We often focus on major engineering shifts when considering how to improve the fuel mileage and reduce the emissions of our cars. Hybrid drivetrains, battery-powered electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells are all extremely hot topics, and with good reason as they truly are the short- and long-term future of our industry. What is important to remember, though, is that very small changes, when added up, can also have a large impact on the efficiency of a vehicle. Simple things like lowering a car, using low-rolling-resistance tires, and reducing the weight are a good first step. After the low-hanging-fruit is taken care of, decisions can be made early in the design process affecting aerodynamics and powertrain choices. "It seems to be so easy, but it's very fine work. It's detail work." according to David Labrosse, manager of product development at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center. Although it may be easy to overlook, overall efficiency is often to be found in the details.
[Source: Auto News (sub. req'd)]