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Ford Atlas Concept
Switch from steel to aluminum bodies is a major change for Ford

The F-150 truck is a very important vehicle for Ford, as it is the company top seller and a huge source of profit. The next generation of the F-150 is making a move to aluminum for portions of its structure in an effort to shed about 700 pounds and become more fuel-efficient.
 
The key for Ford is apparently to show F-150 fans the aluminum used in the truck has more in common with military vehicles that puny Coke cans. Ford has reportedly asked aluminum provider Alcoa to provide some military grade aluminum for its display at the Detroit auto show where the truck will debut.
 
“This is already the most significant debut at the auto show,” Joe Langley, a production analyst for researcher IHS Automotive, said in a interview with Bloomberg News. “Everybody’s going to be dissecting that thing for a long time, especially since Ford will be taking such a big gamble.”

The F-150 is a huge moneymaker for Ford and if fans of the truck don’t feel comfortable with the truck's new aluminum material, it could mean a big profit slump for Ford. The F-150 has been the best selling pickup line for 36 years and the bestselling vehicle in the country for 32 years.
 
Ford is looking at about six weeks of downtime for its truck building plants to switch machinery, tooling, and robots to facilitate the move from steel to aluminum bodies.

 
 
The huge weight savings are expected to help push the F-150 to nearly 30 mpg highway in its most efficient trim levels (there has been talk of possibly adding a 2.7-liter, six-cylinder EcoBoost engine to the powertrain mix). The most efficient model in the current F-150 lineup only musters 23 mpg highway. And it's almost guaranteed that the next generation F-150 will feature start-stop technology to improve city fuel economy.
 
The new F-150 is expected to resemble the Atlas concept that was unveiled earlier this year

Source: Bloomberg



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Why so large now?
By JediJeb on 12/27/2013 11:56:45 AM , Rating: 5
I have owned both a 1971 F100 and now a 1996 F150, and both of those are much smaller in overall size than what is currently being built. I can actually stand flat on the ground and reach items in the bed of my 96 4x4 yet the bedsides on the newer 2wd F150s are so tall you have to climb onto the tires to do the same thing. I can understand somewhat that the heavy duty series may need a larger cargo box but the light duty trucks really don't need it.

If they were to go aluminum and shrink the overall size back about 5% or more, bringing them back in line with previous series, how much more weight would they save? The 71 model I owned weighed barely 3300 pounds the new ones weigh in at nearly 5000 pounds now. More than once I hauled over 2200 pounds in the bed of that old truck with no problems, so the extra weight can't be just to increase the payload rating(in fact it would reduce the overall payload available due to total weight limits).

I miss the days when a truck cost about half what the average car cost and was very durable and you were not afraid to get it scratched up doing actual work with it. Now days they are more like limos with a huge trunk than something to use for work. Just another reason to keep my old one running as long as I can.




RE: Why so large now?
By superflex on 12/27/13, Rating: -1
RE: Why so large now?
By dsx724 on 12/27/2013 12:40:34 PM , Rating: 4
You can thank having to fit 6.2L v8 engine. The reinforcements that you need to hold and protect the occupant from something that big contributes 500lbs of unnecessary weight. You can make the same amount of power (415HP) out of a 3L.

I don't know about you but I think ABS and airbags save thousands of lives per year and are justified considering that they weigh 100-200lbs extra. Backup camera add a measly 20lb to a car and emissions controls are sized based on the efficiency and burn of the engine. If you didn't have a 6.2L V8, the emissions controls would only weight 50lbs.

Also, the macho man needs a bigger looking truck than his neighbor. I would blame consumerism much more than I would blame the Feds.


RE: Why so large now?
By zephyrprime on 12/27/2013 1:03:15 PM , Rating: 1
You are right. It's all about consumerism. Ford produced a smaller truck (the Ranger) but they discontinued it because no one wanted to buy them :/


RE: Why so large now?
By CaedenV on 12/27/2013 2:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to get a Ranger, but they discontinued it the year I was going to buy one. As I was only going to use it for hauling stuff on occasion I opted for a wagon car instead.

