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Hyundai Pledges To Meet U.S. Fuel Economy Rule Early

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SEOUL, South Korea — Underscoring that it plans to field one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the business, Hyundai on Wednesday confirmed that it expects to reach America's new fuel economy standard of 35 miles per gallon by 2015. That means the Korean automaker would hit the goal five years before compliance is required.

"We believe we have the engineering resources and the confidence to reach our target by 2015," said Hyun-Soon Lee, president of the Hyundai-Kia corporate research and development division, in a statement released on Wednesday. "Hyundai is determined to be the industry leader in fuel efficiency."

Hyundai recently confirmed that it plans to introduce a Sonata hybrid to the U.S. market in 2010. However, it is clear that Hyundai doesn't expect to lean too heavily on hybrids to meet the tough fuel economy targets that many other automakers have griped are too stringent.

Hyundai said it is working on gasoline direct injection, eight-speed automatic transmissions, dual continuously variable valve timing and other fuel-saving technologies in the race to meet the fuel economy rule early.

The Korean automaker is already on track to pull ahead of other automakers in the fuel economy race. The auto industry averaged 26.6 mpg in the 2007 model year for light vehicles sold in the United States, compared with Hyundai's 29.4 mpg. Only Toyota and Honda slightly outpaced Hyundai in the fuel efficiency of their fleets.

What this means to you: If a fuel miser is in your future, Hyundai may be a brand to watch. — Hoseok Park, Correspondent


What it means to you, my version:

An average of 35 mpg seems impossible if you use EPA consumer mpg testing methods. Fortunately CAFE uses pre-2008 numbers, and unadjusted numbers at that. For example, a Prius is rated 48/45 mpg (2008+) and 60/51 mpg (pre-2008), but for CAFE purposes, it's 66/62 mpg. The E85 1.2mpg credit helps as well.

The 2009 Malibu mild-hybrid gets 26/34 mpg, but for CAFE purposes, its average is 40 mpg.

Edited by empowah

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What this means to you: If a fuel miser is in your future, Hyundai may be a brand to watch. — Hoseok Park, Correspondent

Another lovely "what this means to you" bit. And what an utterly retarded one at that. I am close to losing it and going on a mass-media-murdering-spree so as to clean out the entire media of its current stigmas and reigning in an era of non-cliche-using unbiased mass media. I could just settle for automotive journalism at least.

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And this is news?!?!

I mean, it's not like they sell many "gas guzzlers" and all.

CAFE is now industry-wide mpg, like in Europe, meaning manufacturers that sell larger vehicles have a lower target.

For instance, GM passenger cars will have to average 34.7 mpg by 2015, whereas VW passenger cars will have to average 39.6 mpg.

GM trucks will have to average 27.4 mpg by 2015, whereas Mercedes trucks will have to average 31.9 mpg.

Here's the mpg (CAFE) for some existing GM light trucks...

VUE Hybrid (BAS): 37 mpg

Silverado Hybrid: 27 mpg

Traverse: 26 mpg

Silverado XFE: 23 mpg

CAFE mpg of some existing GM cars...

Malibu/AURA Hybrid: 40 mpg

Cobalt XFE: 40 mpg

Vibe: 38 mpg

CTS: 29 mpg

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