It's okay, gas is still cheap...for now.
There’s a double-edged sword to getting some of the high performance press cars that automakers occasionally send our way. On the one hand, lucky journalists at the CarBuzz offices get to play with a high horsepower toy all week but on the other, the price of gas (and sometimes tires) becomes a concern, especially with some of the larger displacement options around. That’s why Auto Express took to the roads in a Vauxhall Maloo LSA, a not for America sedan that features GM’s 6.2-liter V8 pushing 536 horsepower, to figure out how to drive efficiently.
Most of the tactics suggested center around one thing: prudence with the throttle. It’s easier said than done because many times, it’s a gearhead that opts to spend the extra dough on a V8 muscle car. The thing with enthusiasts is that they tend to like to drive fast, using their large displacement supremacy to shame slow and unassertive drivers and taking advantage of every green light to add victory notches to their belts. However, just like drugs or cigarettes, a fuel habit can get nasty when it begins to cut away finances for some of the more crucial parts of life like food and shelter. To curtail the addiction, the first tip is to reduce any unnecessary idling. This means no cold starts, just get in, start up and go.
If anything, the natural reaction to hold off until the engine is warm will help squeeze a few extra miles out of the tank. For those with cars that have a stop/start system, turn it on. Next up is to use the highest gear possible. This is easier for those with automatic transmissions, but purists with a manual may need to exercise restraint. Third is to anticipate the flow of traffic and attempt to avoid unnecessary acceleration. The good thing about powerful muscle cars is that most have enough torque available at the low end to pass without causing a fuel-thirsty ruckus. Fourth is to reduce weight and streamline. This is something that’s easy for gearheads because it has the two-pronged benefit of cutting fuel consumption and making the car faster.
Lastly, and similarly as easy for enthusiasts to pull off, is to keep the engine maintained. A dirty and unmaintained engine is not only bad for quarter mile times, it sucks up more fuel in the process. That’s why it’s important to check and make sure the oil isn’t old or low and that the belts, hoses, and other easily worn parts are functioning properly. Aside from the bullet points that preserve performance, the tips on this list may not seem too relevant when the average price of gas in the US sits at $2.13 per gallon. When that changes, you’ll want to have these tips in mind. Do your part to preserve our muscle cars.