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From model year (MY) 1980 to 2010, there have been significant gains made in automotive technology. For new light vehicles, horsepower has more than doubled and "0-to-60" times have dropped from 14.3 to 9.5 seconds. The average weight grew to a high of 4,111 pounds in 2004 and has dropped slightly since then (4,009 pounds in 2010). The average fuel economy of new light vehicles has gradually fluctuated higher and lower over the years, with fuel economy in 2010 being just above the 1987 average.

Characteristics of New Light Vehicles Sold, MY 1980-2010
Line graph showing horsepower, weight, fuel economy, and 0-60 time for model year light vehicles from 1980 to 2010. For more detailed information, see supporting information below.

Supporting Information

Characteristics of New Light Vehicles Sold, MY 1980-2010
Model Year MPG Weight Horsepower 0-60 Time
1980 19.2 3,228 104 14.3
1981 20.5 3,202 102 14.4
1982 21.1 3,202 103 14.4
1983 21.0 3,257 107 14.1
1984 21.0 3,262 109 14.0
1985 21.3 3,271 114 13.5
1986 21.8 3,238 114 13.4
1987 22.0 3,221 118 13.1
1988 21.9 3,283 123 12.8
1989 21.4 3,351 129 12.5
1990 21.2 3,426 135 12.2
1991 21.2 3,410 138 12.1
1992 20.8 3,512 145 11.8
1993 20.9 3,519 147 11.8
1994 20.4 3,603 152 11.7
1995 20.5 3,613 158 11.3
1996 20.4 3,659 164 11.1
1997 20.1 3,727 169 11.0
1998 20.1 3,744 171 10.9
1999 19.7 3,835 179 10.7
2000 19.8 3,821 181 10.6
2001 19.6 3,879 187 10.5
2002 19.4 3,951 195 10.3
2003 19.6 3,999 199 10.2
2004 19.3 4,111 211 9.9
2005 19.9 4,059 209 9.9
2006 20.1 4,067 213 9.8
2007 20.6 4,093 217 9.7
2008 21.0 4,085 219 9.7
2009 22.4 3,917 208 9.7
2010 22.5 4,009 220 9.5

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, 2010 Vehicle Technologies Market Report.
[Original source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2010]

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