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tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44268
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 05 3:56 pm    Post subject: What ever happened to  Reply with quote    

All those new developments that were going to double fuel economy in combustion engined vehicles?

There was the Antonov gearbox, the Orbital(?) engine and a load more besides, anybody been following this stuff?

footprints



Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 234
Location: North Wales
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 05 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: What ever happened to Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
All those new developments that were going to double fuel economy in combustion engined vehicles?

There was the Antonov gearbox, the Orbital(?) engine and a load more besides, anybody been following this stuff?


Along the same lines. Does anybody remember a guy on tommows world with an additive that i think could be added to water, that you could run cars on? I could have seen it in a dream/stupor, but don't think so.

Nurse!!!!

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 05 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There is a hatchback car on the UK roads *today* that seats two in comfort, has radio (cd optional), aircon and electric windows as standard, all the usual stuff, and which can cruise very comfortably at the legal 70 limit (maximum speed is around the 100 mark), accelerates to 60mph faster than most small hatchbacks, and can also be persuaded (by a skilful driver) to drive 1000 miles on a single fill of its 40 litre petrol tank.

Think about that - 25 miles per *litre* of petrol.

And you could buy one today.

But you may have difficulty finding one. The manufacturer has stopped importing them into the UK due to lack of demand.
And this week there isn't even one on Autotrader.

Almost forgot to say, its the Insight.
See http://www.insightcentral.net for details, owner reports etc (US site - so remember their "gallons" are short measure).

When the Oserver asked for one to Road Test this June, Honda came up with a specimen with 110,000 miles on the clock. It was fine.
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/0,11913,1497824,00.html

The obvious thing folk say is, its a Hybrid, or its electric.
Now its a strange and little known fact that you can disconnect the electric "assist" and it makes very little difference to the fuel consumption. (It does affect the acceleration and fun though.)
The fuel economy is attributable to the following - light weight, excellent aerodynamics, and a real little jewel of an engine (it takes less than two litres of 0-20 multigrade) plus a brilliant fuel consumption display on the unconventional dashboard. Not particularly spectacular new technology - just engineering for performance in mpg rather than mph.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 05 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Great car as it is, the insight was never meant to be a car of the masses, most of it's technology has gone into the new Civic which is a strong reason why Honda are ceasing to sell it. IIRC it was only ever imported in limited numbers

For price or practicality you could either go for the Smart at about 10 grand less, or the Prius with four doors, although both only give you around 60mpg.

Much better to go for a Honda CG125 or even a C90, they only seat one less than an Insight and have been returning over 100mpg for decades!

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 05 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
Great car as it is, the insight was never meant to be a car of the masses, most of it's technology has gone into the new Civic which is a strong reason why Honda are ceasing to sell it. IIRC it was only ever imported in limited numbers

The *hybrid* tech has gone into versions of Civic (idiotically saloon only, not the hatch) and the Accord.
The point I was making is that the reasons for its remarkable fuel efficiency actually have very little to do with that Hybrid/electric/"IMA" system.
And the other heavy, steel-bodied hybrids, whether using the Honda or the Toyota system, don't give better figures than say, an Audi A2 - which has the light weight and good aero design but not the spectacular engineering of the Insight engine (lots of roller bearings, offset crankshaft, 4 valves/cylinder with VTEC, etc).

But yes, the Insight was never intended for the mass market, but it is, I believe, still available in the States, just not here.


Jonnyboy wrote:
Much better to go for a Honda CG125 or even a C90, they only seat one less than an Insight and have been returning over 100mpg for decades!
Come on! The Honda 50 Sports (with upswept exhaust) that taught me about the roads would seat two, and in SE Asia anyone with less than 4-up on a stepthru isn't trying!
Thing is that an Insight is a proper car - albeit a slightly quirky high performance one. (Can you feel the regret at having missed out on a delivery mileage example for just 10k?)

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 05 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Dougal wrote:
Come on! The Honda 50 Sports (with upswept exhaust) that taught me about the roads would seat two, and in SE Asia anyone with less than 4-up on a stepthru isn't trying!
Thing is that an Insight is a proper car - albeit a slightly quirky high performance one. (Can you feel the regret at having missed out on a delivery mileage example for just 10k?)


Fair point, although the missus burnt her leg on the exhaust of my XT350 and never went on it again, so perhaps I'm biased.

I do get the impression that you love them, I've never driven one, although I've had extended drives in the A2, Prius and Smart. The Smart was most fun around the millbrook hill circuit though!

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