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Mazda Claims 70 mpg For New Engine, No Hybrid Needed

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the zooming-along dept.

Earth 576

thecarchik writes "There's no word on when the new version of the Mazda2 will finally reach the US but when it does we can reveal that it will return a fuel economy of 70 mpg — without the aid of any electric motors. This is because the car will feature Mazda's next-generation of drivetrain, body and chassis technologies, dubbed SKYACTIV. The new Mazda 2 will come powered by a SKYACTIV-G engine, Mazda's next-generation direct injection gasoline mill that achieves significantly improved fuel efficiency thanks to a high compression ratio of 14.0:1 (the world's highest for a production gasoline engine)." I wonder if a real-life-real-drivers 70 mpg car is what will actually arrive, or if such promises will dissolve like Chevy's promises about the Volt did.

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Diesels already do this. (2, Informative)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998482)

Plenty of diesel cars already do 60-70MPG. With the advantage of having no ignition system to go wrong and lots of torque, horse power is a misleading gauge of power, torque is what turns the wheels.

Sure, some people don't like diesels due to the noise they make. They are typically quieter when cruising as the RPM is often about 1000RPM lower than a petrol engine.

Re:Diesels already do this. (5, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998518)

WTF is this news?

VW Polo [volkswagen.co.uk]

70 miles per US gallon highway.
60 MPUSG combined.
50 MPUSG City.

Re:Diesels already do this. (0, Troll)

txmcse (937355) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998640)

Could it be due to the new ads i keep seeing on /.?

Re:Diesels already do this. (5, Informative)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998682)

I actually RTF(2nd)A, and it says:
"Mazda expects it to come in at 28 mpg city, 35 mpg highway with the five-speed manual, and 1 mpg less on highway mileage with the automatic."

Does not compute.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

Luke has no name (1423139) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998770)

UPvote, I noticed this as well.

Re:Diesels already do this. (4, Informative)

hardburn (141468) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998886)

That's for the Mazda2 you can buy right now, not the one coming down the pipeline.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998956)

K, engine name sounded the same:
"This is because the car will feature Mazda's next-generation of drivetrain, body and chassis technologies, dubbed SKYACTIV. The new Mazda 2 will come powered by a SKYACTIV-G engine"

"Mazda announced that its 2011 Mazda2"

Considering the /. post sayd "The new Mazda 2", the article says 2011 and the enginge was called SKYACTIV-G while the article talks about the new Mazda 2 and the SKYACTIV engine it's easy to think they are the same ..

First article says:
"It will come powered by a SKYACTIV-G engine", so same name.

But maybe the journalist of the second article found some old MPG values from some older Mazda2?

Re:Diesels already do this. (2, Informative)

bgt421 (1006945) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998742)

It's news because it's a gasoline engine, not just because of efficiency. Gasoline is marginally more available and often cheaper than diesel.

Re:Diesels already do this. (0, Flamebait)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998832)

You mean like VW's TSI engine. [volkswagen.co.uk] The one that's won the International Engine of the Year Awards for 5 years running and was voted the International Engine of the Year and Best Green Engine in 2009?

Completely new thing they have.

Re:Diesels already do this. (3, Informative)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998980)

If the article had been about an award the Mazda had received, you'd have a point. As it stands, it's about the potential MPG rating, which the TSI engine doesn't approach. So you posted a non sequitur.

Re:Diesels already do this. (3, Informative)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998752)

Diesel contains significantly more energy per gallon than gasoline, so "MPG" comparisons to gasoline vehicles are totally useless.

Also, the UK fuel economy ratings are hopelessly optimistic, as are the Japanese tests.

The Third-Generation (ZVW30) Prius gets 59 MPUSG combined according to the UK tests, but 50 MPGUS according to the US tests. Anyone who actually drives their vehicle normally will tell you that the US tests are a lot closer to reality.

Whenever someone announces that a vehicle "beats" the Prius (or other hybrids) in fuel economy without a hybrid system, you have to look for one of several mistakes:

- Are they comparing diesel MPG (or L/100km) to gasoline? You can't do this because diesel contains more energy per unit volume.
- Are they comparing a small vehicle to a much larger hybrid? Yes, you can get good fuel economy in a Smart, but it also doesn't hold 4 people and is considerably less safe if you get in an accident with a larger vehicle.
- Are they comparing fuel economy ratings from different countries? Compared with the new EPA ratings (and reality), most ratings from other countries are hopelessly optimistic.
- Are they using a different sized gallon? The Imperial gallon is larger.

