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Old 19th September 2011, 17:18   #91
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

@sgiitk: +1 to the above comment, the lag makes it like driving a diesel car and therefore one can stall the turbo petrol before getting the hang of it.
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Old 19th September 2011, 18:40   #92
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

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Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
@sgiitk: +1 to the above comment, the lag makes it like driving a diesel car and therefore one can stall the turbo petrol before getting the hang of it.
I don't think turbo lag creates any stalling issues.

Petrol cars are losing preference due to rising cost of petrol. THe only way petrol cars can fight back is if they can become more fuel efficient.

Turbo charging the petrol engines is one way of doing that.
THe advantage with a turbo petrol engine is that it allows the engine to develop more power with a smaller displacement engine. This makes the engine more fuel efficient without sacrificing on power output. The lag may be similar to diesel engines, but unlike turbo diesels, turbo petrols can rev all the way up to 6k or 6.5k rpm without running out of breath. Meaning the power does not taper off like the turbo diesels at higher rpms.

Of course, instant power delivery is the sacrifice. That is the one thing I miss on my Laura TSI. The non linear power does require some getting used to. But the thrill it delivers when it revs up to its redline is something I cannot describe. It has to be experienced.
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Old 19th September 2011, 18:59   #93
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post

Petrol cars are losing preference due to rising cost of petrol. THe only way petrol cars can fight back is if they can become more fuel efficient.
Turbocharging a smaller-capacity engine is not the ONLY way to make a petrol engine more efficient.

Fiat has introduced a new technology that should revolutionize the way petrol engines might work in the future:

In the beginning of July 2010, Italian manufacturer Fiat announced a premiere for the European market: the 900cc, two cylinder gasoline engine. Fitted, for now, onto the Fiat 500, the tiny powerplant is supposed to be a game changing technology, one which takes the downsizing trend in the automotive industry to a whole new level.

Fiat plans to fit the unit into several other upcoming models in the near future. Until then, however, we thought you'd like a closer look into the technologies which allow such a small engine to develop if not more, that at least as much power as much bigger engines available in Europe.


THE TECHNOLOGY

TwinAir takes its name from Fiat Powertrain Technologies' (FTP) MultiAir technology. It basically ensures air control in spark ignition engines without using the throttle valve. Air, as you know, is one of the main ingredients needed by an engine to run. In conventional engines, the volume and pressure of the air in the cylinders is controlled with the help of the aforementioned throttle valve. This configuration makes the engine lose about 10 percent of input energy, used to pump the air from a lower to a higher intake pressure.

In MultiAir's case, Fiat implemented an electro-hydraulic valve actuation system (inspired from the Common Rail technology), which uses a high pressure chamber, fitted in between the cam and engine intake valve. The volume of the oil inside the chamber can by adjusted through an on-off solenoid valve controlled via its own electronic unit.

By doing so, Fiat's system is capable of controlling the air mass and its pressure in each cylinder and at every stroke of the pistons.

THE ENGINE

The TwinAir engine has an exact displacement of 875cc. It has 2 cylinders, with 8 valves each and a 10:1 compression ratio. FTP, the masterminds behind the two cylinder unit, say they have precisely optimized the unit to ensure minimal engine friction. The turbocharged engine gets duel into its pistons thanks to a multipoint injection system. All its components are so light, the entire unit weighs only 85 kg.

The unit is capable, in its least powerful version, of developing 85 hp at 5,500 rpm. The total torque developed by TwinAir is 155 Nm at 2,000 rpm. The torque is being kept at constant levels until the engine reaches 3,500 rpm.

BENEFITS

Being so small, the engine has remarkable fuel consumption figures. In the Fiat 500, the engine eats up to 4.9l/100 km (48 mpg) in the city for the manual transmission version and 4.6l/100 (51 mpg) for the unit paired with a Dualogic gearbox.

This achievements in fuel consumption are not the engine's merit alone. They are also supported by the employment of a start/stop technology fitted standard on the 500 TwinAir. In the manual transmission version, the Gear Shift Indicator tells the driver exactly when to change gears so that it gets the most out of the unit with as little fuel as possible.