Granted, I suppose expecting them to extend a model one extra year just for me may be a little egotistical :P


RE: Why so large now?
By Souka on 12/27/2013 2:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
I got a great 1997 Mazda B4000 (it's a Ford Ranger really) with about 45k miles on it I'm selling. Barely a scratch on it, clean title :)

heheh


RE: Why so large now?
By stm1185 on 12/27/2013 11:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
I didnt see the point of the smaller truck. You werent really getting that much improved fuel economy or pricing.


RE: Why so large now?
By Argon18 on 12/31/2013 3:14:56 PM , Rating: 2
The Ranger is great because you can actually see and reach into the bed. In the rest of the world, small Ranger-sized pickups with a 4-cyl turbo diesel engine are returning 40 mpg highway.

For people who need to haul crap, but do not need to tow, a Ranger sized pickup makes the most sense. Not to mention folks who live in urban areas, and appreciate the improved visibility you get in a smaller truck, ease of parking, etc.


RE: Why so large now?
By Richard875yh5 on 12/31/2013 9:16:11 AM , Rating: 2
GM is coming out with a completely redesigned Colorado next year. That is the truck I will buy. It support to be world class vehicle. I believe that will be the case judging from the great vehicles GM has come out with recently.


RE: Why so large now?
By aebiv on 1/2/2014 1:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
No, they canned the Ranger because the powertrain sucked for reliability, mileage, and power.

They were impossible to work on even for minor suspension repair (bushings and such).


RE: Why so large now?
By Darkk on 1/3/2014 12:07:29 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I drove the Ranger with manual transmission as a company truck and OMG. I was like why this thing have any power? I kept shifting to find the best way to move this thing. Ever since then I vowed to never drive it again.


RE: Why so large now?
By JediJeb on 12/27/2013 1:35:13 PM , Rating: 3
The old 71 model I owned could hold the 460CID (~7.4L) engine with no problems. I had a 302CID(5.0L) in it and it hardly looked like it had anything in the engine compartment, you could almost stand beside the engine between it and the inner fenders.

Now for certain when you slammed the doors it rang like a bell with a hollow sound, simply because it wasn't stuffed full of sound deadener and electronics and such. The dash was mostly steel with only a small vinyl padded section on the very top, as were the inner doors. No plastic to fade or break within a few years.

It just had a three speed manual that was column shifted and drum brakes all around but it was so fun to drive, and it never failed to take me where I wanted to go, well until I buried it in mud up to the axle( it was 2wd ). It was cheap, and touch and I never worried if I banged it against a tree, not like I would one of these new ones. The sheet metal was so tough on it that during a hail storm in the 90s that totaled several cars here, the only thing that happened to that old truck was bright shiny spots on the paint where the hail stones hit, not a single dent( my Dad's 90 ranger looked like a golf ball after that storm). I so miss the days when a truck was just a utilitarian vehicle :(


RE: Why so large now?
By headbox on 12/29/2013 11:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
And if a 2014 Honda Civic hits the 1970s truck, everyone in the truck will die, and everyone in the modern car will walk away. There's a huge reason why modern vehicles are heavier and more expensive: SAFETY


RE: Why so large now?
By JediJeb on 12/31/2013 10:38:04 AM , Rating: 2
That may be true, but if the driver of the Civic would have been paying attention to where they were going the wreck would not have happened in the first place. The biggest reason we need so much safety equipment now is because we have a generation of drivers on the road that worry more about who they are talking to on the phone or what song is playing on the radio than keeping control of their vehicle.


RE: Why so large now?
By aebiv on 1/2/2014 1:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
I would beg to differ considering how I totalled an Accord that pulled out in front of me without looking with my "70's truck."

All I needed was a new bumper.


