Remember that kid in class who would always ask the teacher for more homework? That, apparently, was the role Hyundai was seeking earlier this week when it boasted it could not only meet new government fuel economy standards, but would do so several years ahead of schedule.
Hyundai said it can reach a fleet fuel economy average of 35 mpg by 2015 – five years early – without even resorting to hybrids or other expensive methods. Instead, said research and development chief Lee Hyun-Soon, Hyundai will refocus on building smaller, lighter cars, and will rely on advanced, if conventional technologies like eight-speed transmissions and direct injection to reach its target.
Automakers have claimed in near unison that the new CAFE regulations, set at 35 mpg by 2020, are far too stringent.; Toyota joined the Big Three last year in fighting the regulations as they passed through Congress, and companies have recently argued against the interim target of 31.6 mpg by 2015.
Source: Wall Street Journal