We’re all familiar with the venerable Otto cycle—intake, compression, expansion, exhaust. But that’s just not enough for veteran race engine builder and performance aftermarket mogul Bruce Cower. He added another two. The Crower Six Stroke promised to boost power and efficiency while eliminating the cooling system altogether years ago. So what happened to the concept engine?
Cheap oil is a thing of the past. That’s why everybody and their collective mothers are trying to figure out ways to make vehicles burn less fuel. Chrysler’s working with the EPA to make nifty hydraulic hybrid transmission . . . that’s actually been around for ages.
The Edison2 Very Light Car (VLC) positively stomped the competition a few months ago during the Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize challenge, returning an impressive 102.5 miles per gallon on E85 ethanol. Now the aeronautical four-seater is at the North American International Auto show in detroit to show off its wind-cheating body and hyper-efficient engine. Hit the jump to see a video tour by engadget. Read More…
Looking back on 2010, it was one hell of a roller coaster. Like any other year, it had it’s good times and bad times, but the good times seemed fewer and farther between than in years passed. On the automotive front, enthusiasts got some great new choices, greens got the first modern mass produced electric car (and the first serial hybrid) and everyone else got improved quality and reliability. Car sales were up, despite a down economy, and both Audi and Hyundai posted record years. GM proved that they’re well on the way back to financial health, and Ford continued their growth in market share. Even Chrysler rallied in 2010, introducing the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Fiat 500 and the revised 2011 Charger and Challenger.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, the price of gasoline is on the rise again, just in time for the holidays. The driving factor is the current price of crude oil, which has now topped $90 per barrel. It doesn’t matter that the gasoline already in the system was refined when oil was less expensive; what matters is that people drive more at the holidays, so retailers can charge more for the product. In fairness, I’m sure gasoline suppliers are charging more to the retailers already, so feel free to pass the blame up the food chain. I know from first hand experience that the gasoline retail business is not for the faint of heart, and only casinos are more relentless in their pursuit of profit than oil companies.
Remember a few years back, when fuel prices closed in on the $4.00 per gallon mark, and naysayers told us it was the beginning of the end? We were either at or approaching peak oil, and gas prices were sure to continue their upward trend. Suddenly, buying a Smart franchise seemed like a sensible thing to do, but by the end of summer 2008, the madness had passed. Gas prices returned to normal levels, below $3.00 per gallon, and U.S. consumers (those who were still employed, at least) went about business as usual.
Remember the old “eat here, get gas” gag? Suzuki is offering a “buy here, get gas” program for U.S. customers. Buy any new 2010 Suzuki model between May 1 and August 31, and Suzuki will give you a prepaid gas card good for the estimated amount of fuel that vehicle will use over a three month period. The value of the prepaid card ranges from $280 to $442, depending upon the EPA mileage estimate for the model purchased.
Per Koichi Suzuki, executive vice president of American Suzuki Automotive Operations:
“Suzuki recognizes the economic challenges Americans continue to face and thought this promotion was a great way to provide relief for car buyers. Working through our U.S. dealer network, we’re happy to extend this program to consumers across the country, providing potential buyers even more reason to consider purchasing a Suzuki during the summer shopping season.”
The program includes Suzuki’s highly regarded Kizashi, a mid-sized four door sedan available with FWD or AWD. Unlike Suzuki’s of the past, which targeted niche and entry level markets, the Kizashi is meant to appeal to a more mainstream buyer. We’ll have a writeup on the 2010 Kizashi in the near future.
No one knows exactly how much oil is left hidden beneath the earth’s surface, but we can all agree on one thing: it is a finite supply. The U.S. military is well aware of this, and is looking at developing alternative energy solutions for troop and material deployment to preserve the fossil fuel we have left. As you’d imagine, the Department of Defense probably has more than a few people assigned to the task of projecting just how much fermented dinosaur juice remains untapped. Their recent findings don’t bode well for those of us who enjoy the sound of a V8 at full throttle.
Oil prices have once again topped $80.00 per barrel, so if history is a good indicator, we’ll soon be paying $3.00 per gallon at the pump. Despite what the tiny ads in the back of Popular Mechanics claim, you can’t double your fuel mileage by magnetizing your fuel line. You can’t ‘grow your manhood’ by taking pills, either, but that’s a topic for a different blog.
Money’s tight for all of us these days, and you can only cut back on your driving by so much. Want to keep a little bit more green in your pocket? Follow the advice below, after the jump, and you’ll see a noticeable reduction in your weekly fuel bill.
Honda is planning on giving the Toyota Prius a challenge…..again. Although the consumers have spoken and proved that they prefer the Prius rather than the Honda Insight, Honda is not willing to wave the white flag.
These numbers do not lie……
2009 Honda Insight Sales: 20,572
2009 Toyota Prius Sales: 139,682
Honda Insight MPG City/Highway: 40/43
Toyota Prius MPG City/Highway: 51/48
Can you blame drivers for choosing the Prius over the Insight? Let’s just say the average American drives 12,000 miles a year, and the average gallon of gas costs $2.75. We could save ourselves a decent chunk of change with the Prius. Even though the Prius is slightly more expensive, with the amount of complaints we have seen about the Insight, it makes the price worth it. Honda needs to step their game up. They have already worked up a new advertisement campaign for the Insight, and they are also looking farther into the future in hopes of eclipsing the famed Prius. Honda CEO Takanobu Ito alledgedly has told his researchers to develop a hybrid that has a better miles per gallon rating than the world’s most beloved hybrid(Prius). If the the next hybrid is going to be an improvement to the already establish Insight or a brand new design is unknown right now but its going to have to be something quite impressive to knock off the reigning champ.