Having such low fuel consumption figures, the unit also emits less CO2 into the air. Some 30 percent less, Fiat calculated, than even bigger engines with the same output. The carmaker plans to turn the unit into a hybrid as well, by slapping a 5 kW electric motor on it. This would make it even much more frugal, giving the TwinAir a fuel consumption figure of 2.3l/100 km (100 mpg) and emission levels in the 70 grams per kilometer range.

APPLICATION

As said, the unit is currently fitted on the 500 model and will go on sale this September. Despite the small size and the low appetite for fuel, the TwinAir is capable of propelling the car from a standstill to 60 mph in 11 seconds. Not quite the fastest car out there, but then again that's as fast as bigger engines are capable of propelling much bigger low cost cars.

Here is a video that helps you understand how the engine works:

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Old 19th September 2011, 21:00   #94
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

Other than these all points, one more thing for petrol heads to cheer about is that it is now a luxury to drive a petrol car

"Car is no longer a luxury; petrol is!"

Last edited by bluevolt : 19th September 2011 at 21:05.
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Old 21st September 2011, 18:38   #95
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

I have a bajaj avenger 200 which gives a fuel economy of 30-31 (I drive it like a sportsbike)

My family at home has a swift vxi 2005 and a figo tdci 2011 (Mileage 20).

The running cost for the bike is around 2.43 Rs/km (petrol in hyd now 73)
The running cost for the figo at home is 2.2 Rs/km (Diesel in chandigarh is 44)




But I would agree, I felt helpless while driving the figo on the highway. Not much sporty after 140. But wasn't disappointed in the hills, as low end torque is required and also timing the overtake with the turbo kick gives immense pleasure.

Last edited by vivek_vt : 21st September 2011 at 19:05. Reason: Adding information
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Old 21st September 2011, 19:09   #96
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

The difference of price of petrol in Indian between highest and lowest is Rs. 15.XX. Highest is 74.XX (Many states) and Lowest is 59.XX in Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar). (Source: Rediff.com)

What the hell that make this difference in petrol in single country. It is high time that all state should pay same price to petrol everywhere. For what purpose central government is for?

Sometimes back crude oil prices came down heavily but no one bothered to lower the petrol prices. Now they are giving excuse of Rupee Weakness for rising petrol price.

Driving petrol car now not easy and major chunk of monthly budget would go filling in gas stations.
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Old 21st September 2011, 19:22   #97
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

For those having petrol cars and intending to move 1 or more of them to diesel, it would make sense to have a hard look at their past usage to know if at all there is any benefit in trading in a no-hassle, EMI-free car to get a car that could come with its own issues (esp. if pre-owned), apart from hefty EMIs.

We have an all-petrol garage at home and our usage is so low as to not merit trading any of them for a diesel.
- Baleno : 52000 in 6.5 years = 670kms per month (was higher, but with frequent WorkFromHome, has come down)
- A-Star : 5000 in 10months = 500kms per month
- M800 : 70000 in 12.65years = 460kms per month
- Swift : 22000 in 4.5 years = 400kms per month

But for those who are buying their 1st car or trading in their existing car for a new one (for upgrading, not for fuel), it could be a tough decision. My friend wants to sell his Alto and get a new hatch. He has booked a Swift-ZDi, but his mind keeps thinking of Jazz, Ritz-P, Swift-P, Etios-P etc. I would be confused too in his place. His Alto has less than 20K kms in more than 4 years and this data does not warrant a diesel, but he is worried about rising petrol costs.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 21st September 2011 at 19:24.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 13:58   #98
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

Retain the Existing Car.

That's exactly what I did. I purchased a Chevy Spark in 2008 and my running was very low. I managed 35 K over 3 years.

Changed my job this August and now I have to drive daily from Thane to Malad (via Godhbunder Road). So I worked out the math.

1. I have a car loan for 5 years. 2 more years to go and if I have to foreclose it, I have to pay a lakh.

2. After paying that 1 lakh, I will need to sell my car, and considering the resale for petrol models, I was not expecting over 1.2 or 1.5 lakh max.

3. Add to it the cost of a new diesel car + down payment + insurance + EMI's.

I finally invested 32K and converted my car to CNG and I am doing good.

Seriously, if you have a petrol car and are pinched by the petrol prices, shift to CNG. You will benefit.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 16:47   #99
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

I just got my monthly credit card bill. It read 16K
And today got my detailed bill which says I have filled the car full tank on 4 occasions within 25 days. (2 Mysore trips, and one Mangalore-Udupi trip)
That makes it close to 11K on petrol this month alone.

