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2011 Ford Edge – Click above for high-res image gallery

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The good people over at Edmunds Inside Line maintain a fleet of test vehicles for their flogging pleasure. And they've just released the latest fuel economy numbers from their real-world tests. Not surprisingly, the 2004 Toyota Prius came in first place overall averaging 41.0 miles per gallon. What is surprising is that, while the Prius was able to squeeze out 59.3 miles-per-gallon on the high end, the same car also returned 26.7 mpg on its worst tank. What on earth do you have to do to a Prius

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2011 Euro-Spec Honda CR-Z – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Ford Fusion – Click above for to enlarge

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2010 Ford Fusion – Click above for hi-res image

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With strict CAFE standards set at 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016, automakers have a long, tough road ahead of them. If you compare recent fuel economy increases over the past five years, the task that lies ahead is downright daunting.

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We knew it was coming. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency jointly released new Federal CAFE fuel mileage and greenhouse gas emissions requirements that will cover the 2012 through 2016 model years. The estimated fleet-wide fuel economy standard has been set at 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016, though improvements in air conditioning systems will bring that number up to around 35 mpg. That equals a standard of roughly 250 grams of carbon

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2011 Ford Mustang V6 - Click above for high res image gallery

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Ford Focus RS - click above for high-res image gallery

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The EPA is aware that range-extended electric vehicles can game the current fuel economy test to deliver mileage estimates way up in the stratosphere. It makes for impressive advertising, like General Motors' touting of the Chevrolet Volt's estimated 230 mpg, but the EPA wants to give a more realistic reflection of the fuel efficiency of these types of cars, and it's not alone.

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The EPA is aware that range-extended electric vehicles can game the current fuel economy test to deliver mileage estimates way up in the stratosphere. It makes for impressive advertising, like General Motors' touting of the Chevrolet Volt's estimated 230 mpg, but the EPA wants to give a more realistic reflection of the fuel efficiency of these types of cars, and it's not alone.

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With all of the attention being paid to the 230 mpg number that the Chevy Volt will apparently be granted by the EPA, the Automotive X Prize thought it was time to weigh in on the subject of calculating fuel efficiency for vehicles that use energy sources other than gasoline. They don't like it. Instead, the AXP prefers MPGe, a "rigorous and more neutral measure" of fuel efficiency. The AXP's John Shore walked us through how the long-running competition thinks about MPGe. They've been at it for

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Imagine, if you will, taking a sheet of paper and cutting it in half. Now take one of those halves and cut it in half again. Now keep repeating the process. As you keep cutting, the difference in the size of the subsequent pieces gets progressively smaller. This simple example is a demonstration of why continuing to increase the fuel mileage of a vehicle has less and less impact once you get beyond about 35-40 mpg.

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There are miles per gallon... and then there are miles per gallon. How do you tell the difference? One is labeled "CAFE mpg" and the other is labeled "EPA mpg." What's the difference? Well, Edmunds is taking pains to illuminate the large discrepancy that exists between the two figures: the issue, as initially laid out by Edmunds' John O'Dell in 2007, is that CAFE and EPA mileage numbers were initially based on the same formula in 1975. When consumers complained that the number didn't correspond

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A 1.0-liter two-cylinder that performs like a 3.0 liter V6? On what planet? Researchers at Switzerland's ETH Zurich school of engineering are developing pneumatic hybrid engines that use compressed air to deliver big performance and efficiency from a small package. During deceleration, the engine's pistons are used to compress air, which is diverted through a special valve and into a holding tank. Rather than try to propel the vehicle directly with compressed air, like Guy Negre's hybrid system,

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Sure, there are plenty of things in the automotive world that are overrated. Enough, in fact, to compile a whole list of them, as seen here. Come on, join in... it's fun! For instance, in addition to the small SUVs that already made the list, why not add big SUVs too? Most buyers of the big behemoths rarely use the full capabilities of their rigs and could almost always use a smaller vehicle. What about those rare instances when a monster 'ute is necessary? Rent one. Remember, even if one more g

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Well, there's no shortage of, um, unusual ideas on ways to increase the miles-per-gallon of the car you already drive. Everything from pills for the tank to Brown's Gas appear on our radar with some regularity, but this idea is a new one. It's called "electrorheology" and it means introducing a bit of electricity into the fuel stream just before the fuel is injected into the combustion chambers. The resulting fuel is then more viscous and therefore burns cleaner. According to an article written

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Of course your wallet hurts every time you have to fill the car up. Nevertheless, in these trying times we must always remember the words of Fernando Lamas: it is better to look good than to feel good. Cars That Matter has put together a list of classic automobiles that get anywhere from 21 to 48 mpg, which means you can look good while you save money.

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