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Old 04-28-2008, 07:40 PM
Bill Wood's Avatar
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Lightbulb Proposed CAFE rules hurts Porsche, small powerful vehicles

Filed under: Car Buying, Government/Legal, Plants/Manufacturing, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Driving



Under proposed new fuel economy rules set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), automakers with powerful short-wheelbase models are going to feel some pain. The agency is considering a plan to create two sliding scales of efficiency for cars and trucks of different sizes. Automakers will be assigned fuel economy standards based on the "footprint" (short wheelbase = small footprint) of their vehicles, and the number of vehicles they sell. Companies like Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, independent luxury brands with high-performance models, will be hit the hardest. Interestingly enough, Toyota, Chrysler, and General Motors, big players with diverse model lineups, won't feel as much pressure.
Conforming to the tough new proposed rules may be very expensive. As a result, some industry executives expect some automakers, such as Porsche, just to pay the fines--it's less costly than changing a model lineup. Regulators are under the gun to adopt a policy by April 1, 2009. In the meantime, the NHTSA will be taking public comments over the next two months. Time to send 'em a letter...
[Source: Autoweek]

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2008-04-28T18:57:00+00:00
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:06 PM
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Is this a thinly-veiled effort to prop up the struggling US automakers?
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:35 AM
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Wonder what this does to the modern SL. Maybe they will bring in the European engine (the 320).

Well, a lot of the auto magazines have been saying "end of an era" recently...for the second "golden age" of performance cars. The new Camaro and Dodge Challenger are going to essentially be stillborn. Maybe they and the Mustang can survive with 4-cyl engines. Ironically, the Camaro and Mustang were originally designed as commuter cars (the base Camaro had a 230 CI 6, and was going to be sold with 13" wheels!).

I'm thinking that the future is not completely hopeless for mass produced performance - maybe supercapacitors and compressed air/hydraulics can combine some number of seconds of high performance with a lower "steady state" level of horsepower.
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