Tighter fuel standards to herald the end of the American SUV? Iconic Jeep Wrangler to ‘go on a serious diet using aluminum body panels’ due to mandated federal weight savings regulations


By: - Climate DepotDecember 3, 2013 3:47 PM with 1 comment

In 2012, The Obama administration released new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, requiring automakers to raise the average fuel efficiency of new cars and trucks to an “historic 54.5 MPG” by 2025.

The new fuel standards are part of the Obama Administration’s “national program to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” But the impact on cars and trucks will be to make smaller, lighter and thus potentially less crash worthy vehicles.

One analyst has described the potential impact of the new CAFE standards:

“The auto industry has not raised the expected squawks — could this be because the Obama administration has shown no hesitation to use its loan power to force out top management, like it did with Rick Wagoner of General Motors? Expect the effect of this new standard to impact heavily on SUVs. Though there is some lip service being paid to consumer choice, in reality, auto manufacturers will be forced to make smaller, more efficient cars and to concentrate their efforts on hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. CAFE standards won’t affect used SUVs or the SUV that you already have in your driveway — but enjoy them while you can.”

The Jeep Wrangler is but one example of the impacts these new federal regulations are set to unleash. 

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4

Excerpts via Auto Blog: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/10/29/2016-jeep-wrangler-to-ditch-solid-axles-to-save-weight/

2016 Jeep Wrangler to ditch solid axles to save weight?

By Jeffrey N. Ross

Hey, Jeep fans. If you think the idea of a funky-looking, car-based Cherokee revival is offensive, have a listen to what might be in store for the next-gen Jeep WranglerAutomotive News is reporting that as Jeep develops the 2016 Wrangler, weight reduction is a crucial target, and the Wrangler’s rugged solid axles could be sacrificed in the name of better fuel economy.
We’ve already heard the next Wrangler will go on a serious diet using aluminum body panels and an air suspension system, so the idea of a four-wheel independent suspension setup for this OG SUV isn’t all that surprising.

There are probably still a couple years before we’ll start hearing any concrete details about the 2016 Wrangler, at which time it will be interesting to see how stricter fuel economy and crash safety regulations have been balanced with traditional Wrangler cues like its removable doors and roof and folding windshield.

Related Links:

SUV sales booming! Jeep Wrangler so popular Chrysler to add workers: ‘Sets sales record; up 44%’ –’Chrysler is struggling to keep up with demand’

Meanwhile: NY Times: ‘Electric car sales have so far ranged from disappointing to dismal’

Dec. 2, 2012: Jeep Wrangler Earns Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Award: ‘Not only did the Jeep Wrangler recently top its class in Kelley Blue Book’s Best Resale Value Awards for the fourth straight year but for the third year in a row it also finished in the top 10 of all vehicles on the market.’

Watch Now: Climate Depot’s Morano on Fox News on electric cars vs. SUVs/Trucks: ‘Americans want cars that are practical, big, safe. They don’t want to make anemic political statements driving around in these small electric cars’ – Morano: ‘The SUV and the gas guzzlers reign supreme in the American auto market… The federal government cannot mandate consumer choice…The SUV is going to continue to be squeezed in the coming decade as the fuel economy standards get higher and higher’

Watch Now: Climate Depot’s Morano on Fox News in Electric Car Debate: ‘In Europe, the UK and Ireland have more charging station than cars…Consumers do not want them’ – Morano:  ‘Even green environmentalists are questioning electric cars, Toyota is pulling back. The Wash. Post is rejecting them, callilng them an ‘expensive myth’ – Watch here.

Watch Now: Climate Depot’s Morano on Fox with Neil Cavuto on Electric Cars and the War on Coal: ‘The avg. household can increase their electric load 50% (when charging electric cars)Morano: ‘Pres. Obama as part of his new climate initiative wants to have a war on coal which will further tax the electric grid…So we have a contradictory energy policy here that may lead to future brownouts.’

Flashback: Neil Cavuto of Fox News credits Climate Depot with exposing electric car failures: ‘Thank you Marc. You were way ahead of this young man’

Watch Now: Climate Depot’s Morano discusses folly of electric cars Obama mandates on Cavuto’s Fox News program – Prof.: ‘Why electric cars are really coal cars’: ‘The electric car is harvesting in terms of well-to-wheel miles only about 27% of original fossil fuel energy, so not that much better than the standard car running on petrol or diesel’

Watch Now: Climate Depot’s Morano on Fox News in Electric Car Debate: ‘In Europe, the UK and Ireland have more charging station than cars…Consumers do not want them’ – Morano:  ‘Even green environmentalists are questioning electric cars, Toyota is pulling back. The Wash. Post is rejecting them, callilng them an ‘expensive myth’ – Watch here.

Climate Depot’s report: Electric/Hybrid car industry loses power in the face of market reality and lack of consumer demand – Washington Post on Chevy Volt: ‘The basic theory— if you build them, customers will come — was a myth. And an expensive one, at that’

 


  • whe3

    The CAFE loophole which encourages carmakers to produce SUVs instead of station wagons has always been stupid.