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Hybrid Fuel Economy

Your article on hybrids had this statement: "However, manufacturers - including pioneers Toyota and Honda – are now frequently fitting much more powerful hybrid drivelines to otherwise conventional cars. These cars achieve performance similar, or in some cases even better, than ICE-powered equivalent cars but have relatively poor absolute fuel economy and emissions figures."

This would have made a lot more sense if specific models were used such as the failed Honda Accord hybrid. But instead, I instantly thought of the Toyota Camry and could not understand:

What does "relatively poor absolute fuel economy and emissions figures" mean? In North America, the EPA ratings for the Camry shows:

MPG / emissions (10 is best)
25 / 6 - Camry 2.4L, automatic or manual
34 / 8 - Camry hybrid

A 36% mileage improvement, 9/25, and a 33% improvement in emissions, 2/6, is pretty impressive in my book and far, far from "poor absolute fuel economy and emissions." What sort of improvement is necessary? What other technology comes close with the equivalent range and speed?

If the paragraph in that article read something along the lines of "hybrids are not a panacea" for all models, I would agree especially if the hybrid architecture does not fit well with the vehicle weight and expected usage. But instead, the wording suggests something that doesn't seem quite accurate.

Bob Wilson
United States

"Absolute" does not mean comparative! You are making comparisons of cars with and without hybrid drivelines. We were saying that today quite a few hybrids have lousy fuel consumption in ABSOLUTE terms. For example, any of the SUV hybrids, LS460H, et al. A further point - no hybrid has yet beaten the fuel consumption of one of the first hybrids - the Honda Insight. Eight years later that's a bit of a worry isn't it?

Tbelt Light

After reading your 2001 article on a 1985 Toyota Hiace (Super Custom) the editor described how he didn't know what the red "Tbelt" lamp meant. That stands for timing belt and it flashes on once the vehicle approaches 100,000 kilometers to let you know that the timing belt needs replacement. Also the musical chimes that turn on after 105 km an hour is a design  in 80's era Japanese cars to remind drivers that they were  exceeding the 100 km speed limit. They have since been fazed out and no vehicle that I know today has this feature.


Boost Control Valve

After reading your article on Brilliant Boost, I have been trying to find the Festo flow control valve.  Do you happen to have a direct link for purchase in the US or a website suggestion?  I would   really like to try one of the instead of what I have been using. Thanks so much in advance.

United States

Any variable flow valve of the correct size can be used.

Supercharged 350Z

I have owned and since sold an 04 350Z with stock internals that dynoed several high 300hp at the wheel runs and the highest   406rrhp. The work was done by Marks Workshop York Western Australia. The work consisted of Vortech intercooled supercharger, pulley upgrade (approx 11psi), aftermarket exhaust, water injection. Sold the car at around 45000 kms and engine still loving life. Could light up first second and third from a standing start (didn’t have the balls to try fourth). I spent about $90G all up including $7000 worth of AP racing brakes, lowering etc. Thought it might interest readers who wanted to save 10G on twin turbos as opposed to a Vortech.

Paul Nottle

Camera Mount

I have tried my local marine shop for the DIY suction camera mount, but they have never seen or heard of one. Any chance of the brand name and model, so I can chase this up further?


You might need to find an alternative source for a large, strong suction cap. Perhaps a store selling rubber goods?


Great article on intercooler (Intelligent Intercooler Water Spray - Part 1 and 2), nicely written, easily understood. Now I have a 6 cyl diesel I am contemplating ta urbo for, however the turbo will be on from 1500 -3000 RM  and hence when I am on the highway (100kph + 1800-2000 RPM) it will be on all the time. Wax may not be the answer as turbo is on all the time. I have limited room to install a intercooler infront or behind my rad due to a crossmember and 2 horns. What do you suggest?

Jan Alsen


Power FC

Regarding The APEXi Power FC Engine Management ECU article on Apx'i PowerFC, you should check out an aftermarket PC tuning package with datalogging inputs. Brilliant user-friendly system which allows you to view whole maps and access more advanced features of the unit not available in the hand-controller.

Nigel Swan
New Zealand

Rev Limiter

I just had a question about a rev limiter/launch control kit, I was wondering if the jay car frequency switch would be able to used like a bee r rev limiter. At a certain rpm (frequency) the relay closes the signal to the coil then when the rpm(frequency) drops it opens the circuit.....also with a switch hooked up to the brake so can be stalled up and when brake is released just goes back to normal is a auto rb30e+t r31 skyline with 3k stall.....


That sounds feasible.

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