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(Jalopnik)   The safest car ever built was made by the US Government and got 32 mpg. Naturally, they canceled the program   ( jalopnik.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, US Government, Popular Mechanics, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Ralph Nader, DeLorean, small cars, lithium-ion battery, Product Safety  
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12228 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 May 2010 at 6:52 PM (7 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-05-28 05:25:12 PM  
I'm sure they'll do (and cancel) wonders with GM
 
2010-05-28 05:32:13 PM  
www.automotto.org

/hot
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2010-05-28 05:40:06 PM  
Claybrook, the NHTSA chief who'd overseen the RSV cars through 1980, told Congress the destruction compared to the Nazis burning books.

The rest of the article is basically redundant to this. Claybrook opposed the destruction, therefore the destruction was good.

In addition to the predictions in the article, she's one of the people who said repealing the national speed limit would kill 6,000 people per year. She should be locked in a phone booth and a dozen airbags detonated. In her mind they are soft pillows to gently cushion your landing, so they can't possibly hurt her.
 
2010-05-28 05:45:00 PM  

ZAZ: In addition to the predictions in the article, she's one of the people who said repealing the national speed limit would kill 6,000 people per year. She should be locked in a phone booth and a dozen airbags detonated. In her mind they are soft pillows to gently cushion your landing, so they can't possibly hurt her.


You lost me there.... are you for repealing the national speed limit? Are you against air bags?
 
2010-05-28 06:58:43 PM  
less government, not more, remember?
 
2010-05-28 07:01:17 PM  
that's farking depressing. it's like Who Killed the Electric Car all over again.
 
2010-05-28 07:03:35 PM  

skyotter: that's farking depressing. it's like Who Killed the Electric Car all over again.


Goddamn Stonecutters.
 
2010-05-28 07:09:38 PM  
Don't tell Fartbama about this. The last thing we need is a safer, more fuel efficient car shoved down the throats of the American people.
 
2010-05-28 07:10:25 PM  
"Like other American inventions such as the VCR, the lithium-ion battery and David Hasselhoff, many of the RSV's technologies only prospered overseas."

Brilliant!
 
2010-05-28 07:22:01 PM  

dletter: ZAZ: In addition to the predictions in the article, she's one of the people who said repealing the national speed limit would kill 6,000 people per year. She should be locked in a phone booth and a dozen airbags detonated. In her mind they are soft pillows to gently cushion your landing, so they can't possibly hurt her.

You lost me there.... are you for repealing the national speed limit? Are you against air bags?


Both, I hope.
 
2010-05-28 07:27:31 PM  
Joan Claybrook?

Oh, yeah - the woman who pushed the "backwards bike." It was a Carter-era monstrosity that featured seat belts, a roll cage, and other stuff. It also steered from the back wheel.

Of course, the NHTSA ignored experienced motorcyclists who said it would never work, and built one.

Which didn't work. Completely unridable.


Then, of course, there are the cars mentioned above. While they make a point about how safe they were, and the theoretical gas mileage, they forgot something: they had about the same acceleration and handling qualities as your average parade float. Once you get past the glowing "these could have been great" stories from various hypersafety advocates, you start finding out that there were a lot of issues with them (like the bad handling, the unreliable doors, cramped interiors, a lack of working air conditioning, et bloody cetera).
 
2010-05-28 07:29:34 PM  
Yeah but the car had a rating of 1 SPG (Socialisms Per Gallon)
 
2010-05-28 07:30:17 PM  

CravenMorehead: Don't tell Fartbama about this. The last thing we need is a safer, more fuel efficient car shoved down the throats of the American people.


That's good, because I don't think this car would fit in my throat.
 
2010-05-28 07:33:20 PM  

cirby: Then, of course, there are the cars mentioned above. While they make a point about how safe they were, and the theoretical gas mileage, they forgot something: they had about the same acceleration and handling qualities as your average parade float. Once you get past the glowing "these could have been great" stories from various hypersafety advocates, you start finding out that there were a lot of issues with them (like the bad handling, the unreliable doors, cramped interiors, a lack of working air conditioning, et bloody cetera).


The point I took away from the story is that while these specific cars were not terribly feasible as they were, there were those who took that lack of feasibility as a justification to ignore the entirety of the knowledge gained from them which could have been used to add pieces here and there to more feasible product lines to improve their safety.
 
2010-05-28 07:34:48 PM  
So wait... they put "tougher fuel rules" as a safety feature? I'd still rather a Suburban in a head-on collision with the RSV.
 
