June 27th, 2012 at 11:46am
Car buyers are paying an average of $500 less on new vehicles compared to a year ago. Volvo has developed a new fuel-saving system for commercial trucks called I-See that harnesses a truck’s kinetic energy to save fuel. A test drive of Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost-powered Taurus as well as the company’s 1.0-liter three cylinder engine. All that and more, plus a look at John’s trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. It’s June 27, 2012. I’m Seamus McElroy filling in for John today. Let’s get to the news.
NEW CAR PRICES DROP
Good news for car buyers. Kelley Blue Book reports that consumers are paying an average of $500 less on new vehicles compared to a year ago. Japanese automakers are no longer dealing with inventory issues caused by natural disasters last year. This means supply is meeting demand and as a result transaction prices are down. On average, car prices from Japanese automakers are down $700 to $1200, compared to the Detroit automakers which are down less than $500. This has helped Japanese automakers recover market share this year.
Volvo has developed a new fuel-saving system for commercial trucks called I-See that harnesses a truck’s kinetic energy to save fuel. I-See is linked to the transmissions tilt sensor and obtains topography information digitally, no maps are needed. As a truck approaches a hill it accelerates and downshifts are avoided to save fuel. On the way down the truck drives in neutral and the engine is idled. Near the bottom the brakes are applied to avoid speeding and at the end of the hill the truck is put in neutral and uses kinetic energy to build up speed. Volvo says I-See can help save about 1,000 liters or 260 gallons of fuel a year for trucks that travel 140,000 kilometers or about 87,000 miles annually. I-See will be available next year.
FORD ENGINE IMPRESSIONS
Yesterday Ford hosted a massive drive event at its proving ground in Dearborn, Michigan. Hundreds of members of the media were in attendance, including, of course, Autoline Daily. A surprising amount of news came out of this little dog and pony show. Among other things, we were given an opportunity to test drive some of the company’s latest products, including the 2.0-liter EcoBoost-powered Taurus as well as Ford’s 1.0-liter three cylinder engine. First, let’s talk Taurus. We love the 2.0-liter turbo in other applications, and it’s just as good in a full-size sedan. Output is 240 horsepower, which can really move this big, heavy car! With lots of low- and mid-range torque it will even squeal the tires if you punch it from a standstill. 32 miles per gallon on the highway seals the deal and helps make the standard V-6 engine obsolete. Next up, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost three. This was the real wild card. Loaded with high-end features it churns out 123 horsepower. It was matched to a six-speed manual transmission in the Focus hatchbacks we tested it in. On the track it was SUPER SMOOTH, offered plenty of punch and stellar fuel economy. We can’t wait for this to go on sale in North America.
Coming up next, a look at John’s trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we’ll be back right after this.
24 HOURS OF LE MANS
(John’s trip to Le Mans is only available in the video version of today’s show.)
Before we go, I want to remind you that you can get Autoline Daily e-mailed directly to you everyday, along with reminders of our other shows. Just go to our website, Autoline.tv, and scroll down the left-hand column to where it says “Daily Email” to sign up.
And that’s it for today’s show thanks for watching and we will see you tomorrow.