Often this is done implicitly - the poster won't even mention the hybrid in their comparison. That way when you look up (or remember) the fuel economy ratings of the hybrid, you're likely to use US-EPA sources.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

dloose (900754) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998820)

I don't get it... why can't you use MPG to compare gasoline to diesel? If diesel has more energy per unit volume, then cars with diesel engines should have a higher MPG rating, right? What am I missing?

Re:Diesels already do this. (2, Informative)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998870)

The important metric is exhausts. Burning a litre of diesel creates more CO2 (and NOx because of the higher temperatures) than burning a litre of gasoline.

Re:Diesels already do this. (0)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998962)

That is only important if you're trying to cut CO2. Otherwise, in the more practical day-to-day use of "How often will I have to fill up if my daily driving distance is X miles and the tank holds Y gallons", MPG is much more important than any measure of crap coming out the exhaust.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1, Informative)

hardburn (141468) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998912)

They take into account different driving conditions. Diesels are good for hiway cruising, but are terrible in stop-and-go traffic. Hybrids are basically the opposite, and traditional petrol is somewhere in between.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

klazek (1134141) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998864)

I just moved to the US from Germany. I replaced my Golf I had there with a new one from here. What a let down. Only choice = 170HP ~30 mpg, optimistically speaking - unless you want to spend 27-30 K USD on a diesel.

As for Polos, even the 100HP gas model beats a Prius (OK, just barely), but they are kind of small.

If you check out the Golf models at the above link, you'll see they pretty much all match or beat the Prius. Why don't they offer them here? (And don't give me any BS about tighter emissions regulations here - compared to Northern Europe, our environmental regulations are also sad and embarrassing. Besides, they do actually offer the GTI here -also sad compared to the euro GTI- which is using stratified injection, just like all the other euro models).

I asked my friend who works at the VW lab in Palo Alto about it (i.e. when will we be able to get the good stuff here) and all she said was that everyone asks them that.

Re:Diesels already do this. (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33999016)

I asked my friend who works at the VW lab in Palo Alto about it (i.e. when will we be able to get the good stuff here) and all she said was that everyone asks them that.

If you read between the lines, what she's really saying is "We'll get the "good stuff" over here when we're no longer governed by the oil companies. Or, when gasoline hits $9.50/gal in Lincoln, Nebraska. Or, when pigs fly".

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

StoatBringer (552938) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998890)

My Nissan Note diesel easily does 60mpg at 70mph, and 70+ mpg at 50mph. Admittedly, it's not terribly fast, but it is efficient.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998930)

It's news because the US doesn't allow diesels like that to be sold here (well, technically they're allowed, the government just makes it such a hassle and so expensive that companies WON'T sell them here).

That's why the BMW 330d doesn't get as great of mpg as you would expect, because BMW would only pay to get one diesel engine approved for use in the US and they had to have an engine that could work for their SUV's as well.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998542)

How is a unit of power a misleading gauge of power? Have you considered that power equals torque times angular velocity?

Re:Diesels already do this. (1, Insightful)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998594)

> and lots of torque
except with a diesel car you tend to get the torque when you don't need it. And there's also the "diesel lag". Slam the accelerator to the floor - nothing happens - then 2 seconds later a sudden burst of power. Quite fun when your pulling out in a busy roundabout.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998706)

No you don't. In a modern turbo diesel you get the torque from the engine exactly when you need it. And turbo lag is nothing like as bad as your exaggeration suggests. And if you actually like driving and have a manual box, the pulling out on a busy roundabout situation you described should never happen as one is able to have the engine (and turbo) spinning at sufficient speed this is never going to happen.

Put it this way, unless something big changes, I'll never buy another petrol engined car.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998922)

In a modern turbo diesel you get the torque from the engine exactly when you need it.

Which is why the Golf TDI get's a 0-60 time of 5 seconds. Oh, wait . . .

