RSportsCars Automotive Editor
In the age of cylinder deactivation, high-efficiency diesels and low boost turbocharging for fuel economy purposes, modern go-fast cars need be gas guzzlers no longer. We at RSports are constantly on the lookout for lustworthy transportation machines we can actually afford to operate. Here is a roundup of sports cars heavy on thrills and easy on the wallet at the pump.
The Chevrolet C7 Corvette - Promising Gains in Good V8 Gas Mileage
Despite their always-thrilling big displacement American performance pedigree, Corvettes have a reputation for burning rubber, silk shirts, gold chains and terrible gas mileage. The latest generation Corvette, introduced for the **2008 model year, has smashed most of these conventions. Mileage for the C7 Corvette is a more-than-respectable 26 mpg by EPA estimates in Z06 trim, numbers that were unheard of as 400+ horsepower cars go just a few years ago.
Chevrolet parent company General Motors Corp. accomplishes this mildly remarkable feat through the use of the same cylinder deactivation technology that has been used with great success for Chevy and GM trucks.
In the case of the Corvette, a Chevy small block rated at so much power does not need all eight glorious cylinders for cruising on the highway at 70 mph or coasting through bumper-to-bumper traffic. A step on the gas puts full power to the wheels instaneously, letting Chevy Corvette owners have their gas mileage and eat it too.
2009 Audi A5 2.0 TFSI - The Ultra High-Tech Approach to Turbocharging
As a maker of fine luxury sports sedans currently enjoying good sales in a downturned industry, Volkswagen/Audi has the cash flow for significant R&D toward alternative powertrains and ways to sip every ounce of precious fossil fuel during every burnout.
The new Audi A5, critically acclaimed for its breath-of-fresh-air styling and driving dynamics, is now a technology showcase for the powerful combination of twin-scroll turbocharging with valvelift technology, putting power to the flywheel in combination with direct injection.
Audi has been slowly perfecting the art of turbocharged 4-cylinder engines for many years. Modern engine management technology as well as micromanaged fuel injection systems, based wholly on how much power the driver requires at any given time, has given the A5 some truly impressive gas mileage numbers.
While running 0-60 in under 7 seconds and reaching a German automaker agreement-limited top speed of 155 mph, the turbo four A5 pulls off EU a 42.8 combined-cycle mpg rating.
2009 BMW 330d - Stellar Gas Mileage from a New Generation of Cleaner Diesels
For years, some European automakers have shunned exporting popular diesel cars to the American market, due to extremely stringent emissions regulations and consumer image.
The Germans are leading the charge toward bringing real performance cars with torquey, clean diesel engines for worldwide markets. The benefits of oil-burners are many, especially in modern times where they are much less noticable to the driver than the stink emanating from the tailpipe of the Peugeot wagon in your grandmother's driveway.
The twin-turbo 3.0 liter diesel used in the 330d, which will be known as the 335d when it comes to American markets next year, produces 286 horses and a superfluous 383 lb-ft. of torque that comes at 1750 rpm. Better still, the engine is extremely clean burning as any fossil fuel engines go, let alone diesel motors.
Performance meets or exceeds that of the twin-turbo 3.0 gas motor from BMW, so customers willing to get over their preconceived notions about diesel engines are in for a great gas mileage versus performance bargain.