RE: Why so large now?
By amanojaku on 12/27/2013 2:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can thank having to fit 6.2L v8 engine. The reinforcements that you need to hold and protect the occupant from something that big contributes 500lbs of unnecessary weight. You can make the same amount of power (415HP) out of a 3L.
All things being equal, the larger the displacement (6.2L vs. 3L), the greater the engine's power output. If you lower displacement, you lower the volume of air that can be inhaled, lowering power output.

Which means a small engine with high power output needs to rely on extreme air compression, usually from a turbo or supercharger. There are problems with that, however:

1) Turbo and superchargers add weight and volume
2) Turbo and superchargers require accessories like intercoolers (more weight and volume)
3) Turbochargers and, to a lesser extent, superchargers have less predictable performance (lags and bursts) than naturally aspirated engines (problematic when hauling loads)
4) Higher compression engines need reinforced walls, adding to weight and volume
5) Turbo and supercharged engines are less fuel efficient

The most important reason why you don't see tiny, turbocharged motorcycle engines in trucks, however, is even simpler: reliability. Larger engines last longer than smaller engines when hauling weight. Ford could put the 430HP, 2.7L or 500HP, 3.2L Powertec RPA engines from Radical Sportscars in the F-series, but owners wouldn't even hit 100K miles. The horsepower is the same or greater for the 2.7L and 3.2L, but the wear on the engines is greater in comparison to the 6.2L v8.


RE: Why so large now?
By TheEquatorialSky on 12/27/2013 8:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
(Turbo-)Supercharging primarily creates power by increasing the volumetric efficiency of an engine, not by boosting the CR. An aftercooler helps by increasing compression efficiency (analagous to refrigeration "economizer" cycles).

1) Cost is likely the driving factor
2) Aftercoolers technically aren't required.
3) Twin, VGT and/or double-sided turbos (e.g. Ford 6.7L Scorpion) make this a non-issue.
4) Somewhat true, but turbos don't require a high CR.
5) This is thermodynamically not true.


RE: Why so large now?
By Totally on 12/28/2013 1:38:38 AM , Rating: 3
Dude you are talking out your ass. Sure you can make the same power with a smaller displacement engine but the torque isn't going to be anywhere near the same and that's important if you plan on doing any real work.

A 3l engine doesn't exactly weight nothing either, and 3.#L V6s are already offered so I don't know where you are trying to go with that logic.


RE: Why so large now?
By Totally on 12/28/2013 1:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
Dude you are talking out your ass. Sure you can make the same power with a smaller displacement engine but the torque isn't going to be anywhere near the same and that's important if you plan on doing any real work. Kind of the point of a WORK TRUCK isn't it?

A 3l engine doesn't exactly weight nothing either, and 3.#L V6s are already offered so I don't know where you are trying to go with that logic.


RE: Why so large now?
By Nfarce on 12/28/2013 2:28:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You can make the same amount of power (415HP) out of a 3L.


And if you knew anything about trucks and towing, you'd know that low end torque that V8s produce is more important than high revving blown V6 horsepower.


RE: Why so large now?
By JediJeb on 12/31/2013 10:39:55 AM , Rating: 2
Very true. And an inline 6 would make even more torque at a lower rpm than the V8, but those have all but disappeared because of the mandate for emissions and fuel economy.


RE: Why so large now?
By Argon18 on 12/31/2013 3:21:19 PM , Rating: 3
Straight-6 has nothing to do with emissions and fuel economy. Nothing at all. The straight-6 is a superior engine layout because it's inherently balanced, and does not require any balancer shafts or harmonic dampeners. BMW uses straight-6 layouts still today (I love mine, so smooth)

The reason straight-6 engines have mostly gone away is two fold; packaging and manufacturing cost savings. A V6 or V8 is shorter and more compact, and gives them more flexibility in body styling. A V6 can also be built on the same assembly line as the V8, and is essentially a V8 with two fewer cylinders.

But a straight-6 is still superior, from a technical standpoint. Why do you think Cummins still uses it for their diesels? In case you still had any doubt, consider that Ford uses the "powerstroke" v8 diesel in their F250, F350, and F450. But guess what they use in the F550, F650, and F750? Yup, it's a straight-6 Cummins diesel.