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998934)

I have a hybrid with a CVT. I can basically out accelerate almost anything on the road (except for true sports cars) from a standstill to the speed limit.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998712)

You're talking about turbo lag, which happens on any vehicle with a turbocharger, not just diesels.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998936)

When was the last time you drove a diesel? 1974?

They're considerably more refined these days, with very minimal turbo lag and decent all-range torque.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33999002)

Just power brake a bit to spool up the turbo.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1, Insightful)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998604)

With the advantage of having no ignition system to go wrong and lots of torque, horse power is a misleading gauge of power, torque is what turns the wheels.

I can produce more torque than a diesel engine with my hands and a long spanner, which suggests that maybe it isn't that useful a figure for determining a car's capability.

And your ignition system may not go wrong, but your turbocharger and much higher pressure injectors can, and do.

Re:Diesels already do this. (5, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998806)

I can produce more torque than a diesel engine with my hands and a long spanner

That's a nonargument.

Torque figures are just as useful as power figures for comparing cars, i.e. not very much. The meaningful items are the torque curve, which tells you how responsive the engine is over its operating range, and the power-to-weight ratio, which tells you what effect the engine will have in terms of accelleration.

Re:Diesels already do this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998644)

Most of European Diesel cars are not noisier than other.
Their injection system is prone to very expensive damages, when fuel is not clean as should be.
These engines are more complicated, expensive and hard to maintain than gas ones.
You can save about 20% on fuel, but probably the total cost of ownership is about the same.

Re:Diesels already do this. (0)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998782)

I'll give you another reason why diesels are nice: they don't quit. I was driving a rather large truck when (thanks to an idiot mechanic) an electrical problem caused a fire in the engine compartment. As various wires burned through, one by one everything died but the engine kept going; pretty much the only way to kill a diesel is to flood it with water.

The reason I think diesels haven't caught on in passenger cars is that while swapping out a petrol engine for a diesel one will improve your score on road tests, it will be underpowered. So you adjust the gear ratios down to maintain acceleration, and now you're revving higher at cruising speed... end result, for real driving, the diesel isn't doing much better than the petrol, and it's more dangerous with tricky merges / passing. Obviously, for some countries where there's a high density of slower moving traffic they might make more sense.

Re:Diesels already do this. (3, Informative)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998990)

That's nonsense.

1. they have caught on very well, thank you very much, everywhere except the US, and that's because the US was slow in adopting the low-sulfur diesel fuel needed by modern diesels.

2. if anything, the diesel will have longer gearing than the petrol version to take advantage of all that torque at low revs. Since turbochargers have become common on diesel engines sometime in the '80s, diesels have had easily enough power to cope with the most demanding driving conditions.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998786)

Plenty of diesel cars already do 60-70MPG

Well given diesel has higher energy density, they damn well better get better mileage compared to a typical gasoline-powered vehicle.

Sure, some people don't like diesels due to the noise they make.

You also neglected to point out:

a) ULSD wasn't available in the US until relatively recently, which meant:
    i) It was difficult to hit emissions standards in a diesel engine
    ii) Manufacturers couldn't simply bring over European models, as they need to be modified to work with high-sulphur diesel.

b) Diesel engines exhibit poor performance in cold climates, which makes them a poor choice for northern states and Canada.

The first point, in particular, meant that turbodiesels have only started to appear in the US in the last 4-5 years.

Re:Diesels already do this. (2, Interesting)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998834)

I have a 2005 2.0L Mazda 3. It easily gets 40MPG, and if I pay attention to not mashing the gas pedal randomly while crusing (a big cause of wasted gas since the speed stays more or less the same but the fuel consumption increases), I can easily get 50MPG.

I agree that Diesel has done this for a while. But, while you cite no ignition system to go wrong, I cite cheap maintenance costs (oil change on a diesel is much more expensive, and a recurring cost), and I live in Canada and can't be bothered to worry about installing a block heater for those few days where my petrol engine sounds painful when started, but my diesel friends can't start. Low end torque is owned by diesel, but it's ALWAYS at the cost of incomplete combustion. Not even the latest and greatest modern diesels will accelerate off the line without a plume of black come out the tailpipe... which leads to further maintenance costs down the line.

