Auto makers are saying that it will take a huge technological push for them to meet the new government regulations that call for a 40 percent increase to fuel-economy to 35mpg. An interesting article by the staff of CNNMoney points out that the car that got the best mileage in the nation twenty years ago wasn’t even a hybrid and it got a better fuel-economy than any car on the road today. Yes, even better than your beloved Toyota Prius.
The 1987 Honda Civic CRX had an EPA fuel-economy rating of 57mpg. The most you’ll get out of a non-hybrid Civic today is 34mpg and even if you go for the Civic Hybrid, you’ll get 45mpg. The symbol of everything hybrid, the Toyota Prius, gets 46mpg. So what’s changed?
Many will argue that the EPA rating system has gotten stricter over the years but even under today’s standards, the 1987 CRX will get 51mpg, still better than any hybrid or mass-market car sold in the U.S. today. The main answer in the amazing fuel economy of the CRX lies in the weight. All mass-market cars today, including the Honda Civic, are much heavier and bigger than they were in 1987, thus getting a so-so fuel economy.
Recently Honda has been very outspoken about their future hybrid plans. “The real competition has just begun,” said Honda CEO Takeo Fukui said. “Until now, it has been an image-based competition, not a business-based competition.”
The hybrid-only model that is expected to hit the market in early 2009 where pricing is expected to be below the Honda Civic Hybrid and right above the Honda Fit. The Civic Hybrid starts at $23,235, including shipping.
Honda is also bringing back a hybrid that will be based on the CRX and the CR-Z concept that it showed at the Tokyo Motor Show in October. Let’s hope that Honda will once again be able to hit 57mpg.
[tags]Cars, Car, Auto, Automobile, Vehicles, Technology, Auto News, News, Automotive, Honda[/tags]