RE: Why so large now?
By jabber on 12/29/2013 12:42:34 PM , Rating: 2
I must admit I'm always puzzled on my trips to the US and Canada when I see these huge trucks rumbling around.

Why?

They never have anything larger in the back than a Labrador.

I don't think I've ever seen one actually lugging anything of consequence. I saw a garden rake once.

Most odd.


RE: Why so large now?
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 3:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They never have anything larger in the back than a Labrador.
I think you're lying. I see contractor trucks and trucks towing and hauling loads quite often. As a matter of fact, I see more work trucks than privately owned one's. What I do find interesting is that a Nissan Frontier (Navara) in the UK has a max payload of 2400 lbs but that same truck here in the US has a max payload of 1500 lbs. That would definitely account for the size differences in trucks. Some folks that use their trucks for a living tell me the bed size is the biggest issue. Apparently the standard is being able to lay a 4x8 sheet of plywood flat in the bed.


RE: Why so large now?
By jabber on 12/31/2013 1:04:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yes much more a van culture here than truck culture.

Stops stuff getting wet too.


RE: Why so large now?
By Nfarce on 12/29/2013 8:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
Uhm, you do realize that trucks don't always have a trailer attached to them or bails of hay or firewood in their beds 7x24, right? I have a Nissan Frontier which mostly tows a boat on the weekends about 6 months out of the year. It is also used to get firewood in the fall and winter months, the occasional Home Depot run with landscaping stuff, and a few other errands for large things that can't fit in my cars. Friends also borrow it from time to time for truck stuff.

Besides, what the hell business is it of yours what someone chooses to do with THEIR truck even if it means using it like a car??


RE: Why so large now?
By Spuke on 12/30/2013 2:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Besides, what the hell business is it of yours what someone chooses to do with THEIR truck even if it means using it like a car??
BAM!


RE: Why so large now?
By troysavary on 12/31/2013 9:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
I am not using the power of my GPU to its' fullest when I type this post, but there are times when I want that power. A truck is the same. When I want to go off-road, haul firewood, move a buddy's sofa, pick up rocks or sod for landscaping, etc, a truck is what I need. Does it sometimes get used simply to take me where I want to go? Sure, but who are you to tell me what I can or can not do in a vehicle?


RE: Why so large now?
By Argon18 on 12/31/13, Rating: 0
RE: Why so large now?
By troysavary on 12/31/2013 4:36:19 PM , Rating: 1
Nothing says insecure like commenting on the sizes of sexual appendages of those having different tastes or opinions.


RE: Why so large now?
By SilthDraeth on 12/29/2013 9:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
Considering my 1990 Ford has a 7.5 liter ie the venerable 460 v8, why would a 6.2 take anymore space?


RE: Why so large now?
By Andrwken on 12/30/2013 1:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you think engine displacement has anything to do with the physical size of the engine. A corvette 6.2L V-8 takes up less physical space then a 3.5L ford ecoboost. No overhead cams, no turbocharger or innercooler. This engine also offers similar output with similar mileage in the same vehicle (see 23 mph silverado with 5.3L). This is the result of better design and engineering not simple can size. I don't know this for sure but I would bet the 6.2L that Ford produces is very similar in size to the smaller 3.5 which makes this a moot point really.


RE: Why so large now?
By Camikazi on 12/30/2013 3:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Is the low end power and torque there for that engine though? These things aren't really about HP they are more about torque and tower power so the engine has to be able to deliver that without exploding.


RE: Why so large now?
By aebiv on 1/2/2014 1:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
Backup cameras also add cost, and complexity.

Why would I want a fleet truck that spends 99% of the time on a work site with a trailer equipped with airbags and a backup camera?

I wouldn't.


RE: Why so large now?
By grant3 on 12/27/2013 8:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
Do you think the public would buy many trucks without these now-basic safety features?

Would you?

Instead of blaming the gubmint, instead blame the fact that people prefer not to have accidents, and prefer to survive them when they happen.


