April 14, 2013 |
Two of the biggest rivals in American industry - General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. - are again joining together to develop transmissions for their next generation of cars. The automakers said Sunday they will team to create nine-speed and 10-speed transmissions that will be smoother and more fuel efficient than the gearboxes currently in their cars and trucks. "Americans want smooth-shifting transmissions," said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for AutoPacific Inc., an industry consulting firm.
March 29, 2013 |
When Ferrari's biggest and baddest supercar is a hybrid, you know the world has changed. Once considered the province of techies and the eco-friendly, hybrids are catching on in almost every vehicle segment. Hybrid sales were up 32% in the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to research firm Autodata Corp. That's driven by a combination of trends, including upward-creeping gas prices, a growing track record for reliability and the wider selection of hybrid offerings - everything from the entry-level Toyota Prius C to the spacious Ford Fusion sedan to the LaFerrari, a 949-horsepower, million-dollar monster.
March 16, 2013 |
For all the advantages of diesel cars - fuel economy, robust torque, bomb-proof durability - many U.S. buyers just aren't that into them. Volkswagen knows as much. So despite offering a wide range of fuel-efficient diesels, the company is now moving into hybrid territory. It took its first hybrid step with the Touareg SUV, which costs an eye-popping $63,000. Now VW is offering a Jetta Hybrid sedan. It's also not cheap: the loaded model we tested came to $31,975. Photos: Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid VW actually prefers you call it the Jetta Turbo Hybrid.
March 15, 2013 |
The Environmental Protection Agency says that model year 2012 cars and trucks will have the highest ever real-world average fuel economy at about 23.8 miles per gallon. That would be 1.2 mpg higher than the previous peak set in 2010. In 2011, when U.S. gasoline prices averaged a then-record $3.53 for a gallon of regular, the mpg numbers fell. The EPA says that mileage fell by 0.2 mpg in 2011, in part because of the effects of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power disasters in Japan.
March 12, 2013 |
With gas prices continuing a steady upward climb, you may be headed to the dealer in search of something less thirsty at the pump. But which cars' sticker price gives you the most bang for your buck? We asked Edmunds.com to look at the vehicles with the lowest sticker price per fuel-economy rating. The math was simple: divide the car's base price by its EPA rating for combined fuel economy. The result gives a look at how much each mile per gallon will cost you. Photos: Top 10 cars with lowest cost per mpg Topping the list is Ford's C-Max Energi.
March 6, 2013 |
It's one of the most interesting facts in a new study that covers 40 years of U.S. driving, from 1970 to 2010. Even after a 737% increase in the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline over that period, from 36 cents to more than $3, Americans are driving alone more often than before. Michael Sivak's study -- titled Effects of Vehicle Fuel Economy, Distance Traveled, and Vehicle Load on the Amount of Fuel Used for Personal Transportation in the U.S: 1970-2010 -- can be found here . Sivak is the director of sustainable worldwide transportation for the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. He found that in 1970 the average vehicle load -- the number of people riding in a car, truck or SUV -- was 1.9 people.
February 27, 2013 |
Hyundai Motor America is inching closer to a settlement of claims it inflated the fuel economy ratings of its vehicles. Details of the deal are still to be worked out, but the automaker is expected to reach a settlement in 38 lawsuits on the fuel economy mislabeling, which have been combined and are being heard in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Its corporate sister, Kia Motors America, is expected to also settle the litigation. Photos: Vehicles with overstated fuel economy claims In November, the South Korean automakers said they overstated the fuel economy on nearly 1 million late-model vehicles after the discrepancy was discovered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which monitors the fuel economy tests by automakers.
February 6, 2013 |
The chart emailed from Hyundai Motor America on Wednesday morning seemed to have good news for the beleaguered South Korean car manufacturer whose claims on fuel efficiency for some vehicles were exposed as false. A chart that allegedly contained Consumer Reports data showed that Hyundai's revised fuel efficiency claims were more in line with EPA combined fuel estimates than all but three of the 15 auto companies listed. "We at Hyundai believe that Consumer Reports real-world average fuel economy testing results and EPA combined fuel economy results should correlate, and in fact do correlate nicely for some brands," Hyundai Motor America said in a statement.
February 5, 2013 |
While electric vehicles continue to grab the green-car spotlight, an older technology has quietly emerged as a player in the fuel economy wars: turbocharging. Once the province of performance cars, turbochargers now power economy cars, family sedans and even full-sized trucks. Turbos now account for an estimated 13% of U.S. auto sales, according to Honeywell International Inc., a leading turbo supplier. That's double what it was in 2010. The increase is driven by ever-stricter federal fuel economy standards.
February 4, 2013 |
Fuel costs are taking a big bite out of household budgets, according to separate reports Monday from the Energy Department and from the Union of Concerned Scientists. The Energy Department says U.S. households spent an average of $2,912 on gasoline, or almost 4% of their pretax income, the highest percentage in 30 years. That's despite the fact that Americans consumed less fuel in 2012 for a variety of reasons, including more efficient driving habits and higher-mileage vehicles.