bringing sexy back, a nice concept from Merc.
the Hybrid F700 concept has a Gasoline-powered motor with an electric helper motor, it accelerates from 0-100kn/h in 7.5 sec ( not that quick) has a governed top speed of 200km/h and uses 5.3L/100km
Indeed, the engine is a 1.8 liters 4-cylinders gasoline unit, which showcases the so-called “Diesotto” cycle, combining controlled auto ignition (CAI), direct fuel injection and turbocharging, for a total output of 238 hp (+20 hp by the electric motor), comparable to that of a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine.
Small cars – compact and economical, for singles, couples, small families (1 to 2 kids) etc… these types of cars which are already in use for car sharing like the Honda Jazz are a low cost option for car sharing companies and offer a more profitable return. A lot of these cars don’t need fancy gadgets to satisfy its user. These small cars provide good mileage and are reasonably priced compared with Hybrids.
The Toyota Prius costs $37,400 & $46,900 and gives you 4.4L/100km, but the Hyundai i30 SX CDi goes 100km on 4.7L and costs $21,400 & $27,990. Most people can’t afford to be the greenie in the Prius which you have to drive for about 20 years to make up the cost.
A lot of diesels can match Hybrids for economy but they produce more CO2 and that’s the problem. By reducing the amount of cars in means of car sharing these cars can become more affordable.
Mid-size cars – sedans, small AWD’s etc… share audience as small cars with families (2 to 3 kids). This is a large market in Australia with cars like the Toyota Corrola (sedan) doing very well and European cars like the VW Jetta (sedan).
Large cars – large sedans, people carriers, 4WD’s, compact SUV’s attracts larger families (3 to 4+ kids), business men etc… has larger towing options and much more space for people and/or storage.
I put myself in this category, I’m married with four kids and drive a Holden SS Station Wagon (sorry I have a thing for V8’s) with a third row seat and has plenty of room for bags and things. This large car market is dying slowly and I don’t want to see a Tombstone with the V8 engine engraved on it.
Performance cars are amongst all of these categories, small sporty hatches, mid-size WRX nd EVO’s to the exotic supercars form around the world, but the area I want to look at is local performance cars like HSV and FPV. True Aussie muscle cars (as are their origins from the early 70’s) which can perform as good as those from Europe (sports sedans) which cost double the amount.
I’m not saying that the Prius is a bad thing far from it, it’s just not for me, and the thousands of other V8 drivers in this country. Making a fuel efficient muscle car is a different story, or is it? Designing a performance sedan for car sharing doesn’t have to be a V8 (would be nice) and if its not needs to have more sex appeal (cars like the Dodge ZEO concept, very cool) to its target audience. When needed also can perform to match current sports cars, while being fuel efficient. This is the challenge.
Holden’s Coupe 60 a 5.7L V8 with cylinder shutdown and biofuel E85 could be a starting point, but we need to take it a bit further, while keeping the cost down. Otherwise it just becomes another concept car.
Now this is more like it.
This is the extreme end of performance cars for sharing.
Flexicar In Melbourne offer car sharing where you simply join up, when needed you book online or by phone a car, you swipe your access card and drive. No frills..
There are lots of websites about car sharing and the system in which they operate are similar, as are the cars which are used. Small Japanese cars with the odd Hybrid seem to be most common, which is based on fuel efficiency, reliability and running costs. Some companies have a much larger range of vehicles to choose from like people movers to four wheel drives, Flexicar which operates in Melbourne use Smart, Honda Jazz and Subaru Forrester’s as it’s fleet and what I found interesting is that they give their cars names. “So you can book Betty in Blyth St. Or Rocky in Acland St”. One problem I see is that this system is overlooking one large area in the Australian automotive industry, Performance cars, yes they are more expensive and less fuel efficient as the smaller cars but in most cases are driven much less, even more so with the cost of petrol these days. What I mean is you don’t have to own a HSV to drive it on weekends. Most of the people who would use Flexicar are already environmentally conscious and are not fussed about what type of car they drive, they are already contributing to reducing the amount of cars on our roads, or they enjoy the freedom of driving a car without owning one. But there are many of drivers who want performance from their vehicle, cars like HSV, FPV etc.. which are Australian developed cars. These are just some thoughts about car sharing and an area I’m interested in is introducing these types of performance cars into car sharing. The cars themselves are not fuel efficient or cheap to run, but the system in which they can operate makes having a muscle car more sustainable. So if we had a locally built reasonably priced car, economical and perform like a HSV when needed, we would not be so afraid to talk about sustainability and V8’s in the same sentence.
I have a passion for muscle cars old and new and would like to see them stick around.