Diesel has it's place, some people love it, some people hate it. But what I found great is that not only is it quite possible based on my own experience to get a non-direct fuel injected petrol car up to 50MPG, it looks like this mazda 2 and its new tech can reach 60+ MPG. The stupid hybrids out there with their insanely expensive markups, and huge toxic batteries can't acheive 50MPG in the real world. I can't speak for the Mazda 2, but with my 5 year old 3 I can get 50MPG in the real world. It's nice to see a company focus on actually improving fuel economy instead of this hybrid hack job.

Re:Diesels already do this. (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#33999006)

In 1988, Brazil had a two-cilinder, 800cc car that fit 4 people and averaged about 45-50mpg on gasoline (actually "gasoline" is 25% ethanol here, making the mileage per gallon even more expressive). It wasn't exactly powerful, of course, but it was perfectly functional. The company that made it ended up going bankrupt because it couldn't compete with huge automakers such as Fiat after a dramatic tax reduction on imports. However technology was arealdy there, in the 80s, to get such figures as 50mpg, so it shouldn't be news 22 years later, when engine efficiency has increased dramatically. It still is, though, and that's baffling.

Re:Diesels already do this. (-1, Troll)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998850)

Well in north america, there are very few places to refuel a diesel. Besides that they stink, spew black smoke and are incredibly noisy.

Re:Diesels already do this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998918)

Well in north america, there are very few places to refuel a diesel.

They are called gas stations in North America, but don't let that confuse you. They also carry diesel.

Re:Diesels already do this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998924)

14:1 compression ratio is nuts, unless it's running on race fuel.

Old corvettes and muscle cars used to run this type of compression before they banned leaded fuel, because the lead helped prevent premature detonation (insert sexual pun here)... after unleaded fuel they dropped to 9:1 compression, maybe 10:1 and mmaaaaaaayyyybe 11:1 on really high end motors, but 14:1 is crazy on normal unleaded. Achieving these numbers without detonation or using 100+ octane fuel is very difficult. I'll believe it when I see it.

Improved fuel injection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998498)

I though it was well known that modern fuel injectors aren't very efficient. Move to an injector that releases fuel into smaller particle size, increasing fuel-air mixture inside the chamber, and required fuel-air ratios for combustion shift significantly, requiring less fuel.

Citations? Of course not. Why would I want to prove chemical ignition principles on a submission forum.

Re:Improved fuel injection? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998818)

The Tier-2 Diesels have a high pressure fuel injection system... something along the lines of 1000 psi. There is a lot that can go wrong with them though.

Re:Improved fuel injection? (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998978)

Wha? Inefficient compared to what? Carburetors? No way, even the most primitive injectors do a better job atomizing fuel than almost any carb. The one and only downside to injectors over carbs is throttle response.

The improved injection they're talking about is direct injectors (which have been around for a while) combined with a higher compression ratio (which hasn't). Direct injectors up until recently have mostly been slapped onto old engine designs. Which is still an improvement, but it didn't max out their potential.

Suspicious? Well... no. (1, Funny)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998512)

Everyone's heard all the rumours of the Automotive Industry crushing amazing engine innovations that would give amazing efficiency. If this was true, and with the current climate making such things very desirable for both the consumer and public image, one would expect to see a startling number of such inventions coming out in a short space of time.

Are we seeing this? I don't think we are. Which makes this comment unprovocative and pointless!

Re:Suspicious? Well... no. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998602)

I think the actual paranoid argument is that the auto makers buy up the patents for better designs.

The complainer often does not know that patents are public record, and when I inform them of this, they often do not want to talk about it any more until they can "search for these patents" because "they must be there."

So what fuel is needed (3, Informative)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998514)

Normally high compression engines require high octane fuel, which costs more to produce. In the past they used to add a lead compound to (cheaply) improve the octane rating. Won't be allowed to do that these days...

It might get more MPG, but if the fuel costs more than teice as much per gallon you aren't going to save $$$

Re:So what fuel is needed (4, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998536)

Pre detonation doesn't matter. It's a direct injection engine. Fuel isn't injected until it's wanted, like diesels.

Normal gasoline engines have the air/fuel mixture inserted before the compression stroke.

Re:So what fuel is needed (2, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998928)

So it is, in essence, a diesel engine - that runs on gasoline. IIRC, diesel engines are around 14:1-16:1 for a DI diesel. I'd wager a guess that they offer (or will offer) a Mazda 2 overseas with the same engine running diesel (with glow instead of spark plugs, of course).

