Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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MPG Speed Limit

Set speed limit of each vehicle to its best MPG rating at that speed
  (+7, -8)
(+7, -8)
  [vote for,

In plainer English, the idea is that if you own a car or truck or other vehicle that can get 80 miles to the gallon of gas, while moving at 80 miles per hour, then then you are allowed to go 80 miles per hour in that vehicle. But if you only own a car that gets 15 mpg, at 15mph (and less mpg at any higher mph), then your max allowed speed in that vehicle would be 15mph. And so on.

Obviously impractical at the moment, the idea is actually to spur innovation, to bring out those "bought up and buried carburetors" or equivalent gadgets.

So the idea should be "phased in", such that all current vehicles are allowed to go up to the usual speed limits, but all new vehicles would be equipped with idenifiers indicating to all who see (traffic cops especially) what their max allowed speed is.

Obviously the auto manufacturers would have to stop trying to sell gas guzzlers! Equally obviously, buyers would enjoy the opportunity to once again cruise the Interstates at high speeds. (After all, the main reason for the current interstate speed limits was to save gas.)

Vernon, Mar 13 2002

For lumpy http://www.lucasvik...sissu4/mtsissu4.htm
The little engine that could [thumbwax, Mar 13 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

A healthy 4 cylinder (Honda) http://www.jgenginedynamics.com/main
JG Pro Series Honda B18C engine made 769 Bhp and 525 Lbs. of torque [scroll down a bit] [bristolz, Mar 14 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       To be fair there needs to be a 'per person' variable factored in. The extreme examples: a 15 passenger bus would only be able to go 6 MPH. a scooter (in theory :-) could go 120.
rbl, Mar 13 2002

       sorry if I missed something Vernon, but I thought mpg depends on mph anyway.
po, Mar 13 2002

       this is why we have transmissions. it's not the speed of the vehicle that's important as much as it is the speed of the engine (rpm). you can even buy cars that have a light on the dashboard telling you when to shift for better fuel economy. automatics are programmed this way, and many can be switched from "economy" to "power" mode and back again by the driver. the trick is to keep the engine in a very narrow rpm band where it's most efficient. continuously variable transmissions are best for this purpose, but they haven't really caught on yet.
mihali, Mar 13 2002

       What a great way to gum up traffic. Lanes will only go as fast as the slowest vehichle in them.   

       Then, once everyone's stuck in gridlock, the max speed limit will therefore be 0.   

       Also, I don't want to drive a glorified lawnmower posing as a car to work. Responsiveness as well as safety in a collision is more important to me than making my gas go farther. Most consumers agree.   

       In fact, I have vowed never to drive a 4-cylinder vehicle ever again.
lumpy, Mar 13 2002

       Apparently you've never driven a proper 4 cylinder vehicle - a well engineered engine equipped with a Turbo - Gets up to speed quick, good on gas. Croissant for what has to be the shortest idea ever posted by Vernon.
thumbwax, Mar 13 2002

       That could be, thumbwax, but every one so far has sucked lemons for me.   

       Minimums for me: 180 hp, weight 2800* lbs (the car, not me). *adj on second thought.
lumpy, Mar 13 2002

       Nah, actually I'm in excellent physical shape. I'm not an old geezer either, nor do I smoke.   

       I'm just your average young punk.
lumpy, Mar 13 2002

       Go ahead, UB, fishbone my choice of cars all ya want. It doesn't bother me.
lumpy, Mar 13 2002

       Thumbwax, thanks for the link, but it doesn't appear at first glance to meet my minimum weight requirement (for safety... it's nice to have basic physics on your side in a collision)
lumpy, Mar 14 2002

       You don't by any chance drive a 5,000lb Ford pickup, do you?
angel, Mar 14 2002

       Gives you a better chance of wiping out the opposition...I mean the unfortunate person you crash in to.
mcscotland, Mar 14 2002

       Get three fat chix...
thumbwax, Mar 14 2002

       subaru impreza turbo wrx ,2 litre 4 cylinder
are you saying 276 bhp 275ft/lb of torque isnt enough
edski, Mar 14 2002

       Vernon, could we perhaps prorate the speed limit of a given vehicle by a less drastic formula--a 30 mpg vehicle gets to go 60 mph, say? And really since we're proposing legislation that will never pass in the USA anyway, we should require manufacturers to install tamper-proof governors on vehicles based on the gas mileage.   

