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The November Car Update


The November Car Update

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The November Car Update

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Ian Brown-213389
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Steve,

Take a look at this article about the Prius from the current (Jan 08) issue of PC Pro:
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/columns/134751/epilog.html

My concern with it is that if you want to make an energy efficient car, surely you remove satnav, aircon and all the little toys that drain power and add weight?

Volkswagon have gone somewhere down this route with the BlueMotion models and I'm interested in BMW's new 1 series (48mpg from a 1.8 petrol is one figure I heard - I'm not too sure about that though) stop/start engine.

We're not there yet but we're in for some interesting new designs over the next few years.

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AndrewJacksonZA
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You might want to check out the psychotically fast Electric Lightning GTS from Lightning Car Company (UK/Europe/and hopefully South Africa too) or the much more sedate but IMHO much more beautiful Tesla Roadster from Tesla Motors if you're Stateside.
Anders Pedersen
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Problem with the BMW 1-Series in the US is that we start with the 3 liter I-6 from the 328, and the car is relatively heavy for such a small car since it is basically the 3 series platform with some inches cut away. Nice little car though...

THink the only car that really interrest me from what I saw from the LA show is the new Corvette ZR-1. Just something about a 6 liter V-8 with a supercharger giving in excess of 650 hp Wink Yes I am not terribly worried about my mileage in my cars since I rarely drive more than 7,000 miles in a year.

Although one of the more interresting energy developments I have hear lately was on NPR last week. Someone has developed a way to create hydrogen for fuel cell use using microbes and a small electric charge. This has tremendous potential in fuel cell technology.

And why would you sell your 914???? I'd get rid of the 911 before the 914, but, then that is me and my rather unique sense of what I want in a car....
NULLgarity
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Shouldn't you be comparing the Prius gas savings to a Corolla or something? Comparing to a van doesn't seem fair as they aren't the same type of cars.

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Andy Warren
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I'd be interesting in seeing the total cost of ownership. Dont you have to replace the batteries at some point? Is that offset by use of the engine overall, resulting in longer life/less time between tune up, oil change, etc?

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Steve Jones
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I compared to a mini-van since that was what we originally were thinking to buy. We wouldn't have gotten a Corolla since it's more cramped for a family of 5. The Prius has a surprisingly large amount of space, though much less than a van.

I'm not really going for an objective comparison of what's better, but what my options were, based on what we were looking for, considered, etc. So to me, I've saved over the other cars I would have purchased, many of which were I the 18mpg range. If I hadn't had an Odyssey, which I really didn't like, and had a Grand Caravan, I might have purchased it at the end of the lease.

I can't believe that the navigation and computerized dash add much weight or use much power. From what I understand they run off the normal battery and engine, not the hybrid batteries. The nav is a small computer, like a 6 disc changer.

You only are supposed to change the oil at 5000 miles. I use synthetic, tend to go closer to 7k. The batteries are supposed to last over 100k miles. The last few years I looked at, people had gotten over 100k without changing batteries.

And we want to enjoy life, not get the bare bones, minimalistic transportation we could. If that was the case, we'd all drive Rabbits, Mini's, or Civics.

Not really a BMW guy. No good reason, they're good cars, just not my style.

The 914 is a blast. It's basically a go-cart, about 1100 lbs, corners better than anything I've ever driven (even the 911), fast enough to be fun, and very reliable. Costs me about $1000 a year because something will break. Fuel pump, brake line, battery, exhaust manifold cleanout. I can almost guarantee something will break, but I pretty much drove it almost every day in CO for a year and a half.

However it's a rough ride, only takes one kid and I often have two. Plus I always wanted a 911, and I just enjoy riding in it more.

Going on eBay soon!

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BJ Hermsen
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For those of you interested in diesels... here are my stats for my 2006 jetta tdi. Keep in mind that the car has only seen wisconsin, minnesota and illinois (once - hopefully never again BigGrin) The other caveat is that i only drive 20-25 miles to work so the engine is barely getting happy by the time i get there. The computer in the car says the overall mileage has been between 45mpg adn 55mpg... my high was in the 60's on the way back from St Loius. The cost savings of service every 10K and the lack of having to haul (and replace) any batteries for a hybrid is well worth it for me. I too went from a Dodge Grand Caravan (1994) to my new slick ride. So even though diesel is pricier i still am doing far better.
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Mileage.pdf (3 views, 56.00 KB)
Stephanie J Brown
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Another plug-in elelctric is the ZAP! Xebra - this is more of a commuter car, in a slightly lower price range. Speeds up to 40 mph, with about a 40 mile range. Has a solar-charging option (cost goes up for that, of course!)

Since so much "travel" is just to work and back, with the car sitting for 8 hours unused, this might make sense for a lot of people.

Oh, and that solar car Steve has a picture of? Seems like it would make sense in the American Southwest, or Alaska in the summer! w00t


Here there be dragons...,

Steph Brown
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Man, that Aptera car looks funky as all get out but I'd so buy it! 300 MPG for only $30,000!!! If they can actually manage to produce it, not just hype some vaporware, and it lives up to its claims they could have a hit on their hands. I'd dump my Prius in a heartbeat for it. It's definitely not a family vehicle, seating only 2, but not every car is made for every person.

From navigating the link Steve posted I found this video of the car in action, http://youtube.com/watch?v=9pBM557dsdg. Gives me more confidence they'll actually manufacture it next October.
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