posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 04:19 AM
Engine technology is changing all the time and each new generation engine outperforms the previous one, sometimes by a large margin. I average about
40mpg in my current car, which has a VW group 160BHP 1.8TSi petrol engine. The new updated version pushes out 180BHP, but with reduced emissions, and
about a 20% better mpg figure.
As for diesel, my previous car, a SEAT Leon (Spanish arm of the VW group) had a 1.9L 130BHP diesel engine and I found I could easily hit between
55-60mpg on the 50 mile commute to the office, once even hitting 66.6mpg (a devilishly good figure)! The new generation, now 2.0L, can hit around
80mpg and also has lower emissions.
Accordingly, I can't see the point in a Hybrid model right now given the good mpg figures available from current turbocharged petrol and diesel
engines. Hybrids also seem to carry quite a cost premium over other cars and, from what I see on the motorways each day, most that I do see are
streaking along at +80mph, rather than a more economical speed (probably fleet vehicles).
I also think that the idea of "saving the planet" by driving one of the current Hybrids is a little bit of a con when you factor in the cost and
emissions of the vehicles used to transport all the component parts to the final assembly line. A lot of those parts have to take other planes, trains
and automobiles from international destinations in order to get to the assembly point, due to outsourcing of manufacture. Take that into account, and
the emissions clocked up by those transport vehicles before that Hybrid or electric car ever hits the road, and it doesn't seem so green anymore!