2010-05-28 07:41:39 PM  

cirby: (like the bad handling, the unreliable doors, cramped interiors, a lack of working air conditioning, et bloody cetera).


You just described just about every car made prior to, oh, 1995. Well, except the cramped interiors.
 
2010-05-28 07:43:16 PM  
Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago. There is no excuse for our lousy mpg today.
 
2010-05-28 07:44:13 PM  
006andahalf:
The point I took away from the story is that while these specific cars were not terribly feasible as they were, there were those who took that lack of feasibility as a justification to ignore the entirety of the knowledge gained from them which could have been used to add pieces here and there to more feasible product lines to improve their safety.

Well...

Not really. The whole reason they "worked" wasn't something that could be "pieced" into then-current cars. You had to design the whole vehicle from scratch, with huge amounts of crush space in them. You ended up with a full-sized car that had the interior space of a subcompact, and no real storage. They were also really, really heavy, and despite the dreams of shaving them down to 2000 pounds with the same amount of protection, that never was going to happen with 1970s technology.

Airbags were not exactly Area 51-level tech, even in the early 1980s. Most of the other "safety" features were things like antilock brakes (standard on lots of cars nowadays) and anticollision radar (which was insanely expensive and not at all reliable back then, and barely making it into the luxury segment now).

The reason these cars did so well in collision was simple: Wrap a 1974 Honda subcompact in 3000 pounds of armor, slap in some air bags, and end up with an ugly, slow, poor-handling POS that nobody ever really wanted.

We're still trying to design cars with that level of protection, but those pesky laws of physics are (once again) still getting in the way.
 
2010-05-28 07:49:06 PM  
John Paul Jones
cirby: (like the bad handling, the unreliable doors, cramped interiors, a lack of working air conditioning, et bloody cetera).

You just described just about every car made prior to, oh, 1995. Well, except the cramped interiors.


Not really. But take your assumption about 1970s cars, and make them that much worse from your own baseline.

Then triple the price due to the large amounts of new technology in them, and remember that you're now driving a "super safe" car that costs about as much as a house of the time, in order to try and be safer from a level of accident that only one in 100 people ever even experience in their entire lives...
 
2010-05-28 07:49:42 PM  

RolandGunner: So wait... they put "tougher fuel rules" as a safety feature? I'd still rather a Suburban in a head-on collision with the RSV.


And I would still rather a Mack head on with your SUV.

Then you can say " I would rather an abrams with your mack"

Then I would like be " I would rather my frigate with your abrams"

Then you could be like "Well I would rather my moon with your frigate"

Then I would be like "My Jupiter with your moon"
 
2010-05-28 07:55:17 PM  

Merkin For The Weekend: Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago.


Yeah but it also had like 20 horsepower.
 
2010-05-28 07:59:43 PM  

vernonFL: Merkin For The Weekend: Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago.

Yeah but it also had like 20 horsepower.


Yes, but it was also 100 years ago. There is absolutely no reason why we can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine.
 
2010-05-28 08:03:15 PM  
media.giantbomb.com

Why do you hate NASA so much, Obama?
 
2010-05-28 08:08:29 PM  

cirby: Well...

Not really.


Yeah, really. What I got from it is what I got from it. Disagree if you wish, but it appears that support for further investigation of the more feasible technologies that did come out of the program was undermined by an attitude of, "well, the whole doesn't work, so none of the constituent parts are worth further investigation either."
 
2010-05-28 08:11:51 PM  
There is absolutely no reason why we can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine.

Besides that annoying "air resistance and vehicle weight" thing. Physics is a problem.

If you want an actual car-sized vehicle that can carry more than a can of beans and a midget driver, you're going to have to give up part of that assumption.
 
2010-05-28 08:14:43 PM  

cirby: Joan Claybrook?

Oh, yeah - the woman who pushed the "backwards bike." It was a Carter-era monstrosity that featured seat belts, a roll cage, and other stuff. It also steered from the back wheel.

Of course, the NHTSA ignored experienced motorcyclists who said it would never work, and built one.

Which didn't work. Completely unridable.


Like those other 1970's monstrosities like huge shirt-sleeve space stations, asteroid mining and colonizing Mars?

cirby: We're still trying to design cars with that level of protection, but those pesky laws of physics are (once again) still getting in the way.


Yup, just like Space Nuttery.
 