Re:So what fuel is needed (2, Insightful)

spagthorpe (111133) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998676)

Well, it's four times what my current car gets. Even if I had to buy premium gas at double the price (it seems to be ~20% higher usually), I'd save quite a bit of money. In fuel anyway.

I save money by purchasing cheap used cars. I'm betting I would have to drive the Mazda a long time before I ever broke even on the purchase.

Re:So what fuel is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998702)

98 octane is marginally more expensive than 95 octane.. I only use 98 octane even for my snowmobile so who cares!

Re:So what fuel is needed (1)

mapinguari (110030) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998718)

In the U.S., at least, premium is nowhere near twice the cost of regular. http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/ [fuelgaugereport.com]
It's actually pretty similar to the cost of diesel, currently.

Re:So what fuel is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998966)

Not sure what fuel is needed, but speaking as a consumer on a VERY limited budget, I don't even bother with the higher octane fuels. While Super Unleaded (octane 95 here, locally) here averages 20 cents per gallon more than Regular (octane 87), and seems a trivial cost, it adds up over a tank, and may mean the difference between whether my family eats meat with rice/ noodles or just rice/ noodles alone for the week. As it is, my car would likely have issues with the higher octane fuels, anyway. My mileage is reasonable, about 32USMPG on average, although I really would wish for better....I have to work with what I got, right now. Such is the state the local economy, it seems, and moving right now is just not an option.

Having said that, a 70USMPG car? IF they can find a way to make it AFFORDABLE on UP FRONT costs in this country, IF the oil companies don't try to block its sale here in the US, IF the politicians can actually CARE ENOUGH to put CONSTITUENTS before PERSONAL MONETARY ENRICHMENT, then MAYBE it'll sell here. Trouble is, people are creatures of habit, from the lowliest potscrubber to the wealthiest CEO, and getting them to break habits, even bad ones, will be like pulling wolverine's teeth in a room full of angry hornets.

I wish them luck, truly, I do.

My car gets 1000 MPG (1, Flamebait)

dreamer.redeemer (1600257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998520)

It's a human/electric hybrid that weighs under 60 lbs, which makes 1000 MPG equivalent pretty easy to achieve. It's also safer, cleaner, cheaper, healthier and conducive to social/environmental interaction.

Re:My car gets 1000 MPG (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998564)

If you get hit by another car, which driver will be more injured? Also, how fast does it achieve 100km/h? You don't need that in a city, but going to another city that's 300km away I sure like being able to drive near the speed limit (in my country it's 90-130 km/h depending on the road).

Re:My car gets 1000 MPG (1)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998662)

"Also, how fast does it achieve 100km/h?"

If hit by another car, extremely damned fast!

Re:My car gets 1000 MPG (4, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998714)

If you get hit by another car, which driver will be more injured?

I'd rather take the risk of being killed by someone else than the risk of killing someone else. Moreover, I have serious misgivings regarding the morality of the contrary position.

Also, how fast does it achieve 100km/h? You don't need that in a city, but going to another city that's 300km away I sure like being able to drive near the speed limit (in my country it's 90-130 km/h depending on the road).

But how often do you do that? If (like me) you only leave town twice a year, it makes more sense to rent on those occasions.

Re:My car gets 1000 MPG (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998878)

If (like me) you only leave town twice a year, it makes more sense to rent on those occasions.

For me it's very variable. However, I usually like to buy things (pay money, the item is now my property) than rent (pay (less) money, but have to give the item back).

Re:My car gets 1000 MPG (1)

dreamer.redeemer (1600257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998772)

If I get hit by another 60 lb car, neither of us are likely to be seriously injured, especially if neither of us are going over 40 kph. It's very basic physics, if you're in something that's over 1300 kg (like the average sedan) traveling over 40 kph, any accident has the potential to be deadly. This is why there are on average over 3000 deaths per month due to car accidents in the US. Just because there's a tradition of high speed heavy vehicles doesn't mean it makes sense or is the optimum form of transportation.

Re:My car gets 1000 MPG (2, Insightful)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998812)

Just because there's a tradition of high speed heavy vehicles doesn't mean it makes sense or is the optimum form of transportation.

