The Italian Junkyard

Thoughts, ideas, criticism about cars. Interesting news and facts from the world of the automobile. Events in Italy and Modena. What you can find elsewhere, filtered through the eyes of a discerning enthusiast. Design, style, everything on the chopping block. Nobody is safe anymore.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What's going on over The Italian Junkyard...

Well, at the moment I'm trying to relax after eventually finishing all the exams at university.
The last one was the toughest, and took months to be prepared but finally I made it!

That means I'll soon be an engineer...I've yet to understand how I feel about that...

Now I'm writing my thesis, which (SPOILER ALERT!!!) is about a critical analysis of hybrids vehicles, like the ubiquitous Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight but also that panzer of the BMW X6 Active Hybrid, among others. Yes, the Chevrolet Volt is included as well, obviously.

Don't get fouled by the argument though, as I'm not going to jump on the green-cars-save-the-world bandwagon any time soon. On the contrary, my work is trying to show how hybrids cars actually posses some strong and valid points that make them more efficient than a conventional car, but also how many data and other characteristics are somehow hidden or less strensed than what should be in order to make you believe everything about hybrids is just awesome and that it's all about that small electric motor.

As many of you already know, it's rather the effect of a lot of different solutions to make those cars so fuel efficient if compared to similar conventional vehicles, from aerodynamics to reduced frictions, from low rolling resistance tires to fuel economy focused ECUs and so on. Also, many solutions adopted on hybrids aren't used on standard cars, probably both to underline the gap in mileage and pollution, and because people wouldn't buy a more expensive conventional car, while hybrids can rely on their status symbol to demand an higher price.

It's undeniable how the ability to recover the kinetic energy of the car can improve the mileage, and that you can use that recovered energy both to propel the car with less fuel or faster, which is why my analysis is covering everything from the frugal Insight to the pointless X6.
So there is something good and basically all automakers can adopt this technology to their own advantage. Fiat could build more frugal cars, Ferrari could make them faster without using more fuel, just to stay close to home.

We'll see how it will end, but right now I honestly don't care, the biggest obstacle was to pass that last exam, right now I'm on a downhill path.

Now if only I could start to sleep relaxed again...

PS: that 10.2 chapter on the Italian Bugatti will eventually come, I swear!

Image Copyright: Damiano Garro

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