Once we get these new amazing high MPG vehicles throughout the country, I doubt our government will sit idly by. I suspect the taxes will greatly increase on fuel to accommodate the advances. And we will not be any better off than before. The government tends to try to get their hand in anything. Dollars have to come from somewhere. In the interim, the middle class pays one way or another. I also would like to see what we pay a year for all our "green" studies. In the interim, the average guy is just trying to hold onto a job that is in peril.
It's called a hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension system, first invented by Citroen in the mid-1950s. The idea is that the suspension is set by the driver to suit his driving needs, and the suspension adapts. Basically, the driver could control how soft or how hard he wanted the suspension to be depending on his preferences. This allows for better handling and better ride quality, even more so than the big American cars, as self-leveling suspensions remain at a constant, predetermined height above the road, no matter the load. In the old Citroens and Rolls-Royce vehicles that would use this system, you could blow a tire and hardly feel a thing.
In 1990 the system was updated. No longer was it a driver controlled system. Instead a computer (which could make about 3,000 calculations a second) analyzed the road surfaces and performance of the vehicle itself and automatically hardened up the suspension in a curve, then softened it up on straighter roads. This allowed for a good compromise between handling and superior ride quality.
Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Citroen, Jaguar, BMW, Peugeot, Mercedes-Benz, and Land Rover all make use of this system in present day. I'm glad though that Lincoln has finally joined the group of automakers that use such a great piece of technology. Hopefully, they make the best of it.
You understand though, that even if the average MPG in cars rose to 100 MPG by some magical means, the amount of money you would save would be irrelevant, as fuel prices would obviously rise to coincide with the jump in efficiency. In the end, the average guy will be no better off than he is today, which isn't very good to begin with. He will still be spending as much of a percentage of his wage as he is now on gas.
Maybe the new middle class will have to earn 200k and still drive a car shaped like a bean. The lobbyists will step up no doubt to heighten up the fuel taxes enormously as all this transpires. It's about money.
I'm far more concerned about the condition of the Earth than the price of gas. Increasing fuel mileage automatically decreases the amount of CO2 emissions and decreases the disastrous effects of man-made global warming such as increased storm damage, droughts and rising sea levels. The current global-warming-caused drought in the U.S. has cost our country 34 billion dollars. And the increased power of recent storms has cost even more.
The increase in fuel mileage over the past decade has already had a measurable effect on air quality. Any increase in fuel mileage standards is a step in the right direction.
And 100 miles per gallon is not "magical". With upcoming advances in hybrid, full electric and perhaps solar power that goal is well within reach. A factory stock Ford Fusion hybrid averaged 80 miles per gallon on a 1000 mile trip, including a leg that took it through Washington D.C.'s very congested beltway. With only minor advances cars such as the Fusion hybrid and Toyota Prius should deliver 100 miles per gallon. And neither of those cars is a "golf cart" or Smart Car (which, incidentally gets worse mileage than the current Fusion).
Also, I don't regard Europe as being "forced" to drive more economical cars. I see them as enlightened people who care about the world they live in. I have friends in the UK who love their small and highly economical vehicles. Americans are spoiled on huge and wasteful vehicles. I'm embarrassed that we are the country that came up with such monstrosities as the Hummer.
I hate air suspensions. We had a Range Rover that blew out crossing a bridge, and it cost a fortune to fix it.
Europe is enlightened? I wouldn't be ashamed to drive most on the Autobahn. Unlimited speed limits and cars that can drain a full tank at full throttle in 10 minutes. I can make a list from Italy Germany and England that get Hummer mileage. When gas pricing rises to their levels, we may have a more advanced rail system. I like Washington DC with no car needed. Why not move to the city and sell your car and be truly green.
European countries drive tiny sub-compacts because for the most part they can't afford to drive anything else. A large portion of their population doesn't even own cars, they rely on bicycles, public transportation, or just walking, which is just what we will have to do when gas reaches $10 per gallon. In my opinion, liberal views like the ones above are ruining these United States of America.
Do yourself a favor and stop worshiping Europe and their screwed up economics. I'd call paying $8 a gallon gas a sizable deterrent to buying larger cars. Most of that $8 is taxes used to support the massive nanny states they are building over there. And guess what, huge surprise, our government (being that they are infatuated with Europe) wants to do the same in the future.
And what's so bad with us Americans being "spoiled", would you rather we lived like crap? Well, then again, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had great environmental records too. Driving smaller cars will not save the planet if that's what you believe. Besides, the rich still drive massive, gas guzzling luxury cars anyway, so why should we give up luxuries when they're not going to do the same?
You would be amazed how many large domestic and classic cars are sold and shipped leaving America. I am restoring an all original 70 Corvette going to a consigner dealership for a higher dollar return. They take care of all the arrangements and I get paid again. I don't see your embarrassment.
I particularly enjoyed hearing some celebrities acting green by buying small hybrids, and then flying in their private jets as well. If you have no car and take public transportation, it's green, and have solar panels or wind power in your home. Otherwise you are changing the environmental footprint.
The thing is that it would not necessarily take 100 MPG gas to make a major difference in the total amount of gas used. I read a report not too long ago that basically stated that if the Average American drove a car that got 25 MPG, then it would have a HUGE effect overall.The problem is what I see every day: Some person who thinks they've got to overcompensate by driving some HUGE, ridiculous truck with a lift kit or maybe someone driving an equally huge SUV. The very best that some of these will do in reality is somewhere around 15-20 MPG, with the realistic number probably somewhere in between.
Now - I'm not saying people shouldn't have a choice. We also can't compare ourselves to the EU. But compared to the EU, better fuel economy is MORE vital than it is in the EU. Why you ask? Because most EU countries are the size of a single US state. Most are interconnected with trains and public transit. The distances traveled are shorter. Towns and cities are close together. NOT so in the US. Most of the infrastructure in the US was built after WW2. The whole country is connected with freeways. Most people have to drive to work. Every single time gas prices goes up, it has a HUGE impact on the economy. So unlike Europe, the US is way more susceptible to potential economic devastation from high gas prices than Europe and most other places, because our infrastructure was built off of a model that relies on cheap gas prices.
So people can go out and buy the most ridiculous, biggest, most gas-guzzling thing they want. That doesn't mean it's a smart thing to do.