AD #2426 – Cadillac Escalade Turns 20, New Kia Forte Impressions, Progress of High Octane Fuel Standard

August 31st, 2018 at 11:44am

Runtime: 8:28

0:29 Cadillac Escalade Turns 20
1:17 First Impressions: New Kia Forte
2:41 Indian Motorcycles Gets Automotive Tech
3:20 Formula E Working on Off-Road Series
4:00 Roush Turns the Mustang Up to 11
5:09 Progress of High Octane Fuel Standard

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60 Comments to “AD #2426 – Cadillac Escalade Turns 20, New Kia Forte Impressions, Progress of High Octane Fuel Standard”

  1. Buzzerd Says:

    Single fuel ? sure lets have at it. Makes me wonder how much of the price premium we pay for hi octane is legit and how much is there to cash in on a ” premium product ” type image.
    I know many Americans have a coronary at the thought of higher fuel prices so not sure if this can happen.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Some stations in my area charges 25 to 30 cents per midgrade and another 20 or so for high test; we are being ‘ripped’ if you need high octane. Hopefully the price will be only slightly higher, and of course this will get all them turbo engines to run on the one grade, which may increase take rates on them.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m curious about how much more it actually costs to make premium gas. My guess is, not much.

    I have two cars that “recommend” premium, but don’t require it. I use regular most of the time, and in normal driving, it makes little, if any difference. I make it a point to use “top tier” in the one with direct injection.

    It seems that a lot of current turbo engines that recommend regular, get lousy mpg in real world driving. I suspect premium might help the mpg of some of those engines.

  4. Lambo2015 Says:

    Really surprised to see Indian leading the way. Ride height and mode has been available on Honda Goldwings for a while now. But I dont believe they have introduced cylinder deactivation which on a 6 cylinder bike would seem to be easier than on a 2 cyl. Good for Indian!

  5. Steve W Says:

    One grade of gas and the oil companies will pass the savings to consumers? Just like the IRS auditor is there to help you!

  6. Albemarle Says:

    I wonder what the octane rating will be decided on for the new fuel. I see 91, 93 and 95 being sold around me as premium.

    Currently they add better or more cleaners in premium fuel too. Will the new standard fuel get the cleaners?

    Finally, there is no ethanol in our premium fuel(Canada), which makes it ideal for engines that aren’t run as often because the gas doesn’t go off as fast. Will the new fuel have ethanol?

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    #3 The Octane level makes a bigger difference on engines with VVT. When the engine can compensate for the octane difference and actually adjust timing to take advantage. Other engines without VVT will run better and be slightly more efficient in the burn process providing in increase in power which most likely is not even detectable.

  8. Buzzerd Says:

    Yea Indian is hardly breaking new ground but’s nice to see them get with the program. Many other manufacturers have -adj riding modes, adj ride height, cornering ABS, traction control, cornering lights…

  9. BobD Says:

    The way Dan Nicholson worded the price increase, it isn’t necessarily cheap on a per gallon basis… Basically he said it will be “cost effective” which basically means if the OEMs can get 10% better fuel economy out of the engine, it is acceptable to pay 10% more per gal, so we are probably looking at 30 cents/gal for 95 ROM compared to 87. With that said, I’m all for it for reduced emissions and needing less oil.

    Nicholson also said there has not been any advancements in fuels since the removal of lead. When was the shift to 10% ethanol? Or did those two things happen simultaneously?

  10. ex Exxon Guy Says:

    A single grade of fuel would cost less than current premium due to simplification at the refinery. A new car could also run better if it was tuned for a single grade. The ‘loser’ in all this is the old car owner that would pay a higher than regular cost for fuel, but whose car might not be able to benefit.

  11. Lambo2015 Says:

    Not only did Ford drop the ball on the Navigator the Expedition only had 3 years of sales over 200k which was at its introdution 97 thru 2000, The Tahoe/Yukon sold over 200k per year from 2000 until 07. Neither have sold that many since in a single year. But the Tahoe/Yukon out sells the Expedition 3 to 1.
    With Ford having the best selling truck just not sure how they couldn’t capitalize in the large SUV market that it is based off. Or at least be close in sales.

  12. George Ricci Says:

    In the clip I did not hear Dan say What octane level GM would like to have. I think Ford was asking for 95 octane. Whatever happens we need the new higher octane to be the same throughout the USA. Current premium is 91 in California and 92 or 93 in the rest of the country.

