.
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  #23  
Old 04-10-2010, 09:12 PM
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RT,
You are falling for an old trick. English gallons are bigger than US gallons & so you need to convert those Top Gear numbers.
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  #24  
Old 04-10-2010, 09:41 PM
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I drove a Polo years ago when I was stationed over in Europe. Seems like a lifetime ago now... That was a great little car and I think it would do well over here. It is built like a little tank compared to the other cheap crapola that is offered by the japs. The feel of the cars is hard to describe. Especially when they get smaller.

However... I have to say that I like the whole 'hybrid idea". An older (2005 or so?) Prius drove by me in the Winn Dixie parking lot this afternoon. It scared the crap out of me because I could not here it until I saw it riding by my leg. Those damn things run silent! Literally...

I have a neighbor that owns 1 of them. He had a 2004 and just upgraded to the 2010 model a few months ago. He says that on both, the computer is a little optomistic and is always 2 to 3 MPG over what it "actually" is. This guy "lives" on the road. I know the mileage. I have seen it in his log (corrected). I used to drive nothing but VW TDI"s when I was "living on the road". His numbers are good and better in most cases than mine ever were. Albeit at a slightly lower cruising speed. 70-75 in the Toy's vs. 80-85 in the VW's.

I think there is something to be said about the hybrids... I'm not really sure what it is at this point? The technology, even though it has been out for a while is still in its infancy. The battery thing is a mess. Worse than the whole "drill baby drill" philosophy if you ask me... But, that is the way things are going. So, what do you do? You do something like Mazda is doing. I'm curious (but, not excited) to see the outcome...
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  #25  
Old 04-28-2010, 04:34 PM
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check it out



mazda's SKY D engine.. diesel and I do spy a turbo off the back end
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  #26  
Old 04-28-2010, 05:13 PM
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Look at the device at the very top of the picture- looks like a turbo to me! As I said before, the article was technically deficient.
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  #27  
Old 04-28-2010, 05:40 PM
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I cant wait until these come out.. I bet that they will be priced a lot less than a VW and Mazda has pretty good build quality.
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  #28  
Old 04-29-2010, 06:17 AM
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I don't see anything that is for sure a turbo. It looks like it could be but not for sure. The article did not seem unclear to me either.

Although I favor a diesel over the current hybrids available I liike the hybrids just fine. I really like the early insight. The current prius is really a large car with nearly as much room inside as an SDL.

I see no reason to ridicule hybrid drivers either. These are people who wish to make a difference in their lifestyle and are willing to pay more to do so.

I think hybrids will continue to proliferate and will get better and less noticable in their function. I have driven both the current prius and the old insight. I would like to have an insight five speed but the prius is no fun to drive. I really love the look of the compact slippery rear wheel skirted prius. It is fun to drive too!

It does appear that our regulations favor gasoline for whatever reasons...is it because of our powerful oil lobby? ...could be.
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  #29  
Old 04-29-2010, 07:37 PM
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Pitchfork Tines

TW,

1.Modern Diesels Pollute LESS than PETROL. (We All know this.) AND are much more fuel efficient than either Petrol or Hybrids.
2.No American Automobile Manufacturer has the Skills/Capability/Knowledge/Interest in producing an automotive Diesel.
3.The Legislative/Regulatory agencies are OWNED by Detroit and Houston.

The Oil Company's real fears about the American Consumer are that someone
will Produce/Bring Over a Diesel/Electric Hybrid.Then it's all over but the crying
at the Gasoline Stations.

I'd hate to see it,
BUT if I were that Old Racist/Bigot's Grand-Children's managers I'd be scrabbling
around like mad for a Modern Automotive Diesel Drivetrain System to Purchase
for installation into Ford's Cars.

GM and Chrysler ARE Banksters that produce Lousy cars and trucks,Who will
ONLY survive as long as the Treasury continues to Bail them out Financially.

Detroit's refusal to embrace Modern Compression Ignition Technologies is it's
Final downfall.

What's that Maligned classic definition of Insanity?
Paraphrased:
"SAME,SAME (as always) with expectations of Different Results."

So what we've got in America is Maniacs selling Crap to Idiots.
(Hey,It's worked for almost 100 years.'Longest running Con on Planet Earth)
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  #30  
Old 04-29-2010, 09:52 PM
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There have been quality american cars built from time to time. The early fifties cadillacs were very high quality and pretty darned fast for their day. We have never built a car here that is as sweet handling as every european car I have ever driven though.

The Duesenberg model J was a no excuses car built to the highest standard in the world at the time.....equal or perhaps arguably better than the contemporary benz of the day.
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