LIFE Magazine August 1980 – Auto Manufacturing
You can click on any of these for a larger view that should be readable.
Although that recession was of the more normal cyclical variety, it was clear there were problems ahead in the U.S. auto industry that weren't being addressed. One of those threats was, of course, Toyota and their high MPG vehicles:
The Corolla was getting 41 MPG highway, which is just about what my company car Prius was getting. It's a bit of an aside, but I drove a Prius for two years in my previous job and I was NOT impressed — that will be addressed in a future blog post.
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yeah, I don't really like the prius either.
a major driver to the decrease of mpg over the years in japanese cars is crash protection. mpg is adversely affected by designing cars that stand up to crash testing. that old corolla would get destroyed (and the driver with it) in a head-on, but you could most likely walk away from a head-on in the Prius.
plus, that corolla was way noisier to drive than the prius. sound insulation is heavy.
the enemy of high MPG is the the Weight: Noise insulation, ABS, crash equipment, air-con, electric windows, bigger batteries for all electric equipments, bigger electric consumption… In addition hybrid car are not lighter. 1 fuel engine + 1 electric engine + power electronic + batteries…