As gas prices begin to rise up to well above a national average of $3 a gallon (regular gasoline), consumers are becoming more financially strained by the cost of refueling. In an ongoing Technometrica Market Intelligence survey conducted last year, 63% of consumers pointed out that gasoline prices are "hurting" them financially, which helps explain why sales of hybrid vehicles increased 39% last year.
Automakers continue to roll out new fuel-efficient production vehicles, emphasizing their progress at major auto shows, yet one of the most recent newsmakers was the Loremo concept car that achieves a claimed 130–150 miles per gallon. The German automaker plans to begin production of the car for European markets in 2009 and for the United States a year later, according to a recent article posted on MSN Autos.com.
Details of the car's specs have been few, though two models are planned: An LS version powered by a 20hp, two-cylinder turbodiesel, and a GT that gets an additional 30hp from a three-cylinder engine—pushing it from 0–62 mph in less than 10 seconds. The car's total weight of around 1,300 pounds and 0.22 coefficient of drag helps it achieve its fuel economy ratings. Loremo says it will sell its base model in Europe for around $22,000, according to MSN.
Whether or not the Loremo ends up in the United States is debatable, but the demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles has not abated. Even specialty-equipment companies have latched onto the opportunity to serve consumer demand for fuel economy, as evidenced by the growing number of air filters/intakes and computer engine tuners entered into the performance-street section of the 2007 SEMA Show's New Products Showcase, up 66% from the previous year. Both of these products help improve the way fuel mixes with air prior to combustion, thus adding more miles driven per gallon of gasoline, as well as enhancing performance.
Source: "Loremo: The 'Low Resistance Mobile,'" Jacob Gordon, MSN Autos.com; SEMA Research and Information Center