Engine horsepower is up for debate
(NC) – How much vehicle horsepower do we really need?
Horsepower is an important factor to consider when looking at an automobile's fuel consumption. On average, today's vehicles offer about twice the horsepower of their counterparts from the early 1980's.
Progressive drivers today say they are assessing their choices based on fuel consumption, not on top speed and quarter-mile time. This change in mindset can save fuel and money, while also reducing emissions and helping the environment.
More power generally means more fuel consumption. For example, manufacturers often offer multiple engine choices for a given model. Consider for example, a compact vehicle, with a standard engine rated at 140 horsepower (hp), and the “sport” version, rated at 201 hp. The combined fuel consumption ratings are 6.4 and 8.4 litres/100 kilometres (L/100 km) respectively.
The more powerful engine also requires premium fuel. At today's fuel prices of about $1.20/L for regular gasoline and $1.30/L for premium, the increased fuel cost for higher horsepower is $6,480 over 200,000 km. Combined with a higher purchase price for the vehicle, the additional horsepower represents a substantial cost premium.
Drivers can make a difference as follows:
Make fuel efficiency an important consideration when buying a new vehicle;
Only buy what you need. Carefully assessing your needs as a driver is one of the most important steps in choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle. When possible, choose a smaller, lighter vehicle with the smaller, more fuel-efficient engine option.
More information, tips and resources for consumers are available at www.vehicles.gc.ca
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