ERJ staff report (LMH)
Tokyo - - Fuel economy is becoming a priority for Japanese car buyers and makers say the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).
Japan's car industry is driven by the word 'eco' in terms of green and recyclable, as well as in terms of fuel economy, according to a report on JAMA's website.
The report notes that there is almost a form of competition between manufacturers as to who can produce the most economical car.
Currently Japan's most successful eco-car is the Toyota Prius, which records what JAMA calls 'an exceptional high' of 38.0 km/l in Japan's 10.15-mode fuel cycle (2.63l/100km - Europe).
The 10.15-mode fuel cycle is used for comparison in the report, although JAMA recognises that this is becoming superseded by the more demanding JC08 cycle in Japan.
The report notes that the Honda Fit (Jazz), with its 24.5 km/l rating, was one of the best examples of fuel economy in the sector until last summer when an all-new version of the Nissan March (Micra) went on the market with a fuel rating that can reach 26 km/l.
At the end of 2010, Toyota unveiled an updated version of its Vitz (Yaris) model, which could reach high of 26.5 km/l in the 10.15-mode fuel cycle. Daihatsu's new Move scored a 27 km/l rating and the â€œ660 cc mini-wagon overnight took its place as Japan's most economical conventionally-engineered carâ€, according to JAMA's report. Other manufacturers are following suit: Suzuki's Swift XS has a rating of 23 km/l; Mitsubishi's i minicar achieves 21 km/l and Subaru's Trezia reaches 20 km/l.
Later in 2011, Mazda is expected to introduce its new Skyactiv-G engine in the Demio (Mazda2), which is intended to have 30 km/l fuel economy, say JAMA.
Overall, it shows that the trend in Japan is for cars that are more economical in terms of fuel, and that technology in the country is constantly adapting to meet these challenges.
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Press release from JAMA