RE: Why so large now?
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 3:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you think the public would buy many trucks without these now-basic safety features?
His point is that ALL of these features add weight. So don't complain about newer vehicles being heavier than old one's and at the same time NOT want a less safe or feature rich vehicle. Geezus some of you guys are idiots.


RE: Why so large now?
By grant3 on 12/30/2013 3:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually his point was:

You can thank the Feds for some of the weight gains.

Neither he nor you have answered the question: would you knowingly buy a vehicle WITHOUT these safety traits if it were available? Do you think the market would?

Maybe you can "thank the Fed" for starting these trends, but now that the public isn't ignorant of the benefits of seatbelts, airbags, ABS, structural strength, etc. they are the ones who ensure they part of new vehicles.


RE: Why so large now?
By JediJeb on 12/30/2013 6:36:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Neither he nor you have answered the question: would you knowingly buy a vehicle WITHOUT these safety traits if it were available? Do you think the market would?


Actually I just bought a 1985 Jeep Cherokee, which I think the only safety feature is seat belts. No airbags, and built before they added re-enforcement bars to the doors. So I definitely did knowingly buy one without the safety features of modern vehicles.

I know to check the air in my tires so I don't need tire pressure sensors. I rarely if ever drive on the 4 lane highways so I am not as worried about air bags, I mean if I get hit by one of the coal trucks around here air bags aren't going to help much at all. Stability control, I have never had a vehicle with that and I haven't rolled one yet, but then I pay attention and have learned to drive vehicles that are inherently unstable to begin with. If you learn controlled stab braking you can stop in the same distance as antilock brakes will. Of course most people just smash both feet on the brakes and close their eyes and hope for the best, so they need antilock brakes. If people learn to drive their vehicles, and only drive vehicles they are really able to control, most of those things wouldn't be needed.

What I think is really stupid is to add all those safety features then turn around and add in vehicle entertainment items which just cause more distraction.


RE: Why so large now?
By Reclaimer77 on 12/27/2013 4:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
Who care? I mean really.

The F-150 is like the sales king going on more years than I can remember. Obviously Ford's customers approve, so why should you have a problem with it?

If people wanted a smaller Ford truck, they would have bought Rangers. But they didn't, so the Ranger went away.

Ford is just responding to market forces, successfully I might add.


RE: Why so large now?
By Jeffk464 on 12/28/2013 1:46:50 AM , Rating: 4
If people wanted a smaller truck they would buy a Toyota Tacoma, they and I did.


RE: Why so large now?
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 3:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If people wanted a smaller truck they would buy a Toyota Tacoma, they and I did.
X2 It's not like you can't buy a smaller truck. What's the problem here?


RE: Why so large now?
By JediJeb on 12/30/2013 6:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well I did own a 1988 Ranger in between the two larger trucks and I found it very useful and practical. The only reason I bought the F150 was because the Ranger wasn't a 4x4 and even a half inch of snow would stop it cold. I owned them both together for about 10 years(until my ex blew the engine in the Ranger).

I would even buy a Ford Courier or Chevy Luv right now if they offered them still. I also wish I still had my Grandad's last truck which was a Dodge D50.


RE: Why so large now?
By Flunk on 12/28/13, Rating: 0
RE: Why so large now?
By Nfarce on 12/28/2013 2:38:49 PM , Rating: 2
And the older we Americans get, the bigger the cars we like. Retirees have always loved large Lincolns, Cadillacs, and the like. Nothing new. Part of it is safety, the other part of it is comfort and luxury. You won't see many northern retiree "snowbirds" traveling to Florida for the winter in Mazda 3s and Corollas.

I personally do not like driving a land yacht (hated my parent's Cadillacs and grandparent's Town Cars). They are hard to park and fight city traffic with, take longer to wash and polish, and aren't exactly gas misers. About the only good thing about them is highway comfort. I rented one of the new Chrysler 300s with the Pentastar V6 and an 8-speed manual and got 32mpg on the interstate. After a 1,000 mile road trip, I felt much more relaxed than similar distance trips in my Infinity G37 sedan.


