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#1 Gerald Ryan

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 22:54

Over the holidays I've had the opportunity to sit outside with the laptop and read back over some of the earlier conversations and debates held on this forum. One interesting comment I came across (amongst many) related to US manufactured vehicles and CAFE rules.

The general sentiment was that CAFE and other rules caused the US car manufacturers to produce cars with certain specifications and attributes that complied with government fiat rather than what the customer desired at the time. Hence customers searched for the attributes they actually wanted and found them elsewhere. This led to an enormous growth in sales of SUVs and trucks and vans and 4x4s etc.

My question is this; what would US cars have been like in the absence of the CAFE regulations? Assuming they would have been of a specification and type that would have negated the need for SUVs etc to step into the breech (hence preventing the need for a strong growth of the population of those types of vehicle), what would the US car have been like? I know that cars would likely have changed progressively through the '70s, into the '80s and '90s as the economy and people's circumstances altered significantly. Perhaps it would be interesting to chart what the cars would have been like across that time span as the manufacturers responded to what they thought the market demanded.

I most interested to learn what people think about this. Please feel free to comment about all aspects including styling, size, packaging, performance, utility, handling, ride, powerplant/transmission, fwd/rwd/4wd, features, structure/chassis, suspension etc.

Regards

Gerald

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#2 cheapracer

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 07:40

uploadCAFE less car

#3 Powersteer

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 15:47

Originally posted by cheapracer
uploadCAFE less car

And the 3d software used?

:cool:

#4 McGuire

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 21:58

Originally posted by Gerald Ryan
Over the holidays I've had the opportunity to sit outside with the laptop and read back over some of the earlier conversations and debates held on this forum. One interesting comment I came across (amongst many) related to US manufactured vehicles and CAFE rules.

The general sentiment was that CAFE and other rules caused the US car manufacturers to produce cars with certain specifications and attributes that complied with government fiat rather than what the customer desired at the time. Hence customers searched for the attributes they actually wanted and found them elsewhere. This led to an enormous growth in sales of SUVs and trucks and vans and 4x4s etc.


That's not my sentiment. I have yet to see any convincing arguments or evidence for that theory, but if anyone would like to give it a go I'm all ears.

...the CAFE standards were not created by "government fiat." EPCA (the Energy Policy and Conservation Act) was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1975, mainly in response to the 1973-74 OPEC oil embargo. (This bill also created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.) However, the legislation still enjoys extremely broad public support and has been updated twice, most recently only weeks ago.

#5 Greg Locock

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 00:19

Well I wonder whether the move to FWD for full size sedans would have been so quick?

Wagons would still exist, and abominations like the Corvette 1st->4th shift would not exist.

Cars would generally be heavier, and tires would be less compromised towards rolling resistance.

#6 robroy

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 17:31

Originally posted by Powersteer
And the 3d software used?

:cool:


Ditto

#7 Gerald Ryan

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 17:57

Greg

Yes. I think that is likely to have been the case. FWD would not have been as common. I suspect there would have been more body on frame cars manufactured as well. Likely US cars would have been larger than they are presently.

Would there be more diesels, do you think?

Regards

Gerald

#8 Greg Locock

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 21:58

3d software - looks like rhino, which is free

No, I think there'd be even fewer diesels

#9 saudoso

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 02:07

3D - most likelly silo , a neat subdivision surfaces modeller, very cheap.

#10 Powersteer

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 04:29

Since when was rhino free???? oh and guys check out www.vtc.com for tutorials.

:cool:

#11 Greg Locock

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:52

Ha. That'll teach me. I was thinking of blender.