       (By tamper-proof I mean gidgets that incorporate substantial amounts of explosives and appropriate triggering sensors.)
Dog Ed, Mar 15 2002

       If you're aiming for economic travel, preventing a car from exceeding the speed at which it returns optimum fuel consumption is as silly as preventing it from travelling *below* that speed. A car might return 25 mpg at 20 mph, 30 mpg at 50 mph and 25 mpg at 70 mph. You want to forbid the high consumption at 70, but not the equally high consumption at 20 (which has the added disadvantage of clogging up the roads for a longer time).
angel, Mar 15 2002

       Phooey on anything that limits horsepower, speed, torque or the like, whether it be 4,6,8,10 or 12 cyl. They already have laws governing what is street legal. If you don't want a high performance street car don't get one. You want to drive slow and sane? Stay to the right, er uh left, depending on the country.   

       If someone wants to drive a '70 Hemi Cuda getting 8 MPG (at best) they are going to pay for it at the pump.
dag, Mar 16 2002

       Hate to say it, but lumpy's right. 4-cylinders are no fun, and the size of car they pull is dangerous. A deer hit me once when I was driving a KIA Sportage @ 60mph. Sure, it hit the front bumper first, but he ended up sitting beside me in the front seat.   

       I much prefer the added safety of a big fat nose and ghetto booty surrounding me when I'm flyin' to get somewhere. Vision/Intrepid/Concorde/LHS models are especially preferred. They only way 3400lb, all get over 200hp, and go 0-60 in less than 8 seconds. Not to mention they average 21mpg cruising, and still get 15mpg when you peel out at every light. Better mileage than that damn KIA! :o)   

       Just to be nice, though, here's a lil hint if you want performance but you're stuck w/ a 4-cylinder. USE HIGHER OCTANE GAS. I'm not talking about bumping up to 89. I'm talking about putting Sunoco 94 in that KIA Sportage and smokin' some tire.
#1Fan, Jun 21 2002

       #1Fan: Ever tried putting AVGAS in a ground vehicle ? It's (I recall) about 110 Octane. With surprisingly little retuning, you can get truly wonderful performance, right up to the point where your engine explodes. Sad but true. £500 and two months of lost weekends to rebuild the powerplant.
8th of 7, Jun 21 2002

       Avgas heck, use RACING FUEL! Between the alcohol the naptha and whatever else they put in that stuff, the first time you stomp on the gas it's likely to put a few spark plugs, (and maybe a piston or two) right through the hood! <ROTFLMAO>
Ivyonthewall, Oct 08 2002

       Race gas is expensive as hell. $6.75 a gal. at 76 last I checked. And don't be a fool, if you want to use it..use 76's race gas. it is unleaded (still contains SMALL amounts of lead), and so it won't destroy your valves, etc.. until about 50-60k miles.   

       my response to lumpy: Compensation, eh?   

       Getting rid of idiots like you would seriously improve the roadways. Wouldn't have large-ego'd a-holes cutting people off in their huge, gas-hogging "10-passenger-even-though-i'm-single-and-have-no-kids" wannabe tanks. Half the time on the highway I spend maneuveing around shitbricks like you. You guys are the usually the cause of those nice 2 hour gridlocks I always get stuck in, Simply cuz you think you own the road. That is, until my little 2400 lb. 250bhp baby makes you eat dust on an incline doing 90 mph like it aint shieeet.
j0n, Dec 27 2002

       A plus to this is, for large vehicles that contain many people, the driver would be forced to drive slower, since the gas mileage would most likely be much less, making it safer for all the people in the car, and any car they hit.   

       A downside could be car size. People would want to buy small cars, so, the mpg/person on the freeway might fall. Maybe mpg/person could dictate the speed instead (although, very hard to enforce).
nomel, Jun 10 2004


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