Chevrolet apparently has a hit on its hands in the form of the new XFE model of its Cobalt compact car. Relatively easy tricks such as revised gearing, low rolling-resistance tires and some computer reprogramming was enough to boost the XFE to 36 miles per gallon on the highway, up from the standard model's 33 mpg. GM says it took just eighteen months to make this new version a reality, and rumors indicate there could be more XFEs on the way.

Nancy Libby, a spokeswoman for Chevrolet, says that demand for the car surprised the automaker, as it had estimated that the XFE would make up just two to three percent of Cobalt sales. In actuality, the XFE model accounts for eight percent of sales and sits on the lot for just eighteen days on average -- lowest of any Cobalt model. Perhaps the best news of all is that other automakers are observing the success Chevy has had with the XFE, and the concept is spreading across from GM to both Ford and Chrysler.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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