Toyota sees 4.5 mpg, a 25% improvement... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2007, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Toyota sees 4.5 mpg, a 25% improvement...

I thought some parts of bit of this were interesting, but I was stunned that automakers were as blunt and open about how they view NASCAR's fans (see the last paragraph).

Car Engines: The Real Showstoppers At NASCAR Races
Engineers Are Pivotal Part Of Teams

By David Louie

SONOMA, Calif., Jun. 22, 2007 (KGO) - The Bay Area is the focus of this week's NASCAR racing action. The big names are here; Dale Earnhardt Junior, Jeff Gordon, but there's a host of behind the scenes people and technology who make the cars run. they're engineers.

Each of these race cars represents an investment of some $200,000. One-third of that is the engine -- the heart of the car. The rest goes toward other parts -- and engineering.

Engineers in the past five years have become an important part of the racing team.

Derrick Finley, Michael Waltrip Racing: "It's come a longs way. We used to rank right about the shop dogs. We've come a long way. We're up there. We start working with the crew chiefs now."

Derrick Finley has spent 12 years in racing, his team fields three cars here.

New restrictions on how much testing can be done on the track with racing tires, has led to more use of computer simulation. And that makes engineers valuable.

Derrick Finley: "We spend hours upon hours in the wind tunnels and doing center post studies, which is real live data. Then we actually do our simulation to try to validate our simulation."

When they find a way to improve steering, especially in turns, they try to keep it secret. but crews from competing teams work in tight quarters, making secrets tough to keep.

The result is that engineers are sometimes recruited away with offers to double, even triple their pay. It may surprise you that fuel efficiency is a major focus here. Earlier this season, Toyota's race cars were getting only three miles per gallon.

Lee White, Toyota Racing Development Senior V.P.: "Since then, we've not only brought the power of the engine up to be more competitive which you see in the results on the racetrack, but now our fuel mileage is better than four and a half miles per gallon, which is a dramatic increase of about 25-percent."

Does any of this technology trickle down to production cars -- the cars that you and I drive? The automakers say no, it's all about image, and selling trucks to the people who love NASCAR.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 08:27 AM
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Wow, 4.5 mpg from a carbureted engine. No wonder this "technology" doesn't tranfer to the street. It was state of the art 40 years ago.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 08:51 AM
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I don't think they had 900 horsepower small block V-8's that could run 4 or 5 hours at 9,500 RPM's, light enough for a couple of teenagers to lift, 40 years ago.

Still, I don't see the point in a lot of what NASCAR does from a tech standpoint. I think the rules are kept in the 60's because the old adage "If you spec it, you have to tech it" comes into play, and people who know how to tear apart modern computer-run engines are lots more expensive than BillyBob Buttfucker and his tobacco chewing budies from Hickory N.C. who are trained only in wearing bright yellow shirts, turning wrenches, and waving their fingers.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
I don't think they had 900 horsepower small block V-8's that could run 4 or 5 hours at 9,500 RPM's, light enough for a couple of teenagers to lift, 40 years ago.
The only technological improvements have been in aerodynamics, allowing them to run that kind of power. Same in drag racing, there's always been enough power.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 08:35 PM
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What is amazing to me is that they just converted to UNLEADED fuel this year. I can't imagine the amount of dain bramage that has been done with all the Leaded Gas that has been huffed over the past 30 years since the rest of the world figured out that Lead kills.

What I think would be interesting would be to see what a NASCAR car gets in fuel economy running at 75 mph on one of the tracks.


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