Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Shane asks: Do you know anything about or have any opinions about the rumored 100 MPG carburetor? I remember hearing about it as a kid. Thanks!
My reply: I heard about it, too. The theory behind it, apparently, has to do with vaporizing the fuel (as opposed to the largely liquid gas droplets dispensed by a carburetor) so as to greatly increase the energy actually used as opposed to wasted. Fuel injection works on the same general principle; i.e., the gasoline is pressurized to create a mist which is then sprayed into the combustion chamber.
But while the droplets are finer, they are still not quite vapor.
I’m not sure as to how, exactly, the 100 MPG carburetor vaporized the fuel (which would be in unpressurized liquid form in the carb’s bowl). Maybe someone reading this will chime in . . . ?
What I do know is that fuel economy could be close to 100 MPG with known fuel-delivery technology. The chief reason it’s not is because of weight and the main reason for that is government – the regulations pertaining to “safety.”
Consider a new car such as the Hyundai Accent, which can reach 40 MPG on the highway. This car weighs about 2,700 pounds. What kind of mileage would it be capable of – all else being equal – if it weighed 1,700 pounds?
Probably close to 60 MPG.
But wait. If this car weighed 1,700 pounds rather than 2,700 pounds, it would not need the same size (and output) engine to maintain the same performance. A smaller, less powerful engine would use less gas, bumping the gas mileage up, again.
Now imagine a 1,200 pound car – with an appropriately sized engine. It might not be “safe” – in the government sense, meaning if you crash it into something, you stand a greater chance of being hurt – but it does not mean you will crash, or are more likely to crash.
And it would likely mean 70 or 80 MPG.
Maybe even 100!
. . .
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