However, high speed vehicles overtook horses as a method of transport mainly because of convenience, speed and range. You can travel 300km on a horse, but that would take you more than a day (because your horse will need to rest), but in a car, you can get there in less than 3 hours.

Re:My car gets 1000 MPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998588)

But you look like a faggot!

Re:My car gets 1000 MPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998608)

Is it powered by your own sense of smugness?

Golf Diesel (1, Insightful)

Snowblindeye (1085701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998538)

I wonder if a real-life-real-drivers 70 mpg car is what will actually arrive, or if such promises will dissolve like Chevy's promises about the Volt did.

I used to drive an 85 VW Golf Diesel, that Car reliably got (actually got, under real world driving conditions) 47 mpg (5l/100km). That's a car that was build 25 years ago. Volkswagen also sold the Lupo 3L which got 78 miles per US gallon or 94 miles per Imperial gallon [wikipedia.org]

It boggles my mind that 25 years later most cars I can buy in the US get half of what my 25 year old car got. If that. It also means that getting 70 shouldn't be impossible. Thats 3.3l/100km, and it's been done.

Re:Golf Diesel (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998646)

Older cars were so economical because they were so light. Newer cars are far more robust in an accident.

Safety or economy, choose one.

Re:Golf Diesel (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998766)

Have a look at the IIHS crash test ratings for the Smart Fortwo.

It's modern engineering features that make for safer cars -- not just pure mass.

Re:Golf Diesel (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998784)

American-business-talking-point-regurgitator or autonomous thought, choose one.

Re:Golf Diesel (1)

johnkzin (917611) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998792)

17 year ago, when I drove a Geo Metro (manual transmission, no AC), it was rated for 49/50 MPG, and that's exactly what I got. However, it spoiled me for other cars. I hear people rave about how great their cars do... at 28-30 MPG, and I think "that's TERRIBLE". For various reasons, for this year only, I'm stuck in a Ford 500. I average 20MPG. I feel guilty every time I start the engine.

Re:Golf Diesel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998916)

I used to have a 3 cylinder Honda CVCC (Predecessor to the Civic) that reliably got 80-100 mpg. I say that cause in the City I got around 80 and on the highway (even being a teenager and driving 85 everywhere) I still got right at 100 mpg. When I kept it around 60 I got even better, but I didn't do that often enough to generate any meaning full mpg numbers.

Re:Golf Diesel (1)

Pentrant (700080) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998948)

My 1986 Golf Diesel gets a reliable 42 MPG, with mostly city driving conditions. It's old but still kicking, and I'm really sad that it's coming time to move on. VW made a good car in the mid-80's.

woo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998546)

go mazda

http://www.carsuk.net/seat-ibiza-ecomotive-does-100mpg/

Car in Europe have been doing that for years... (1)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998550)

Re:Car in Europe have been doing that for years... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998632)

From what I remember the >70 mpg European Smart cars are diesel, not gasoline.

Is the ICE always running? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998554)

Please wake me up when this engine can stop and start on demand, like it does in current hybrids. Burning fuel while stopped can never be a good thing.

Re:Is the ICE always running? (2, Interesting)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998580)

Stopping and starting an engine also wastes energy.

Re:Is the ICE always running? (2, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998652)

Stopping and starting an engine also wastes energy.

It's certainly true if you repeatedly start and stop a car made in 1960's.

But it won't be true if the ICE is designed for that. For example, Prius has no 1900-era DC brush starter, and the ICE can be started with electrical energy or the mechanical energy produced by the inertia of the car. The energy "wasted" to compress the air in the cylinder before first ignition is returned thousandfold in a millisecond.

Re:Is the ICE always running? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998596)

Please wake me up when this engine can stop and start on demand, like it does in current hybrids. Burning fuel while stopped can never be a good thing.

Considering that Porsche sells a model that does exactly this, I don't see too many reasons why they wouldn't be able to apply similar technology to this Mazda.

patents (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998720)

I don't see too many reasons why they wouldn't be able to apply similar technology to this Mazda.

I do.

Re:Is the ICE always running? (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998600)

Burning fuel while stopped can never be a good thing.

