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Think your mileage is good? Try 376.59 mpg!

Post in 'The Green Room' started by begreen, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  2. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I thought it was a joke at first,but it appears legit. Any reason why there has not been an attempt to repeat this experiment?
  3. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    I saw this actual car for sale on Ebay a few years ago. And recently too, for $425,000 if I remember correctly.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Carp - good to see you back.

    What the heck??? There had to be more done to the car than the article alluded to. I don't plan on doing the math because I don't have all the numbers (specs for the car), but I suspect that the amount of energy in a gallon of gas, even at 100% efficient transfer to the ground is pushing the boundary of their claim. Just say'in
  5. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Unfreaking believable.

    I think the numbers might have been fudged a bit, but only by a bit. I always suspected Big Oil has been suppressing improved gas mileage, I somehow remember cars in the 60's-70's getting better mileage than their modern, lighter counterparts.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    As jags said there is only so much energy in a gallon of gas. I think most of the "better" MPG in the 60-70s came from lack of pollution controls. Case in point the new VW jetta diesel gets about 10MPG less than just a few years ago because of new pollution devices.
  7. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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  8. Armoured

    Armoured New Member

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    I believe they have also changed the MPG methodology (because it wasn't realistic and easily 'gamed' by manufacturers), so are you sure you're comparing like-to-like? Plus manufacturers have continued to add features and esp HP to newer cars. Safety features have, however, reduced MPG just because of weight.

    Although there is a hit from pollution devices it is pretty small and likely compensated by other engine improvements; the pollution 'hit' that was seen when e.g. catalytic converters were first brought in has been reduced by improved technology, and is probably close to nil now. I seriously doubt the better figures in 60s-70s were due to this; more likely the biggest impact is simply from the fact that what we think are 'comparable' cars are in fact larger and heavier cars nowadays. Compare a BMW 3-series to what it was 20-25 years ago, or a Civic or an Accord. They were virtually all a class or two smaller then than they are now, and as much as half the horsepower.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not disagreeing with you, but there is a flip side also. My father has a 1953 Packard convertible that weighs in at over 6000 pounds. A true land yacht. At 60 mph it will routinely get 19 mpg. You would think that after 59 years there would be advancements that would improve on this and allow our "todays" pickup trucks to better that. For the most part, they don't. (and comparing the 1953 to a pickup truck would be an apples to apples comparison for drag, weight, etc.)
  10. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    The average hp rating for a 50's pickup was about 100hp. Today's trucks have close to 400hp and they can tow and haul a whole lot more. I am always amazed at how much work my brothers Diesel truck can do. I wouldn't want to try and tow 15K behind a 1950's pickup.
    Armoured likes this.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I do understand what you are saying, but that is why I choose to compare the 53 Packard (car) and pickup truck. Specifically my pickup truck. I run a 318 v8 that is comparable in torque to the straight 8 in the Packard. A pretty apples to apples comparison. Yet after 50 years of advancements, my truck gets 16 mpg.

    (I didn't specify "My" truck in the above post, sorry for the confusion).
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    16 mpg was the same gas mileage my '56 Packard got with a 352 V8.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Which was considered a very powerful V8 and hugely torquey. The 1955 Packard Patrician set a 25,000 mile speed record averaging a bit over 104 mph. It was a factory car - no mods. Driven from the end of the assembly line to the track (Packard had its own test track). Get in and stuff you foot to the floor. All stops were included in the average speed (tires/drivers/fuel).

    We are talking BIG cars too:

    Attached Files:

  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What stopped development was cheap fuel. That was back in the days of 10-15 cent gas. By 1959, everyone want to own a rocket ship.
  15. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    30 mph, stripped car, and rock hard tires, still impressive but I wonder what my old Metro would have got under the same conditions.
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    In reality, Sparky, there was probably very little to gain on that machine. It was already a featherweight with marginal HP. The biggest gain for that car would probably be improving drag.
  17. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Yea I forgot about the chopped top.
  18. Armoured

    Armoured New Member

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    I'm also not disagreeing that there should have been much more advance in mileage, but I doubt it's apples to apples. Acc to Wiki (so apologies if wrong), the '53 had 180hp - probably less than your truck. Probably comparable torque, though. And just given the height, I'd suspect the drag would actually be much worse. You're probably running tires with more grip. Lots of other differences as well could contribute easily.

    Anyway, we could also compare to modern luxury cars, Beemers/Audis/Acurai and the like that are much more powerful and hit in the 25-30 MPG range. That's a pretty big improvement in mileage, and they're clearly not trying hard in that class.

    Anyway, back to the topic of this thread: I for one am very, very skeptical of the ~250+ mpg figure this car above supposedly got. There's no way this technology they refer to made that big a difference. Even if it was of no interest to American producers, Europeans have been paying well in excess of $5 / gallon for years now, and it would have got snapped up. It seems far more likely it's just a function of the testing cycle they used.

    There's a fairly recent study saying that about 75% of technological improvements that _could_ have been used to increase mileage have gone to faster, more powerful cars.

    And of course there's a limit to how much you can wring out of the engines - after a certain efficiency level of an internal combustion powertrain, it's mostly about drag, speed, and weight.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    In what way do you think the testing of the actual mpg achieved by the car was false or inaccurate? Why would Shell do that?
  20. Armoured

    Armoured New Member

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    Sorry, I didn't mean to say it was false or accuse anyone - but unless this is repeated or compared to some other vehicle, I think it's misleading, as it doesn't necessarily tell us anything useful. There are implied claims about the technology, but nothing more really - most of what they've identified is driving the car slow and reducing the weight. So I'm skeptical that it tells us much of anything. For example, was this tested just by running the car at 30 mph for hours and hours? What would you get in a different car with that? Does it have any usable power at that speed?

    It's sort of an internet meme to believe there is some magic technology out there but I just don't believe this car is the holy grail - at least, not without more substantiation.

    If the figures could be compared under a recognisable test methodology, we might have some better understanding, too, but it's just not clear from this.
  21. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Its seems mind boggling that if these numbers are accurate that the test was not repeated or more research was not done to find out exactly how it was accomplished.
  22. Armoured

    Armoured New Member

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    Which is why I'm skeptical! Too good to be true, is what it sounds like.
  23. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

  24. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    Your dodge with the 318 is at the mercy of drag. Those 1st gens are like a concrete block on wheels when it comes to drag. Then add to the 3 speed trans and you are not going to get very decent mileage. The Packard at least had some rounded fenders and was overall more narrow in the front so it had a smaller cross section to push through the air with.
  25. Armoured

    Armoured New Member

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    Thanks, it pretty much says it there, that it is running a tiny lawnmower engine without the power to even climb a grade. It's a specialized vehicle designed and tested to achieve high MPG. Digging around a bit on the net, more recent records have been set with MPGs _ten times_ that. see http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_record_mpg_for_a_car . And more recently, over 12,500 MPG - see http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/extremeMPG.jsp .

    And my point is just that taking these vehicles' designs and mpg records and comparing even to a Honda Civic doesn't tell us much about where mpgs 'should' be for street vehicles. There's no secret tech bullet that the oil companies are suppressing - here at least ;).

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