Post by Jim Yanik Post by Daryl Hunt
And Chrysler had a car in the late 70s that had that top end and did
0-60 in less than 5. And it was tested at 53 mpg on GAS. They
aren't getting better but their PR is doing wonderful things on
paper. I am not just singling out the Orient. It's that way all
around for every company.
got a link to that 53 MPG '70s Chrysler?
Dang Jim, this was back around 1978 or 1980. The car was claimed by
Chrysler to get 47 hiway mileage. One of the car mags went along
with a Chrysler Driver as a passenger. The driver did some pretty
unique things that wouldn't be considered normal hiway driving but he
posted a 53 mpg on open road and 42 average. There is no way we
would drive that conservative. Can I find that again? Not without
a month of sundays looking at all the back issues of the Car Mags.
It wasn't hard to get the 37/47 mileage out of the little Plymouth
Champ (designed by Chrysler, built by Mitsubishi). It was the
forerunner to the Colt.
I did find this though: They aren't being kind to new cars on this
Some older cars that got really great miles per gallon were the Chevy
Sprint or Chevette, the Ford Escort, Pinto, and Fiesta, the Dodge
Colt, the Plymouth Champ, and any of the small Japanese imports.
These include Datsun, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota. One of the best
vehicles simply for economy was the old Chevy Luv pickup, which could
get up to 53 mpg on the highway.
Also, if you do a search for the Plymouth Champ it is claimed by
quite a few to get in the neighborhood of high 40s. One claims to
gat 52 but he must coast down hill alot. The Factory Driver did that
frequently in his test for the car mag.
The following are excellent mileage cars from 1981. You will note
that most are imports. And two had severe influence by the US
AMPG Cyl Disp DispCI Wt Yr
30.0 4. 135.0 84.00 2385. 81. 1."plymouthreliant"
39.1 4. 79.00 58.00 1755. 81. 3."toyotastarlet"
39.0 4. 86.00 64.00 1875. 81. 1."plymouthchamp"
35.1 4. 81.00 60.00 1760. 81. 3. "honda
32.3 4. 97.00 67.00 2065. 81. 3."subaru"37.0 4. 85.00 65.00 1975. 81. 3.
"datsun 210 mpg"
These are average MPG and you will note that all are above 30 and two
are pushing 40. Before 1981, there was no MGB in the fuel. And the
fuel mileage was even better. But records are hard to find as
complete as these. This was 2 years before the Colt was completely
redesigned and the champ name was dropped.
The champ went by many names, the Colt, the Cricket, the Arrow.
Funny, out of all these, the only one with any size was the Plymouth
Reliant which is a small panned K-Car along the lines of the Horizon.
Also known as the TC2 and a few other names. They first used a
stroker 1.7 VW motor. It was derived by stroking the VW1.6. Out of
all the cars above, the Reliant was the most complete car instead of
just a skateboard with an engine.I owned a Reliant and found it quite
roomy for a 4 banger. Of course I did come from tiny Chevy.
As far as I can find, not all Champs were made by Mitzubishi. There
was a time where Plymouth owned the plans and rights. Seems Mit was
trying to get rid of it. Plymouth saw it as a way to fight back
against tthe Toyotas and Datsun. It faired quite well as you can see
above. Getting 40mpg according to the Government means that it could
easily have reached 47 as Plymouth claimed. And by driving tricks,
it could reach 53 but you would probably be passed by amblatory
patients going up hill to get it. The Champ may not have been what
Plymouth claimed but it is mentioned in EVERY top MPG listing when
the full spectrum of years and cars are listed. And you were a
danged site more comfy than the Datsun 210. BTW, in defense of the
210, I owned one, liked it and bought a 310. One word, DON'T.
Now, let's compare those little cars to a prius. When I saw my first
Prius I didn't know whether it was something you ride in or something
you give your 7 year old to drive on the sidewalk. Man, that puppy
is small and tight. The cars above, not ONE are that small with the
exception of maybe the Honda Civic but I believe even it is larger.
How about 34mpg on the average accross many drivers and cars with
your knees touching your chin. You will also note that the testing is
different now. It's not real world driving anymore that is displayed
on those stickers. The rule of thumb now is that the real rating is
75% of what the EPA reports (and Toyota claims). Now, the EPA does
static testing for emissions and uses it's slide rule to come up with
the mileage figure. It's not real. So guess what, using the 75%, if
you reported 53 mpg in todays testing, it would be 39 in 1980. The
cars above are all real world driving figures by a EDU. Except the
1980 cars had more zip. The EPA did a revision on the newer Prius
and came up with 48mpg. Using the 75% rule, it would be 36 mpg by
1981 standards. Looks to me that we went a bit backward but we did
use Voodoo to get the favorable rating. But the new ones do sound
like they are going light speed with those nifty tuned forks.
And what rates right up there with th hybrids in average fuel
economy? You guessed it the Mini Cooper B that will run circles
around all of them. What's funny, the EPA claims it at 31 mpg while
test drives have it at 40. Hmm, Voodoo testing by the EPA in
I'll say it again, we aren't getting better but our Voodoo Math
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