Yeah, right. Try starting and stopping the engine at every stop light when it's forty below zero outside... even aside from the lack of heat inside we quite often see cars that have stalled in those temperatures and simply won't start again.

Re:Is the ICE always running? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998648)

Code fix. If external_temp -20F, don't shutdown. Wow, that was *extremely* difficult.

Re:Is the ICE always running? (2, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998672)

Code fix. If external_temp -20F, don't shutdown. Wow, that was *extremely* difficult.

Which part of 'burning fuel while stopped can never be a good thing' are you having a hard time understanding?

Re:Is the ICE always running? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998756)

I misunderstood it. Sorry.

Re:Is the ICE always running? (3, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998758)

Yeah, right. Try starting and stopping the engine at every stop light when it's forty below zero outside

It's a trivial engineering task. Prius, for example, has auxiliary electric heaters, and it maintains the engine temperature (and battery charge) automatically. If it's -40C outside the ICE will run a bit more, and that's all. This shouldn't be of any concern to the driver unless he lives in Alaska; then he'd be getting worse MPG than people in California do.

And on the subject of starting a cold ICE in cold weather. Hybrids start the ICE at higher RPM, and they have 100x power of a standard starter. So if the ICE in a hybrid doesn't start it's because something is broken, not because your battery is frozen solid and the starter barely spins the crankshaft.

Re:Is the ICE always running? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998744)

Here in Europe some cars you can actually buy already does this.

http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/technology/efficiency-and-bluemotion-technologies

"The innovative start/stop system turns the engine off when you're idling in traffic and restarts it when you're ready to move while the recuperation mechanism uses some energy usually lost during braking and deceleration to pass additional charge to the battery. The outside of this range is equally as crafted as the inside: from the low rolling resistant tyres which reduce road friction to the specifically designed aerodynamic styling, BlueMotion means less fuel consumption, lower emissions and a better driving experience."

Re:Is the ICE always running? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998868)

Were you awake in 1999?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Lupo [wikipedia.org]

The Lupo 3L was a special-edition made with the intent of being the world's first car in series production consuming as little as 3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (78 miles per US gallon or 94 miles per Imperial gallon). To achieve this the 3L was significantly changed from the standard Lupo to include:
1.2 litre 3-cylinder diesel engine with turbocharger and direct injection (61 hp, 140 Nm)
Use of light-weight aluminum and magnesium alloys for doors, bonnet, rear-hatch, seat frames, engine block, wheels, suspension system etc. to achieve a weight of only 830 kg (1,830 lb)
Tiptronic gearbox
Engine start/stop automatic to avoid long idling periods
Low rolling resistance tires
Battery location moved to boot for better weight distribution
During the period of series production of the Lupo 3L, Volkswagen also presented the 1L Concept, a prototype made with the objective of proving the capability of producing a roadworthy vehicle consuming only 1 litre of fuel per 100 kilometres (235 miles per US gallon).

Re:Is the ICE always running? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998920)

Engine start/stop automatic to avoid long idling periods

The key word is "this engine", not some other engine. Unless you imply that Lupo 3L, back in 1999, used exactly this Mazda engine.

Re:Is the ICE always running? (1)

klazek (1134141) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998906)

This function is typical in BMW 1 series Deisels and Mercedes A and B class Diesel cars in Germany. They've been pushing it on TV for a couple of years now. Too bad they don't send those models to N. America. Cars are pathetic here. Do they think we would never buy the good ones? Maybe they're right.

Similar has been done just not in a production car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998558)

It's always been possible gasoline engines are extremely inefficient. Hybrids always had a lot of potential if the hybrid was a separate engine producing electricity to charge batteries and run the electric engine. It allows the generator to run at peak efficiency. I remember on Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson proved you could out perform a Prius with a sports car if you drove them under the right conditions. Hard to say what this new engine will do in the real world but it sounds likely to be a massive improvement.

mpg? wtf? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998624)

how much is that in SI units you stupid american unitf*ckers?

Re:mpg? wtf? (2, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998656)

More importantly, how much is it in furlongs per fluid ounce?

Re:mpg? wtf? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998808)

At sea level, at the equator, facing west, or someplace else?

Re:mpg? wtf? (1)

qmaqdk (522323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998798)

Give them a break. They just converted from rods per hogshead.