2010-05-28 08:24:14 PM  
006andahalf:
Yeah, really. What I got from it is what I got from it.

Try reading up on the "successes" of the 1970s NHTSA. Try to remember that, despite their claims, the cars they mention in the article almost certainly didn't manage the real-world performance they suggest. Also remember that they tended to assume that if they could make something for a million dollars, the car companies could make it for $2000.

I mentioned in my posts that parts of those cars DID make it into modern cars - once the bugs were worked out.

...but the biggest, most obvious, and most essential part of the "safeness" of those experimental cars was "take a very small car and wrap it in a ton and a half of extra mass." We could easily do that now. You could even make it a hybrid. Admittedly, it would be a 6000 pound Honda Civic hybrid the size of a moderately large SUV, getting the same mileage as a moderately large SUV, while carrying two people and a bag of groceries, but we could do it.

Remember that these cars were using late-1970s Honda Accord engines, and getting 32 MPG claimed - instead of the 46 mpg highway the Accord got at the time.
 
2010-05-28 08:30:58 PM  
Quantum Apostrophe:
Like those other 1970's monstrosities like huge shirt-sleeve space stations, asteroid mining and colonizing Mars?

Compared to the things the NHTSA and Joan Claybrook were trying to do, those were not only more possible, but in higher demand. They were also just design ideas, while the NHTSA tended to come up with stupid ideas and try to force the public to accept them - even when they were proven not to work.

The thing you need to remember is that, for the most part, the Carter-era NHTSA was run by complete imbeciles. Yes, even more idiotic than most government agencies. Claybrook was a lawyer who got the job as head of NHTSA because she worked with Ralph Nader for a long time, not because she knew anything about cars or actual car safety engineering.
 
2010-05-28 08:39:41 PM  
If you have to push it to get the car to 60 mph and it handles like a skate board, you aren't going to get people to buy the car.

A 2010 Ford Fusion gets about that mileage (24/34), is safer, and would out perform it in any measure possible. The hybrid version of the Fusion gets 41/36.

Heck, a Honda Odyssey outperforms many 60s sports carsv
http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/soccer-moms-revenge/
 
2010-05-28 08:52:53 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: Heck, a Honda Odyssey outperforms many 60s sports carsv
http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/soccer-moms-revenge/


What a bullshiat article that is. They tested a modern 240HP van against a 35yo 6cyl XKE and a 37yo Porsche 356? There's absolutely no point to that comparison whatsoever, other than a forced attempt to make the van win.
 
2010-05-28 09:05:08 PM  

Merkin For The Weekend: vernonFL: Merkin For The Weekend: Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago.

Yeah but it also had like 20 horsepower.

Yes, but it was also 100 years ago. There is absolutely no reason why we can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine.


Currently the EPA estimates fuel economy by running a car at an average of 48 mph. The Model T had a top speed of about 40 mph. So you can't directly compare modern MPG estimates with the Model T.

There is quite a bit of weight added to a car because of safety features. A modern car is significantly safer than a car made even 20 years ago. All that weight hurts fuel economy. Pollution controls too can hurt MPG.

Modern cars are significantly safer, more reliable, and less polluting than older cars. You can't just look at one factor and ignore everything else.
 
2010-05-28 09:09:03 PM  

Chuck Wagon: Merkin For The Weekend: vernonFL: Merkin For The Weekend: Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago.

Yeah but it also had like 20 horsepower.

Yes, but it was also 100 years ago. There is absolutely no reason why we can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine.

Currently the EPA estimates fuel economy by running a car at an average of 48 mph. The Model T had a top speed of about 40 mph. So you can't directly compare modern MPG estimates with the Model T.

There is quite a bit of weight added to a car because of safety features. A modern car is significantly safer than a car made even 20 years ago. All that weight hurts fuel economy. Pollution controls too can hurt MPG.

Modern cars are significantly safer, more reliable, and less polluting than older cars. You can't just look at one factor and ignore everything else.


SHUT UP!

I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN!!!

WOOOOOO!!!!
 
2010-05-28 09:09:38 PM  
!
 
2010-05-28 09:14:59 PM  

Chuck Wagon: Merkin For The Weekend: vernonFL: Merkin For The Weekend: Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago.

Yeah but it also had like 20 horsepower.

Yes, but it was also 100 years ago. There is absolutely no reason why we can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine.

Currently the EPA estimates fuel economy by running a car at an average of 48 mph. The Model T had a top speed of about 40 mph. So you can't directly compare modern MPG estimates with the Model T.