    What I would like to see is the current mid-grade go away. The new mid-grade would be 92 octane for the current cars that need premium (this could be phased out in 12 to 15 years). Then have higher octane gas for new cars.

    John, do you know. I think most pumps currently mix regular and premium to make mid-grade. This could be done for what I am proposing.

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    #9 Seems that a single fuel would be a huge cost savings for the petroleum providers too. No need to ship multiple fuels have multiple tanks in the ground at every station. Processing and storing of one fuel rather than 3+. Even the complexity of the pumps is reduced with less parts and buttons. Possibly those savings could also offset the premium price.

  14. Barry T Says:

    How about this idea? Give me regular gas 87 octane WITHOUT ethanol, and let them ADD ethanol/additives at the pump to get 95? I’m sure there’s a technical reason why not, I’m curious.

    I am skeptical about the real savings, besides supposed “economies of scale”, our whole existing fleet of 87 octane cars will see no benefit whatsoever for the 95 octane. So the “payback” from the higher octane is only going to work for the people buying a new car designed for it.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 Yeah, it would seem that cylinder deactivation would be much more useful on a Gold Wing, than on a big twin that is rough running, even on two cylinders. They must really crank up the idle speed, to run on one cylinder when “at a standstill.”

    13 Yeah, the payback would mainly be for people buying new cars, but the “one grade” gas would, presumably be less expensive than premium now, so owners of older cars that need premium would save a little. Of course, most of those older cars needing premium are expensive Europeans, and some performance cars, the owners of which can afford the expensive stuff now.

  16. Chuck Grenci Says:

    GM uses 93 as their high octane requirement for those engines that require it so the industry needs to be at or around 93 (I think that is pretty much okay for other manufacturers calling for high octane). And when dealing with a top-tier fuel; all grades have the proper amount of cleaners (not any more or better) than any variable of grade (even though their advertisements might allude to the fact). Higher octane won’t advance your engine’s timing beyond its design point, but it will insure that timing isn’t retarded any either.

    It would seem cylinder de-activation would provide more benefit on multi-cylindered engine, but if Indian can make it work on a twin, more power to them.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 The removal of lead was in the mid 1970′s. The widespread sale of E10 came later, though some “gasahol” had been sold much earlier, but not a lot of it.

  18. merv Says:

    your program just keeps getting better and better with each passing day

  19. MJB Says:

    I’m really interested to know who even uses mid-grade gasoline. If you’ve got to use premium, you use it. Everyone else uses the lowest octane at the pump. At least, that’s what I’m assuming…

    I’ve been driving premium fuel cars for the last 14 years, so I’m no longer bothered by the ‘extra’ at the pump.

  20. Lambo2015 Says:

    Not sure that fuel economy is a very big concern for motorcyclists. I can see how the cooler temperature would be a benefit in stopped traffic but cylinder de-activation for fuel savings isnt anything I would pay extra for.
    I also dont see very many of the new driver assist technologies being popular or even safe on a motorcycle. I would not want any lane departure warning or auto braking on a motorcycle. ABS would be okay but most riders I know enjoy the basic feeling of being on a bike and complete control and would not be interested in driver assist functions.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 Some Chrysler products recommend mid-grade, both 5.7 V8 and V6’s in some applications. I suspect a lot of people with those vehicles use mid-grade.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    Both my cars being Diesels, I don’t have to decide what grade to use.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 An avid motorcyclist friend, who is an MSF instructor, is a big believer in ABS on bikes. Even though he is a very skilled rider, he figures ABS could save him from a crash, especially on sandy, leafy, or other unpredictable low traction pavement.

    I don’t worry much about gas mileage with bikes, but it’s something to thank about, that under many conditions, my Prius gets better mileage than my scooter. It’s a big scooter, 600cc, with a rubber belt CVT, but still.

    An 1800 Gold Wing is a gas hog, for a bike, and I’m sure it would be a prime candidate for cylinder deactivation, but I suspect most ‘Wing riders don’t care about gas mileage, and wouldn’t want to hear the sound change, and maybe feel the deactivation.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    In the US MPG is important only for those who have really long commutes, as gas is half or one-third the price it is in most of Europe. Here it is 1.65 euros a liter, and at 1.2 euros/$ this means $8 a US gallon.