Re:mpg? wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998940)

Well, I'd tell you if I knew, but I'm too busy downloading ft.-fetish porns to do the conversion.

US 70 mpg = EU 3.3 l/100km (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998734)

Just so the Europeans here can read this article a bit faster:

US 70 mpg = EU 3.3 l/100km
US 70 miles per gallon = EU 29.7600595 kilometers / l

Other cars that can do a lot of KM's with just some Liters:
Benzine: http://www.anwb.nl/auto/kiezen-en-kopen/tips-en-advies,/kiezen/groen-en-goedkoper/Top-10-zuinige-auto-s-benzine-overzicht.html?popup=true
Diesel: http://www.anwb.nl/auto/kiezen-en-kopen/tips-en-advies,/kiezen/groen-en-goedkoper/Top-10-zuinige-auto-s-diesel-overzicht.html?popup=true

Re:US 70 mpg = EU 3.3 l/100km (1)

i-am-will-i-am (1927570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998810)

A good, user based, overview is available on this site from Germany (english) Sprit Monitor.de [spritmonitor.de]

1989 CRX-HF (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998768)

Could get 50mpg backin 1989. Yes 70 is pretty nice but its taken 21 YEARS to improve 20mpg.

Re:1989 CRX-HF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33998998)

How long will it take for "old cars got good fuel economy" idiots realize that they got good fuel economy because they were SMALL and LIGHT. Crash head-on with another vehicle in a 1989 Honda CRX and you are DEAD. Do the same in ANY modern car, regardless of the class, and you have a *SIGNIFICANTLY* greater chance of surviving. It is easy to get good fuel economy if you don't give a crap about safety. And don't even get me started on emissions. That CRX may get good fuel economy, but you are putting out hundreds of times more CO2 and other pollutants for every litre you burn than modern cars.

"real-life-real-drivers" (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998788)

You mean everyone doesn't always drive down hill, with a 200 mph hurricane wind at their backs?

Oh, and that sail? Well, we call that 'bling'. What do you mean you don't have one too?

Probably not on regular gas (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998860)

A high-compression ratio engine is a classic situation where your are recommended, even REQUIRED to fill up with premium. Nevermind mpg, what about dollars per mile?

It's about damned time. (1)

karlandtanya (601084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998926)

I've got a 1998 Nissan 200SX in the garage right now.
This was the cheap POS Nissan at the time--more of a student's car than a smugmobile.
40MPG without even trying, and I can get 42 out of it if I keep the speed down and coast a lot.
WHY, 13 years later, do I have to pay $40K for a giant toxic battery that will wear out after 5 years in order to get the same damned mileage I already get?

I don't believe the 70MPG claim. If they made a car where trip odometer / gas pump number = 70 every time, they'd tell us it was a hundred. If the damned thing gets fifty, that's an improvement.

I could give a shit about the super duper pooper scooper engine. Is it functional and durable? Safe and effective?
The rest is lies from managers and salesmen.

Sure--I'll buy one. After they've been out for a year or two and we see what's the truth and what's a lie.
And definitely not before the wheels fall off of the Nissan.

Hah. They lied. FTA: (1)

karlandtanya (601084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33999022)

While the EPA hasn't rated 2011 cars for gas mileage yet, Mazda expects it to come in at 28 mpg city, 35 mpg highway with the five-speed manual, and 1 mpg less on highway mileage with the automatic.

Not even close to what we got over a decade ago.
WTF happened? Environmental restrictions?
I have to get my car smogged every 2 years in the county where I live. It passes first time every time.
What's the problem with the new cars?

So what ... (1)

garry_g (106621) | more than 3 years ago | (#33998976)

I already run my 03 Volvo S60 2.5L Diesel at around 50MPG highway ... (even better sometimes) and that car is not a small city car ...

While this would be great... (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33999012)

I'll believe it when I see it.

Too many foreign cars have promised really high mileage, only to be dropped significantly once U.S. requirements are tacked on.

Personally, I just want to see engine auto-stop added to all cars. It would require only a slightly bigger standard 12V battery, and a slightly bigger starter. And you could cut city gas usage by a decent amount. Heck, assuming 70 MPG means highway, it could probably hit at least 60 MPG city with engine auto-stop added.

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