Making exotic automobiles appears to be the domain of the emotional, the romantic, the irrational. One manufacturer stands against this ethos with an unbelievably nerdcore hypercar, Roland Gumpert's Apollo. It's not pretty, but it's fast.
SUV hybrids make more sense than you think. Sure, I'd rather be in my wagon, but compare the fuel they don't consume rather than the mpg they get and you can see their value, and why it makes far more sense to apply hybrid technology to the worst offenders than the already economical end of the market:
Consider the fuel used and saved over 10,000 miles of driving at X mpg:
• A 12-mpg SUV will use 833 gallons of gas
• A 20-mpg SUV will use 500 gallons - thereby saving 333 gallons
• A 30-mpg car will use 333 gallons of gas
• A 40-mpg car will use 250 gallons - saving only 83 gallons
In a further mathematic analysis of the relative fuel economy of vehicles, Hadaken responded by breaking down how even a non-hybrid can still be more fuel efficient than you'd think.
It sorta depends.
I drive my 03 excursion turbodiesel when its my turn to make the commuter run, or on long trips. Loaded with 6 people (my standard commuter haul,) and pulling a 7500lb trailer, I get 16mpg. That equates to 96 passenger miles per gallon. Without the trailer I get 114PMPG. The Toyota Prius C (most fuel efficient gas powered vehicle in the US) with 2 passengers on the same 300 mile trip (assuming best fuel economy, and that 2 passengers dont affect it, and that you can get 46mpg doing 70mph up a mountain in I-40) will net you 92pmpg, and it lacks the 9000lbs of useful cargo capacity. When loaded with 4 175lb adult passengers, you can only have 100lbs of cargo. Loaded with 8 175lb passengers, my Excursion retains 7500lbs of cargo capacity.
I've had this argument before. If i were alone or had 2 or 3 passengers, yes the Prius and other high efficiency vehicles kick its ass. When I am fully loaded with 8 people (max), I could get 12mpg and be using less fuel to transport my passengers.
Soccer moms with their 1 kid, they need to get out of the excursions and find a nice crossover that gives them the room they need, and the fuel economy they deserve.
The whole thread was fantastic, and if you've got a pocket protector somewhere deep in your heart, I suggest you check it out.
Photo Credit: Philipp Lücke