Blog: Fuel-efficient Logan
Dave Leggett | 14 November 2007
Interesting move by Renault in creating a more fuel-efficient Logan for Challenge Bibendum in Shanghai. I wonder how much more expensive a production car incorporating some of its innovations would work out at, bearing in mind that the Logan's raison d'etre is low-cost? The concept does show what can be achieved though.
I was reminded earlier today via a BBC article though that driver behaviour still accounts for a lot, whatever the fuel-saving technology incorporated into your vehicle of choice.
How many people do say 60mph - travelling at around that speed is maximising fuel efficiency and minimising CO2 emissions on most cars - on the motorway (unless forced to do so by congestion)? Not many. In Britain 80-85mph is the de facto speed limit above which the police start to take an interest, not the official and widely ignored 70mph speed limit.
In Germany stretches of autobahn still have no limits and I gather that is unlikely to change.
I suspect that people will have to be hit hard in their wallet before they make that green connection while happily bombing along in the outside lane. And that's not very popular with the voters is it, being told not to do something you enjoy doing?
So, is that big 'frugal' diesel saving the planet? For many, first and foremost it's saving money at the pump (well, fuel duty differentials with regular unleaded notwithstanding). And then there's the fact that the diesel engine torque makes easy work of hills and it's just great pulling 80-85 in the outside lane.
Environment? Well, the 2-litre turbodiesel Passat must be better than the equivalent petrol car, eh?
My point is this: we simply don't want to slow down, even if it's good for us. We like going as fast as our little metal boxes will let us, within reason, and subject to the wind/engine/road noise parameters beyond which we cannot hear what Terry Wogan is saying on the radio.
And let's not forget that the vehicle manufacturers (god-bless-'em) collectively are doing a great job of making more speed more comfortable. My dad's Cortina sounded like it was at full pelt and facing imminent disintegration at 80mph; today's Mondeo is by comparison purring and barely out of bed at that speed.
If those utterly reasonable and eco-minded Swedes don't want to take their feet off the gas pedal, who else will? (Or how bad would the 'pain' in the pocket have to be?)
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