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In addition to a 120% increase in horsepower and 35% decrease in 0-60 time from 1980 to 2011, the fuel economy of vehicles improved nearly 19%. All of these data series are sales-weighted averages that have been indexed to 1980, showing the relative relationship among the years since 1980. In the graph, the weight of the vehicle appears to mirror fuel economy, showing the close relationship between the two.

Characteristics of New Light Vehicles, 1980-2011
Graphic showing characteristics of new light vehicles from 1980-2011. Characteristics include fuel economy (mpg), weight (lbs.), horsepower, and time from 0-60 (seconds). For more detailed information, see supporting information below.

 

Supporting Information

Characteristics of New Light Vehicles, 1980-2011
  Actual Values   Index Values (1980=100)
Model Year Fuel Economy
(Miles per Gallon)
Weight (Pounds) Horse-power 0-60 Time (Seconds)   Fuel Economy Weight Horse-power 0-60 Time
1980 19.2 3,228 104 14.3   100 100 100 100
1981 20.5 3,202 102 14.4   107 99 98 101
1982 21.1 3,202 103 14.4   110 99 99 101
1983 21.0 3,257 107 14.1   109 101 103 99
1984 21.0 3,262 109 14.0   109 101 105 98
1985 21.3 3,271 114 13.5   111 101 110 94
1986 21.8 3,238 114 13.4   114 100 110 94
1987 22.0 3,221 118 13.1   115 100 113 92
1988 21.9 3,283 123 12.8   114 102 118 90
1989 21.4 3,351 129 12.5   111 104 124 87
1990 21.2 3,426 135 12.2   110 106 130 85
1991 21.3 3,410 138 12.1   111 106 133 85
1992 20.8 3,512 145 11.8   108 109 139 83
1993 20.9 3,519 147 11.8   109 109 141 83
1994 20.4 3,603 152 11.7   106 112 146 82
1995 20.5 3,613 158 11.3   107 112 152 79
1996 20.4 3,659 164 11.1   106 113 158 78
1997 20.1 3,727 169 11.0   105 115 163 77
1998 20.1 3,744 171 10.9   105 116 164 76
1999 19.7 3,835 179 10.7   103 119 172 75
2000 19.8 3,821 181 10.6   103 118 174 74
2001 19.6 3,879 187 10.5   102 120 180 73
2002 19.5 3,951 195 10.3   102 122 188 72
2003 19.6 3,999 199 10.2   102 124 191 71
2004 19.3 4,111 211 9.9   101 127 203 69
2005 19.9 4,059 209 9.9   104 126 201 69
2006 20.1 4,067 213 9.8   105 126 205 69
2007 20.6 4,093 217 9.7   107 127 209 68
2008 21.0 4,085 219 9.7   109 127 211 68
2009 22.4 3,914 208 9.7   117 121 200 68
2010 22.6 4,002 214 9.6   118 124 206 67
2011 22.8 4,084 228 9.3   119 127 219 65

Source:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2011, March 2012.

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