    With pure EVs easily having ranges of 200 and 300 miles, most of these commutes could be done without wasting one drop of gas. This should impact gas demand in the US big time.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    and most long commutes are done by couples where both spouses work, and typically they buy a home in the middle of the line between their two jobs, and each spouse commutes about 100 miles a day. Such couples invariably live in single family homes and have no problem charging their EVs overnight in their garages.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 Yep, gas is way too cheap in the U.S. I’d rather it cost more, so I wouldn’t have to share the road with so many 5500 pound trucks with one person and no cargo. Also, higher fuel taxes could help fix the infrastructure.

    Yeah, many people here will disagree.

  27. XA351GT Says:

    When did the massive gap in prices for different grades begin? I remember there only being a 5-10 cent difference between grades when I used have to buy it for my Mustang GT in the 90s.

  28. XA351GT Says:

    I don’t care what the price of gas in Europe to be honest. All I know is as soon as regular fuel reaches the $4 @ gallon for regular the economy stops. People then decide that they have to buy gas and not other goods and services. People stop taking trips and the businesses that depend on them suffer or fail. A paycheck only goes so far and when you start paying twice as much a week to be able to get to work. That is all you do. Drive to and from work . I saw it in 08 I don’t need to see it again.

    Kit I live in PA we pay the highest gas taxes in the land and our roads suck. As fast as they fix or build a new one it is obsolete or they are ripping it up to fix something that was scheduled by another department. I saw a street in my town finally get repaved from end to end after years of being a mine field only to get ripped up 3 months later for a scheduled water main replacement. They half ass patched the road and it stayed way for over 10 years. They need to be smarter with the money they have not be given more to waste.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 It seems that the percentage difference between regular and premium is about as high as it’s ever been, at least where I am. The difference was 50-60 cents when regular was over $4, and the difference is still 50-60 cents. On “general principles,” I’m not going to use premium in my cars with premium “recommended but not required.”

  30. FSTFWRD Says:

    Yes, that’s what I’m thinking.

    In SO CAL, there seems to be a $.20 difference between 86, 89, and 91. Each grade is a $.20 bump.

    As far as cyl. deactivation for M/C’s, I believe my Honda VFR (V4) ran only on two cyl. up to a certain RPM by holding the valves open on two cylinders, then at about 6K it would run on all four. Sort of a cyl. deactivation. If memory serves me right. Not so sure how well deactivation might work on a big twin, that already shakes like crazy running on two cyl. But good luck to Indian.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    “…One thing is indisputable: no-one ever bought a Tesla for pure driving kicks.

    Not until now, anyway.

    The Model 3 isn’t just the Tesla that turns the company into a genuine volume player (half a million advance orders, with the attendant much-publicised production tribulations),

    it’s also the one that aims to stick it to the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class for driving dynamics…”

    Read the whole article. Guilt-Free Fun!

  32. Studeeroach Says:

    Compression was raised in Mazda Skyactive engines and they still don’t need premium. HMMM!

  33. Larry D. Says:

    27 ” All I know is as soon as regular fuel reaches the $4 @ gallon for regular the economy stops.”

    Do you remember what happened the first time gas reached $4.50, in May 2008? BIG changes.

    The top five best selling vehicles in the US market changed big time.

    The perennial no 1 the F 150 plummeted to FIFTH place, and the Honda Civic was no 1, followed, not surprisingly, by the Corolla, the Camry and the Accord.

    “People then decide that they have to buy gas and not other goods and services.”

    SMART people can decide to do the above, or, BETTER, Trade in their dinosaur for a pure EV or plug-in. In 2008, these two choices were not available.

    ” People stop taking trips and the businesses that depend on them suffer or fail.”

    When gas is cheap, people do frivolous and aimless driving. When gas went to $4.50, and I had a thirsty V8 and an Efficient 5-speed coupe at the time, I used the coupe as much as I could, and drove the big car intelligently, not wasting miles and gas.

    ” A paycheck only goes so far and when you start paying twice as much a week to be able to get to work. That is all you do. Drive to and from work . I saw it in 08 I don’t need to see it again.”

    How do you explain then all these millions of people who commute 100 miles a day driving full sized pickups, most of whom NEVER use AS INTENDED?

    When something is cheap, people WASTE it. In $8 gas Europe, they would never do the above, unless they are very wealthy. AND when they waste it, it becomes scarce, and eventually the price will go BACK to $4 and more.

