Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from Green Car Reports, Nepali Times and Curbside Classic.
Could Future Mazda Engines Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars? – Green Car Reports
John Voelcker broke down a quote from a Mazda representative to Autocar claiming its engines would soon be cleaner to run than an electric car. It's another reminder "clean" is dependent on where you drive and charge your car.
So if Mazda can increase the fuel economy of its next-generation SkyActiv engines by 30 percent in real-world use, as it claims, it's possible that its engines might reach levels approaching 50 mpg or more – without adding pricey hybrid systems.
And those levels would likely be better than the wells-to-wheels carbon profile of an electric car running in a coal-heavy country – Poland, for example.
Nepal's Last Car Carrier – Nepali Times
"Car carrier" isn't what I thought it was when I first clicked.
Dhan Bahadur helped ferry his first car, a Daimler, when he was only 17. He was in a team of 64 other porters and the journey from Bhimphedi to Thankot took eight days. He would typically receive 5 aana (less than a rupee) as payment, so despite his name, Dhan Bahadur did not get rich carrying cars. The cars were secured onto long bamboo poles and bigger cars required up to 96 porters to heave up the trails.
1995 Toyota Tercel – Last Of The Mohicans – Curbside Classic
Ah, the last Tercel. With Toyota firmly established as a quality competitor to the domestics by the mid-'90s, it never occurred to me this car actually symbolized the problems brewing inside the company that are still playing out. Besides, I like my Tercels to be second-gen wagons.
Still built in Japan and serving as Toyota's cheapest car, designing the Tercel must have been an unrewarding task. To that end, it hung onto the chassis architecture ushered in with the 1987 model, when the longitudinal engine layout and rear semi trailing arms were replaced with a transverse layout and dead beam axle. Two redesigns later–on a four year cycle–this freshly renewed car found itself competing in a very different macroeconomic context, with a strong Yen and cheap oil. Even at a time when interest rates were lowering and credit was opening up, a low price was still more of a draw than economy and bringing it to dealers under $10,000 was crucial.