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Automakers Nudging 40 mpg – Even With Full-Size, Non-Hybrid Models

Can the internal combustion engine still deliver some surprises?

by on Nov.15, 2010

All versions of the new Hyundai Elantra will deliver at least 40 mpg, the Korean maker claims.

Pulling the wraps off the latest version of an all-new Elantra, which will make its formal debut in Los Angeles, later this week, Hyundai officials have announced the new model will deliver a minimum 40 miles per gallon when it hits market in 2011.

And that’s not just a special “eco” model, like the version of the new Chevrolet Cruze that will top the challenging 40 mpg barrier.  In fact, Hyundai’s U.S. chief executive, John Krafcik, says the company believes it is “do-able” to nudge its corporate average fuel economy up to 50 mpg, over roughly the next 15 years.

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But will that be enough?  Federal regulators, having already ordered the CAFE standard increased by more than 20%, to 35 mpg by 2016, are pushing even further, some proposing a 62 mile-a-gallon mandate by 2025.

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