    That is why CAFE is stupid and inefficient, when gas is dirt cheap. People just drive many more miles, and gas prices rise again due to increased demand.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 If the Model 3 becomes a popular track toy, Elon will need to install a number of Superchargers at tracks which have hobbyist track sessions. I suspect that 200+ mile range drops to about 50, when you are driving as fast as you can go around a road course.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    32 in moderate weather it may drop to 100. nut even at 50, you don’t need to do a lot of miles on the track to have your fun. It’s not like a road trip. I assume there will be a line and each driver will have to wait their turn to do a few miles, and while they wait they can recharge.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 I’ve done one track day ever, with a Dodge Spirit R/T. The event was run by a BMW club. It was two days and, as I remember, we had three half hour driving sessions each day. That probably would have been 150-200 miles or so. When I left the track the second day, I was almost out of gas, with a car that had 400 mile range in normal driving.

    Maybe a Model 3 could have done what I did, with an overnight charge after the first day, but I suspect it would be marginal. We’ll probably hear more about it, as Model 3′s start showing up for track days.

  37. FSTFWRD Says:

    @31, 33 Larry D

    The Model 3 owner will also need enough charge to get home, unless it is trailered of course.

    My feeling that if gas does go to $4.00-$4.50 a gallon, most people will still buy a IC car, just smaller with a small engine, or if they can afford an extra car for commute only then they will consider an EV. My 2 cents.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From what I’ve seen, people are very short sighted on vehicle purchase decisions. In 2008, or some time around then, people were selling their gas hog pickups and big SUV’s they didn’t need, at a big loss, and buying Civics and Priuses. They would have been much better off to feed the gas hog for a while, and then, after the value is back up somewhat, sell it and buy the more efficient car. The time to buy a Prius is when gas is cheap. The time to buy a big pickup truck, if you actually need one, is when gas is expensive.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 Maybe the people wanting to track drive their Teslas could tow a trailer with a generator to charge the car between track sessions, and to prepare for the drive home. I don’t know if anyone sells hitches for the Model 3, but I suspect people have already made their own.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It surprises me that major hitch companies like Drawtight and Reese sell hitches for cars that have a tow rating of zero in the U.S. You probably have to sign some kind of disclaimer to buy one.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37 Yep, someone sells hitches for the Model 3.

  42. XA351GT Says:

    Larry D, maybe people will buy a pure EV when they build one that can do what a IC does for the same money. That includes refuel/recharge as fast ,the same range, and price. It really astounds me that people are paying what they do for Model 3s and Volts and Bolts compared to comparable IC vehicles in size. You would have to own many of those EVs for over 10 years just to make up the price difference in fuel cost. For many that isn’t a option . Neither is buying a supercharger for the EV that adds thousands in cost to a already expensive vehicle and paying possibly thousands more to have a electrician wire it in. Most of these chargers if not all are 240V or run best at that voltage. That is above what most people should try to do on their own.

    The fact that many people buy more vehicle than they need is nothing new. Many can’t afford several vehicles so they buy the one that will do any job they need it to even if that isn’t 95% of it’s use. Sure I see people all the time in huge trucks or SUVs alone commuting top work , but I don’t know how they use it when they are home. Maybe that have a lot of kids or a boat or trailer they need to tow form time to time. No different than any other toy, Like a sports car or motorcycle. It doesn’t mean that if they can afford it they shouldn’t have it if they want it. When the price of fuel goes up they will have to decide if it is worth it then. When gas went $4 + I drove a 7 year old Escort that got 30+ MPG it didn’t mean that the price hurt me any less.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 Many, or most American families and childless couples have more than one vehicle. In many cases, an EV with 100 miles of range, chargable overnight at home, for those in houses with garages, would work well as one of them. Isn’t price, and the unknowns about battery lifetime a big limiter on EV sales? An EV doesn’t need 500 mile range, or need to charge in 10 minutes, to work quite well for the use most vehicles actually see.

  44. Len Simpson Says:

    KISS Rules !

  45. Larry D. Says:

    35 Yes, I thought of trailering the performance versions of the 3 to the track and back, if needed.

    In Europe, EVs are selling well only in a few small market such as Norway who, despite all their oil and gas, have declared war on ICE vehicles in their cities (like Trondheim, where no ICE cars are allowed in the city center). And gas is $8-$10 a gallon there, but distances are smaller than in the US, and Mass Transit is 100 times better than ours, so why waste driving your 5,000 car with nobody else inside.