There is quite a bit of weight added to a car because of safety features. A modern car is significantly safer than a car made even 20 years ago. All that weight hurts fuel economy. Pollution controls too can hurt MPG.

Modern cars are significantly safer, more reliable, and less polluting than older cars. You can't just look at one factor and ignore everything else.


You may want to save that in notepad because some idiot is going to post about the model T in every farking gas mileage thread.
 
2010-05-28 09:24:13 PM  

Merkin For The Weekend: vernonFL: Merkin For The Weekend: Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago.

Yeah but it also had like 20 horsepower.

Yes, but it was also 100 years ago. There is absolutely no reason why we can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine.


Yes because everything is linear.

100 years ago houses were built with one story. Today we should have houses with 100 stories.
 
2010-05-28 09:25:38 PM  

Chuck Wagon: Merkin For The Weekend: vernonFL: Merkin For The Weekend: Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago.

Yeah but it also had like 20 horsepower.

Yes, but it was also 100 years ago. There is absolutely no reason why we can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine.

Currently the EPA estimates fuel economy by running a car at an average of 48 mph. The Model T had a top speed of about 40 mph. So you can't directly compare modern MPG estimates with the Model T.

There is quite a bit of weight added to a car because of safety features. A modern car is significantly safer than a car made even 20 years ago. All that weight hurts fuel economy. Pollution controls too can hurt MPG.

Modern cars are significantly safer, more reliable, and less polluting than older cars. You can't just look at one factor and ignore everything else.


sometimes we don't appreciate what we got.
kudos to generations of engineers.
 
2010-05-28 09:46:41 PM  
Look up the quarter mile time of a 65 mustang 289, and the 2010 prius. The Prius is faster. and gets triple the mileage. Science!
 
2010-05-28 09:48:25 PM  

meddleRPI: Merkin For The Weekend: vernonFL: Merkin For The Weekend: Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago.

Yeah but it also had like 20 horsepower.

Yes, but it was also 100 years ago. There is absolutely no reason why we can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine.

Yes because everything is linear.

100 years ago houses were built with one story. Today we should have houses with 100 stories.


i628.photobucket.com

D'OH!
 
2010-05-28 09:53:52 PM  

cirby: John Paul Jones
cirby: (like the bad handling, the unreliable doors, cramped interiors, a lack of working air conditioning, et bloody cetera).

You just described just about every car made prior to, oh, 1995. Well, except the cramped interiors.

Not really. But take your assumption about 1970s cars, and make them that much worse from your own baseline.

Then triple the price due to the large amounts of new technology in them, and remember that you're now driving a "super safe" car that costs about as much as a house of the time, in order to try and be safer from a level of accident that only one in 100 people ever even experience in their entire lives...


^^^ This one.

My Scion tC saved my life, except for the part where the tire blew. For a $17,000 car, it did remarkably well in that rollover accident. Anti-lock brakes, power steering -- name it, and that car had it as a standard feature. The roll cage is the part that saved my life. That's just good engineering.
 
2010-05-28 09:59:54 PM  

John Paul Jones: TheGreatGazoo: Heck, a Honda Odyssey outperforms many 60s sports carsv
http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/soccer-moms-revenge/

What a bullshiat article that is. They tested a modern 240HP van against a 35yo 6cyl XKE and a 37yo Porsche 356? There's absolutely no point to that comparison whatsoever, other than a forced attempt to make the van win.


The point is to demonstrate how far tech has led the auto industry, not to compare apples to apples. Those cars were pretty hot at the time, but now they barely get close to a minivan (which is safer, pollutes less and gets better fuel economy) I'm guessing anyone who knows what the pedal next to the brake is for would rather drive a 356 or XKE than a minivan though. It is an experience to be savored. Until you get to a merging onramp and there is a freakin Odyssey in the other lane. ;)
 
2010-05-28 10:27:08 PM  

Merkin For The Weekend: vernonFL: Merkin For The Weekend: Dirty little secret- The Ford Model T got as much as 25 mpg, 100 years ago.

Yeah but it also had like 20 horsepower.

Yes, but it was also 100 years ago. There is absolutely no reason why we can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine.


