These days the folks on the coasts are again leading the way in energy conservation. The aisles for LED lights at Fry’s Electronics and Home Depot are growing every week. I just finally got my parents to upgrade to CFL in their house, so maybe LED is next for them.
On the automotive front, trying to find a hybrid at any dealer is difficult at best. The hot new BMW X5 diesel which gets a combined 23 MPG in real live testing, has a five to seven week waiting list depending on what dealer you talk with. My friends at Concord BMW received a shipment of four diesel X5’s when I was there last Thursday and every single one had a sold sign hanging from the mirror.
What surprised me was the availability of the 335d. This is a great car with more torque and off the line power than the standard 3 series. Go faster and save gas, if that isn’t a true California car, what is? BMW is already known for their ability to squeeze more horsepower out of every drop of gas then any other manufacturer. When I bought my 2002 3 series wagon, I did so simply because it was much faster and used less fuel than a Honda Civic. I even wrote two major car magazines to make sure I wasn’t confusing the numbers with the larger Accord
The BMW 335d has 425 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm. While this might not mean a lot to most people, the translation is simple. When you are merging on the freeway and the 18 wheeler isn’t even thinking about the brakes, all you need to do is give a little push on the gas pedal and the rig shrinks in the rear view mirror. That is what 425 lb-ft of torque is a car this light means. Just for comparison, that is more than a Corvette, Dodge Challenger SRT8 or the new BMW M3!
A combined fuel economy of 27 mpg is a significant accomplishment. If you do a lot of highway commuting, you might end up using less fuel than a hybrid since you aren’t lugging those heavy batteries around. Besides, the 335d is still a BMW and fun to drive, and can run on biodiesel or peanut oil if you are in a jam.
The part I can’t figure out is why there are so many sitting at dealers waiting for a home. Is it because we are all in line for our X5 and never noticed the little diesel hotrod in the window?