    Not all pure EVs are alike. I would never bother with anything but a Tesla, and most likely I would buy a used S and not a 3 or an X. Maybe I’ll take a look at the new Roadster too, but most likely I will not buy one. I looked at used Tesla S prices a few months ago and there was nothing below $40k!!! Shows you that, no matter what the naysayers say about these particular EVs, they retain much more of their value than their German Luxury counterparts that compete in price.

    Also the matter of the supercharger network, when that covers most US interstates, it will make a big difference.

    I would also wait a few years to see if these new cars have any problems, but I expect, due to their simplicity, to require much less maintenance and repair than ICE.

    In short, they are the Future, Tesla has redefined the Auto, and it is a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’.

  46. Larry D. Says:

    38n 39 There are very lightweight objects that can’t fit even inside an Escalade, which can be towed by far weaker powerplants than that in the Tesla 3.

    Around here ( my last day, tomorrow at 6 AM I fly back to the US) tin Yarises and Corollas with 1.2 lt, less than 100 hp engines, towing huge plastic zodiac type boats are very common.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 I wonder if Tesla offers some kind of “battery contract” for a used S. I would be uninclined to buy a car like that, because your $40K used car might need a $40K battery in three years.

  48. Larry D. Says:

    Due to my driving patterns, doing less than 5k miles w each of my vehicles, I will never spend $40k for a car, new or used, anyway, unless it is a Rolls or a Bentley. Even for an S class I balked when I was shopping for a diesel for the US, and I had to pay 30k+ for a 2012 (back in 2016-17). I have been able to get both benzes in great shape and with free 6 and 3 month warranties for $10.5 and $11k , both from dealers. (the warranties made it possible agree on prices over phone and emails before I visited to pick them up). If I chose the much more fuel efficient E 250 bluetec of 2014, I’d have to pay $25k in 2016-17, and for a car I use 2-3 months a year for 3-5k miles, it sounded like a waste, sitting on its tires and depreciating.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 It sounds like your two Benzes had depreciated nicely when you bought them, and should work well for many years, as long as the Indiana and Ohio road salt hadn’t gotten to them much.

  50. Bob Wilson Says:

    About three days ago, Tesla held a press day showing off the Model 3, Performance model with pre-production Track Mode. Using in-house developed software, improved cooling, and track tuned power and regeneration, the press was able to toss the car around a rally track including drifting the car. Yet it retains enough range to drive home.


    “. . . Track Mode feels so much more dynamic than the standard Drive. I was able to approach corners with more speed and and get back on the accelerator earlier and more aggressively. The software was more than happy to swing the tail out when I asked — tires squealing with glee — and to snap it back in line predictably when I pointed the wheel at the next apex.”

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here’s another great article about the Model 3 Performance on a track.

    They really liked the way it drove on the track. The bottom line on range, is that 9 miles of “normal” range are used for each 1.5 mile lap at Lime Rock. The battery range part is near the end of the article.

  52. Dan Says:

    Fifty comments on this posting, and not one mention of the Cadillac Escalade among them. I find that point very telling.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50 From the start, the Escalade struck me as being “king of bling,” not my thing, even if I liked big, trucky wagons, but it has been, by far, Cadillac’s biggest money maker.

  54. Larry D. Says:

    47 The first one which I kept in the US was not planned, I bought it for overseas but had second thoughts about its black interior there in the summer, so I kept it here. If I took it there, I’d buy a used LS460 before the spindle grille, or a used S class 20007-12

    When I bought it, we put it on the lift and the dealer’s mechanic told me about it. The owner was in the midwest, but apparently he did not drive it in the snow and salt. The second one I did not look underneath, but it will not see any more snow ever. The dealer used it to commute for about a month, before I bought it.

  55. Larry D. Says:

    Replied to 47 but reply was not posted

  56. Larry D. Says:

    50 Both the Escalade and the Navigator are two terrible ways to waste $100,000.

  57. Larry D. Says:


  58. Brett Cammack Says:


    I could commute to work for a week without a recharge in an EV with a 100 mile range.

  59. XA351GT Says:

    #54 Brett are you willing to spend 20K more than a comparable IC to do it? If you drive that little you’d never come close to making it pay off that difference.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    55 Yep, as I said in #41, price is probably a big factor in low sales numbers of EV’s to people like Brett, or myself, if I had a place to charge one.