There are a lot of reasons why you can't get 100 mpg out of a 300 horsepower engine. The amount of energy in a gallon of 10% ethanol gasoline is 120900 BTU/hour (4% less energy than a gallon of gas from before ethanol mixed fuel). One horsepower is the equivalent of 2545 BTU/hour. 300 horsepower is the equivalent of 763500 BTU/hour. And that is with 100% efficiency. So we would be able to put out 300 horsepower for 0.158349705 hours or 9.500982318 minutes if we perfectly used all the energy in a gallon of gas. So if you can get your 300 horsepower engine to get the car going 253 miles per hour, then we will be getting 40 miles to the gallon. You will need to be going 653 miles per hour to be getting that 100 miles per gallon you think you need.

Now if you are ok with engines that don't use all of their available horsepower while they are driving, then they can get that miles per gallon a lot higher at lower speeds.

Oh by the way here is that 100mpg car you are wanting:

100 mpg car
(new window)
It doesn't have a 300 hp engine, doesn't meet us safety standards, and squeezes in 2 people if you are lucky while being made of almost completely carbon fiber. Which will make the thing pretty expensive to make.

Merkin for the weekend's dream car:

www.carbonfibergear.com
\I link em hot
 
2010-05-28 10:31:47 PM  

Chevello: The point is to demonstrate how far tech has led the auto industry, not to compare apples to apples. Those cars were pretty hot at the time, but now they barely get close to a minivan (which is safer, pollutes less and gets better fuel economy)


Some times I hear people whine about "they don't make them like they used to." I always add (in my head) "and boy, am I glad." While few things accelerate like a mid 60s muscle car, those things drank gasoline like it came from the floodgates of a dam. Today you get darn near that level of performance and decent fuel economy, complete with more comfort and actual honest to God handling. The car will also run for 100,000 miles with nothing more than oil changes (and other minor service items). You aren't rebuilding the ignition system every 30,000 miles.

Yeah, new cars are complex and more boring, but they are every bit the cars of the future they lusted after back then.
 
2010-05-28 10:32:39 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: cirby: John Paul Jones
cirby: (like the bad handling, the unreliable doors, cramped interiors, a lack of working air conditioning, et bloody cetera).

You just described just about every car made prior to, oh, 1995. Well, except the cramped interiors.

Not really. But take your assumption about 1970s cars, and make them that much worse from your own baseline.

Then triple the price due to the large amounts of new technology in them, and remember that you're now driving a "super safe" car that costs about as much as a house of the time, in order to try and be safer from a level of accident that only one in 100 people ever even experience in their entire lives...

^^^ This one.

My Scion tC saved my life, except for the part where the tire blew. For a $17,000 car, it did remarkably well in that rollover accident. Anti-lock brakes, power steering -- name it, and that car had it as a standard feature. The roll cage is the part that saved my life. That's just good engineering.


Imagine if you had been in that wreck in a 60's volkswagen beetle. You would have been ground beef.
 
2010-05-28 10:44:02 PM  

akula: Chevello: The point is to demonstrate how far tech has led the auto industry, not to compare apples to apples. Those cars were pretty hot at the time, but now they barely get close to a minivan (which is safer, pollutes less and gets better fuel economy)

Some times I hear people whine about "they don't make them like they used to." I always add (in my head) "and boy, am I glad." While few things accelerate like a mid 60s muscle car, those things drank gasoline like it came from the floodgates of a dam. Today you get darn near that level of performance and decent fuel economy, complete with more comfort and actual honest to God handling. The car will also run for 100,000 miles with nothing more than oil changes (and other minor service items). You aren't rebuilding the ignition system every 30,000 miles.

Yeah, new cars are complex and more boring, but they are every bit the cars of the future they lusted after back then.


Actually, many things out-accelerate a mid 60's muscle car now. A 1965 Pontiac GTO went 0-60 in 5.8 seconds. A 1965 mustang did it in 6.5. A shelby cobra 427 did it in 4.5 seconds, but that car was a purpose-built racecar, not really a street muscle car.

Today a 2010 Mustang GT with good tires can do 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. Every supercar sold that is modern can do 0-60 in less than 4 seconds. The Bugatti Veyron can do it in 2.5 seconds. Heck, even a Ford Taurus can do 0-60 in 5.2 seconds. (granted, its the Ford Taurus SHO).
 
2010-05-28 10:49:13 PM  
But I thought we didn't want the government in the car business. That being the case, why would you have an issue with them killing the program?
 
2010-05-28 10:52:41 PM  
Ahhhh the knee jerk reaction to Unsafe at Any Speed, give him Nader credit he was even a douche back then.........

