Sunday, May 11, 2008

200 mpg Volkswagon by 2010

The next generation of fuel efficient cars is coming

As reported in an earlier post, these new ultra efficient cars seem to be coming from Germany.

Volkswagon's VW1L is said to be going into production in 2010. This car is designed to get 285 miles per gallon but in actual driving conditions, will likely average at only 200 mpg.

It holds two plus cargo in a front and back seating arrangement and is powered by a fuel injected 299 cc single cylinder diesel. With the primary goal here being economy, the car is ultra light at 640 lbs. - made of magnesium and carbon fiber. It has just 8.5 horse power and is said to be quite peppy but will do just 74 mph top speed... but what do you expect, it gets nearly triple the mileage of most motorcycles.

To achieve an amazingly low drag coefficient, cameras replaced side view mirrors and the ride is very close to the ground.

If gas gets in the $7-8 dollar a gallon range, cars like this could get established in the US and hopefully, American car makers will respond similarly with more fuel efficient cars or they'll become extinct.

What I don't understand is why my 19 yr old Honda Civic hatchback gets the same or better mileage than the new Civics? It doesn't make any sense!! The new Civics have 1.8 L engines and average about 35 mpg. My 1989 Civic has a 1.5 liter engine and gets 38-40 mpg. Why aren't the new Honda's more efficient?
At 45 mpg, even the hybrids are only slightly more efficient than my old beater. I don't understand why a great car company like Honda isn't doing significantly better than they were 20 yrs ago in fuel economy?

10 years ago, the most fuel efficient car in America was the Chevrolet/GEO Metro that got 47 mpg. Why doesn't Chevy make a car like this now? Dumb! Seems like we'll be seeing a huge jump in fuel economy in the next decade and hopefully, car companies will follow the lead of those crafty Germans.


Old Man and mid pack runner said...

Car makers weren't interested in fuel economy, it doesn't help sell cars. Now perhaps, but not in the past.

Mr. Mack said...

This makes me happy, as did the story about the Ewert brothers that tweaked their hybrid to get 100 mpg. To answer your question, Honda and other manufacturers may have had extra weight issues due to safety regs that came after your 89 Honda was built. Maybe.

This is a fascinating subject for me.

Anonymous said...


Doesn't GM still hold a significant stake in Honda? Another answer may be that akin to the hunter who takes off running when he sees a grizzly. His companion yells, "You can't outrun the bear." to which he replies, "I only have to outrun YOU!". So, if Honda, Toyota, etc., get better mpg than Ford, Chevy, et al, that's all they need--why spend the extra money on engineering?