RE: Why so large now?
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 3:34:18 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'm Canadian and every time I drive down into your country (I live close to the border) the vehicles get bigger and bigger.
You're Canadian? Riiiight. You're best selling vehicles are the aforementioned Ford F-series and Ram pickups. The Ford selling more than double a Honda Civic which is your best selling car. And on top of that the F-series has been the best seller there for 15 years LONGER than it has here in the US.


RE: Why so large now?
By troysavary on 12/31/2013 10:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
True, but we also have a very resource based economy. A large number of those trucks are work vehicle owned by forestry, mining, or other industries that need them. Soccer moms are more likely to buy minivans than big SUVs here, I have noticed.


Cost?
By icrf on 12/27/2013 11:56:52 AM , Rating: 2
Any mention of the cost increase that accompanies the change in materials?




RE: Cost?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/27/2013 12:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure there will be higher costs to Ford, but I'm willing to bet that they eat into their profit to make the F-150 price competitive with the Silverado/Sierra and Ram. It also explains this:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/18/us-autos...


RE: Cost?
By hpglow on 12/27/2013 1:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
Ford pickups are already higher priced at least in my area. I also bet that at least initially they will only offer aluminum parts on some of the f-150s. 30 mpg up from 23 is a pretty big step up for some this would be worth a small (think a couple hundred bucks) price increase. If you have a fleet of service trucks you could save a fortune on fuel.


RE: Cost?
By CaedenV on 12/27/2013 2:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
More than a few hundred bucks. The raw material is going to be more expensive to begin with, plus it is a less forgiving material to work with which will require some considerable plant upgrades, and constant replacement of tools. Probably close to a $1.5-2K in extra costs?

But if it is so much more fuel efficient, especially compared to some aging fleets out there, then even an added cost would probably be a justifiable upgrade.

The big question is going to be repair ability and cost of things like replacement panels and such. If those costs go through the roof then that is going to be a dealbreaker for many because work beats trucks up pretty good. And it is often cheaper to repair a truck than to handle it with knit gloves.


RE: Cost?
By AssBall on 12/27/2013 2:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
The big question is if they will bring back the Bronco in all aluminum with a modern diesel. YAH!


RE: Cost?
By stm1185 on 12/27/2013 10:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
No I think OJ killed the Bronco name.


RE: Cost?
By Reclaimer77 on 12/27/2013 10:59:07 PM , Rating: 4
That wasn't all he killed!

*rimshot*

OHHHhhhhhhhhhhh


RE: Cost?
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 3:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
LMAO!!


RE: Cost?
By JediJeb on 12/31/2013 10:48:04 AM , Rating: 2
That would be a sweet vehicle, in either the pre-77 model or the later ones. But then they would just make it some kind of luxury vehicle instead of a really good off road vehicle and set the price above $50k which would be a real shame.


RE: Cost?
By AssBall on 12/31/2013 8:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah they'd land-rover-ize it, which would suck.

Convenient, capable, practical, affordable , easy to maintain... Those are What I remember Broncos most for.

Leather, electronic gadgets, fuel efficiency, aerodynamics...

No... Broncos are for taking to the mountains(insert favorite hard to reach place) where none of that junk matters.


RE: Cost?
By TheEquatorialSky on 12/27/2013 8:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
The F150 looks like it's still body-on-frame, so Ford is smart to bring aluminum into its truck line-up first. Honda took a loss on the NSX and Insight, both of which used unibody construction.

A big plus is that aluminum is corrosion resistant, but lots of ferrous bits still make up a car chassis. We're a at least a decade off from being rust-bucket-free.


RE: Cost?
By JonnyDough on 12/28/2013 3:47:49 AM , Rating: 2
If the vehicles last longer, and get better fuel efficiency then they will be worth the up front cost.


RE: Cost?
By Spuke on 12/30/2013 2:27:14 AM , Rating: 2
I'd buy it used.