But should I worry? I guess not:

My car has run ~15K Kms in 10 months now, and taking today's Petrol diesel price gap, I would have spent 90K on one years fuel
And if it were diesel, I would have only spent 51K for all those Kms

So, a clean 39K more this year alone on running costs. (I will keep this a little low as petrol was not 75 all this while as it climbed from 62 a year back)

In any case, I will have lost 35K this year alone.

But my car (Petrol Figo) was 1.28 L cheaper as compared to Figo Diesel.
And considering my EMIs and preclosure, I saved a clean 1.4 lakhs approx over Figo diesel.

At the rate of 35K difference, I would only start reaping benefits of the diesel vehicle only in the year 2015.

And I am sure that diesel cars will not continue to enjoy the subsidies until end of 2014.
If its till does, I still am not losing anything, unless the gap widens to an alarming level which the government will not allow.

This is my case where I bought my car in 2010 december.
And if one is planning to sell of their petrol car for a diesel just for the sake of cheap diesel, I would say that the person must be driving his car more than a taxi to justify his decision.

And someone said that the world was going to end in 2012, so keep your petrol and Keep revving
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Old 22nd September 2011, 20:32   #100
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Red face Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

Hi all,

This is an interesting thread. I don't exactly have a petrol car, but still here goes:

I have a Honda Dio which I use for commuting within the city. Because of the ever increasing petrol prices, my mind always wanders off to the thought "what if a drive a diesel hatch instead of my scooter?"

My dio gives a mileage of ~35 kmpl in the city. Now let's assume I travel 100km in my scooter

100/35kmpl = 2.85 litres of petrol = 2.85*70 = Rs.200 or Rs.2/km
Scooter Disadvantages - Back breaking ride over Ernakulam potholes; Exposed to Dust & Smoke while travelling inside the city; Rain and bad weather can play spoilsport; Unsafe when compared to travelling in a car; Can't carry stuff; Seats only two

Scooter advantages - Auto transmission; Easy to park; Can weave through traffic

Now if I were using a diesel hatch instead of the scooter

Travelling 100km assuming 16 kmpl mileage in the city = 100/16 = 6.25 liters of diesel = 6.25*44 = Rs.265 or Rs.2.65 per km
Car Advantages: Free from dust and smoke; air condition; MUCH more comfortable than a 2-wheeler; Seats 4-5; Safer than a two wheeler; No worries of bad weather; Can carry all the stuff I want

Car Disadvantages - Manual transmission, Parking is harder than a 2-wheeler; Slower through traffic

Now looking at the narrow picture - for Rs.0.65 extra per KM, I get air conditioning, shielding from dust and smoke, much more safety than a 2-wheeler, much more comfort, an additional seating capacity for 3-4 persons (versus 1 in the two wheeler), a boot to carry things - at the cost of missing the convenience of gear-less motoring in the city and ease of parking - but I'm pretty sure I would be ready to look past these shortcomings as the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

Now looking at the broad picture - A diesel hatch costs Rs.5,00,000. A scooter costs Rs.50,000.

Naturally, the cost of upkeep of the car is going to be more, but I guess modern diesel engines are much more reliable and niggle free - so regular maintenance should suffice. Plus, the intangibles like the comfort and safety aspect cannot be equated in figures and varies from person to person.


And the car can be used in the highway as well - oops.. now I'm starting to beat the purpose of my comparison here - which was a scooter vs car in the city - but the thought of Highway reminded me of a recent visit to Kottayam with my friends.

We were a group of 4 and went by bus. The cost of tickets to and fro came to around Rs.80 per person, Rs.320 total. Upon reaching Kottayam, all of us were feeling queasy thanks to the bone-jarring bus ride. Now if we had traveled in a diesel car -

Distance to and fro - 70 * 2 = 140km
I'm guessing a diesel hatch gives greater mileage on the highway - around 19kmpl

140km/19kmpl = 7.35L diesel = 7.35*44 = Rs.323!!

narrow picture - For the same cost as a back-breaking and humid bus ride, we could have gone in air conditioned comfort listening to Linkin Park/Coldplay/whatever...

broad picture - again the Rs.5,00,000 and all and the argument that the Rs.5,00,000 can be put in a fixed deposit and we could have hired a cab - but I guess us TeamBHPians won't be falling for that as we live to drive

