The result was this polished aluminum, big-rig based hot rod that weighs in at nearly 8,000 pounds yet gets a claimed 15 miles per gallon from its 12-cylinder Detroit Diesel powerplant.
Larry Edsall - DETNEWS
- November 18, 2009
Innovation will change peoples perspective of fuel economy --Ed.
LAS VEGAS, Nev -- Even the hot rodders are going green.
Sure, there were plenty of massive, gasoline-gulping, supercharged V8 engines in the cars on display at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) automotive aftermarket product trade show here in the Las Vegas Convention Center, but there also were electric-powered hot rods and bio-diesel fueled cars and at least one highly customized truck that runs on liquid propane.
Many of the 100-miles-per-gallon vehicles that sometime next year will compete for the Progressive Automotive X Prize were on display alongside souped-up Chevys, massive Ford trucks, a street-legal Dodge drag racer and even a snow-track Subaru.
And for the first time in recent memory, wheels appear to be shrinking. You had to search long and hard to find huge and blinged-out 26-inch (or larger) rims.
"In 2009 we sold as many 22s and 24s as in 2008," noted Matt Edmunds of The Tire Rack, "but they were on close out specials."
Based in South Bend, Ind., Tire Rack stocks some one-million tires from 18 manufacturers.
Edmonds noted that as people are keeping their cars longer, they're replacing things such as tires, especially with winter coming and the increased awareness of the need for traction on wet and snow-covered roads.
But he added that people are not simply buying the least expensive tires, but are opting for quality, and increasingly for tires that considered "green" - tires that use vegetable oils rather than just petroleum-based products in their composition and that help to save fuel through reductions in rolling resistance and in weight reduction.
At SEMA, Pirelli introduced a new sport utility and truck tire - the Scorpion Verde -- that weighs 8 percent less than the tire it replaces. ... [Read More]