100mpg civic
By flyingpants1 on 12/28/13, Rating: 0
RE: 100mpg civic
By grant3 on 12/28/2013 8:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the "industry's" fault.

People will just absolutely refuse to buy a car that looks like that, no matter the mileage.


RE: 100mpg civic
By flyingpants1 on 12/28/2013 10:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
All you need is a more streamlined shape to minimize air drag. Otherwise you are just burning gas to push air around .

The cars actually look fine, newer cars like the Tesla Model S, GM EV1, Dodge Intrepid ESX, Volkswagen XL1 all look fine. And they have a drag coefficient somewhere between 0.17-0.23 CdA. Ideally all cars should have very low drag like this.

If anyone sold a 100mpg car people would buy the hell out of it, no matter what it looked like. The fact is that fuel efficiency and aerodynamics are not really a main focus of the big car manufacturers, although they should be.


RE: 100mpg civic
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2013 4:24:02 AM , Rating: 2
Even with that shape, I call BS on getting a true 100 MPG with that car.

quote:
The fact is that fuel efficiency and aerodynamics are not really a main focus of the car buying public


Fixed that for you. If it was, hybrids would have more than 3% of the market. Or we would all be driving 50mpg Geo's around today.


RE: 100mpg civic
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 3:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
Some crackpot always brings that car out on these discussions on the internet.


RE: 100mpg civic
By grant3 on 12/30/2013 2:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla S: .24 <-- the only mass- production model on your list.
ESX: .22
EV1: .195
XL1: .189

Even if we take these manufacturer-provided estimates as accurate they are outside the ".17-.22" range you claim.

BTW, the car you originally linked, even the *OWNER* only claims 95mpg, and only under ideal conditions: non-ethanol gas, highway driving at 65mph. NOT the 100mpg your original post said.

We all get your point (that aerodynamics matter) but you only harm your argument when you use slippery exaggerations to push it.


RE: 100mpg civic
By troysavary on 12/31/2013 10:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
It is easy building a 100+ MPG car. Building one that people will buy, on the other hand...


RE: 100mpg civic
By zephyrprime on 1/2/2014 12:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
You are right, people do not want to buy a 100mpg car. However, people need to think outside the box. A 100mpg car would suck and nobody would want to buy it. However, this is only true if you only have *1* car. If you had multiple cards per person, then people would be willing to buy a 100mpg car because they would also have other bigger cars too. The reason people don't buy multiple cars is cost and storage space. There's no way to completely eliminate these problems but maybe there's a way to partially eliminate the cost problem. Two ways to reduce the cost of ownership are to eliminate redundant insurance costs and licensing costs. What we should do is to move towards insurance costs based upon miles driven rather than number of cars owned.


Wait it looks like that and gets 30mpg...
By stm1185 on 12/27/2013 4:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
Someone find me that Zoidberg take my money meme. It perfectly demonstrates how I feel right now.




By AdamAnon on 12/28/2013 3:04:43 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. I wish I could justify a truck like this. I wonder how the new Raptor will look like. I was very close to getting a Raptor, but the mileage was a turnoff. But damn, that vehicle looks good. I ended up with an Explorer instead.


By Camikazi on 12/30/2013 3:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
Fry is the take my money meme, Zoidberg is the "What about Zoidberg?" or the "Your *insert thing* is bad and you should feel bad." one. Sorry for the trivial info but I like memes :)


Cheaper alternatives?
By PaFromFL on 12/28/2013 10:07:40 AM , Rating: 2
Curb weight mostly affects gas mileage during acceleration and deceleration. Wouldn't a modest regenerative braking system with a smallish battery achieve the same energy savings? Aluminum is expensive, requires a lot of energy to produce, and bends and dents easily when used for body panels. High strength steel could be used for heavy frame, suspension, and driveline parts to save weight and reduce unsprung weight. I like the idea of using aluminum for sporty vehicles, but don't think it is appropriate for work trucks.




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