So the next time, I am on my scooter sweating and coughing with a back ache and trying to eke out the max kmpl possible or when I emerge from a roller coaster bus-ride - my mind will automatically shift to the narrow perspective of driving a diesel vehicle instead and I feel that is what most people's mind will be focused on - they won't bother with the broader details mentioned above - as the benefits of driving a diesel vehicle will be immediately felt; as opposed to the long term costs/negatives.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 20:56   #101
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

Excellent post GG! I had no idea the running cost of a bike is comparable to that of a diesel car. Like I said, once the car is bought (sunk cost) it's mostly the visible running cost that hits you. Owing a diesel car has never made more sense than right now!
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Old 22nd September 2011, 21:43   #102
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Excellent post GG! I had no idea the running cost of a bike is comparable to that of a diesel car.
Hi noopster,

A while back, my friend shared his thoughts on the bike vs diesel car cost equation. He was using a Honda Unicorn for his daily commute. After he bought a Swift Diesel, the Unicorn has been sitting in his house. The reason being that the car was only slightly more expensive than the bike when it came to fuel costs and that he was no longer feeling exhausted after travelling in the city.

It's really an eye-opener that the petrol prices have put the 2-wheeler in a precarious position -a few years back it would have been an automatic choice for city commute.

Speaking of automatic, just think about a diesel hatch/midsize saloon with a CVT automatic transmission (the CVT Corolla gives more mileage than the manual, so why not on a diesel?) - now that would really give the bikes a run for the money as far as city commute is concerned! But like we have been clamouring for a sub 8 lakh diesel 4x4, I doubt anything like this will make its way to our market soon

Come to think of it I have never seen a CVT in a diesel car, so is it technically feasible?


Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Like I said, once the car is bought (sunk cost) it's mostly the visible running cost that hits you. Owing a diesel car has never made more sense than right now!
Modern day diesels are so much more reliable than before and they keep on raising the bar for fuel economy and performance. The old gripes with diesels being too noisy, high on maintenance and low on power do not hold true today and as long as the petrol prices keeps increasing, the faster one will recover the initial higher investment on a diesel car - so you are bang on when saying that now is the best time to think of owing a diesel car!

Last edited by Games Goblin : 22nd September 2011 at 21:47.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 22:23   #103
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

^^This is a classic case of missing the wood for the trees, looking at the fuel cost alone. Even that would go haywire the moment you replace the Dio with a Splendor! And if you include the total ownership cost to calculate the per KM cost, a two wheeler will simply blow the car away.

The present difference between the cost of Petrol and Diesel is unsustainable and somewhere in the future Diesel car owners will lose their pound of flesh. All calculations, including re-sale, will go for a six then.

So it would make sense to buy a diesel car in the following scenarios only, IMO;

a) Buying a new car for the first time.
b) If it is time to upgrade an existing car anyway.

I feel it would be imprudent to change an existing, good petrol car just for the fuel price difference.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 22:29   #104
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post

I feel it would be imprudent to change an existing, good petrol car just for the fuel price difference.
+1,

And if one really cannot bear the petrol price then CNG conversion is the best way to save some bucks instead of selling the current car and getting a diesel. .
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Old 22nd September 2011, 23:08   #105
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Default Re: Does it make sense to retain petrol cars, considering the frequent fuel hikes?

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Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
I love to go on long drives and thanks to the congestion in cities the car is become a tourer only. considering the usage "petrol" is for sure going to burn a hole in the pocket esp on long drives..
NO emi on your car is kind of honeymoon period for you. But if you love going long drives then diesel is the way to go. As long as you have a petrol car, with the current petrol price it will be very difficult for you to decide on any long drives.

I was in a very similar situation 5 months back. I had a 5 year old WagonR, 62K on ODO, with no EMIs. Even I love long drives, but the petrol price was not allowing me for long drives. Hence finally decided to move to a diesel car and ended up with Dzire. One more reason for a new car was, I moved from Hyderabad to Bangalore and hence need to register the car here which will cost around 50K. Now I am enjoying my long drives.

So, if you are going to think on the financial part then you will have to retain this petrol car. If you are looking for fun part of long drives, then go for a diesel car. This will give you the freedom to decide on long drives.
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