The wrecks he described in the corvair, never happened, he claimed they did but none were ever proven to be that kind of wreck, it was merely theorized that it could happen.

He had a vendetta against GM, there were other cars that used that type of axle but he didnt mention any of them as being just as unsafe.

Nader, douchebag since the 60s.
 
2010-05-28 10:59:13 PM  

akula: While few things accelerate like a mid 60s muscle car, those things drank gasoline like it came from the floodgates of a dam.


I once (back about 1984) test drove a used car lot's '73 Dodge Charger, got on the interstate and floored it. I took the next exit 3 miles away. In that short span of time, the gas gauge dropped 1/4 of a tank, i.e. about 1 mpg. Those wild rides are the point of a muscle car, even if that '73 was more style than muscle.
 
2010-05-28 11:28:22 PM  
The Government will never allow high-mpg cars to hit American streets in one lick.. it will be 20-30 more years of legislation before we see a 50mpg average.. EVEN THOUGH 50mpg CARS ARE ALL OVER THE WORLD!

Problem is... bad gas mileage = more gas = more tax revenue. If they're not getting it that way, then they'll have to get it from somewhere else. It's some sick and twisted balance. Much like Police... if they raised the speeding fine to $10,000 for every mile-per-hour over the limit, they wouldn't be writing many tickets. They keep it at a rate where the money keeps flowing in, and they stay in business.

Ridiculous.
 
2010-05-28 11:45:46 PM  
ballchain:
The Government will never allow high-mpg cars to hit American streets in one lick.. it will be 20-30 more years of legislation before we see a 50mpg average.. EVEN THOUGH 50mpg CARS ARE ALL OVER THE WORLD!

You do realize that the government-mandated MPG ratings are the LOWER limit, not the upper, right?

The biggest thing standing in the way of those "world" high-MPG cars is that they're tiny, generally fragile, and not something the US market really wants. Europe has a penchant for extremely high-MPG cars mostly because their governments add on outrageous fuel taxes, kicking the price per liter to about twice what we pay here. Most of the rest of the world buys microcars with gas-sipping engines because they're poor - and they end up with vehicles that have basically no safety features, and body construction that puts you in mortal danger if you hit anything stronger than a cardboard box. Look up some of the crash tests done on Chinese-made and small Indian-made cars - it's pretty pathetic.

You want tiny, high-MPG cars in the US? Overturn the last 50 years of safety regulations, and mandate MPG over everything...
 
2010-05-28 11:57:15 PM  

cirby: You do realize that the government-mandated MPG ratings are the LOWER limit, not the upper, right?


Yes, but they're not "across the board." If a manufacturer has an average MPG that meets the mandate, they pass. That means at say.. 32mpg mandated.. you can make 1 vehicle that gets 50mpg (even if it's a non-selling piece of crap) and 2 vehicles that average 23mpg (higher-selling, more popular vehicles), and you beat the mandate.

The biggest thing standing in the way of those "world" high-MPG cars is that they're tiny, generally fragile, and not something the US market really wants. Europe has a penchant for extremely high-MPG cars mostly because their governments add on outrageous fuel taxes, kicking the price per liter to about twice what we pay here. Most of the rest of the world buys microcars with gas-sipping engines because they're poor - and they end up with vehicles that have basically no safety features, and body construction that puts you in mortal danger if you hit anything stronger than a cardboard box. Look up some of the crash tests done on Chinese-made and small Indian-made cars - it's pretty pathetic.

You want tiny, high-MPG cars in the US? Overturn the last 50 years of safety regulations, and mandate MPG over everything...


That is a ridiculous theory. Safety features on vehicles have nothing to do with fuel economy. Weight and Engine output do.

The 2011 Mustang has a 305hp V6 option that gets 30mpg. You don't need 305hp to commute, but that's what they use to market it. They could easily use similar technology to put out an inline-4, 200hp Ford Mustang that gets 40mpg+.. but then.. idiots buy them because "Ooooh, 305hp! Now I can really haul ass!" Most never see more than about 80mph, so most of that power never sees the light of day.

Auto manufacturers want to sell you a product to make money. The Government wants you to tax you to make money. They have fine-tuned a system that is based around revenue. The Government could easily raise gas tax to the point where people drive fewer miles.. which would do (in essence) what higher MPG does.. lower pollution. Why don't they do that? LOSS OF REVENUE!

It's common sense. It's a money making operation.. not some hippie, tree-hugging, smell the daisies picnic.
 
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Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.

In Other Media
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

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