Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mini Cooper D: next year's model to get 74.2mpg without being a hybrid!

The best part is that they claim all this will 'come at no extra cost'.

From gizmag:
"When production of the revised models begins in August 2007, there will be no requirement for alternative fuel sources or hybrid technology to achieve these stunning stats. All model variants will instead be supplied as standard with high-tech engine tweaks, providing exceptional economy and minimal emissions without compromising the MINI driving experience."
In addition to not being a hybrid, it will also have regenerative braking, and a start/stop button so that it goes into sleep mode when idling (more details below).
"Brake Energy Regeneration works by using an Intelligent Alternator Control (IAC) and an Absorbent Glass Mat battery to recycle previously lost energy, which saves fuel. The IAC reduces drag on the engine by only engaging when required to charge the battery, whereas a traditional alternator is always pulling power from the engine. Additionally, the energy generated by the engine on over-run (under braking or descending a hill) was previously wasted. Now this lost energy is utilised by the IAC to charge the battery.
The Auto Start-Stop Function, available with manual transmission cars, automatically switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary and the driver puts the car into neutral. To restart the driver only need engage the clutch again before pulling away in the normal manner. The system may be de-activated at the touch of a button when not required."
Seems worth a test drive to me. Hope it's not too underpowered.

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