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EPA Trends Report names Honda as most fuel-efficient automaker

If Honda is the most fuel-efficient brand, then what is the least efficient? The answer might surprise you.

Photo by Getty Images

A new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Honda as the most fuel-efficient automaker in America. The company has the highest fleet average fuel economy and lowest CO2 emissions of any major full-line automaker for the 2018 model year (MY2018), the latest year for which full data is available, according to the report.

The 2019 EPA Automotive Trends Report ranked Honda first among full-line automakers and second overall with a U.S. fleet average "real world" fuel economy of 30.0 miles per gallon (mpg), a five-year improvement of 2.8 mpg, and 4.9 mpg above the industry average for MY2018. Similarly, Honda's fleet average CO2 emissions dropped to 296 grams/mile, an improvement of 31 grams/mile from 2013 results and 57 grams/mile better than (below) the industry average for the 2018 model year.

The Big Three - General Motors, Ford, and FCA - took up the bottom three slots on the report.

Honda EPA ranking Honda beat out Subaru, Mazda, and Hyundai to be named the most fuel-efficient automaker.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

In 2019, Honda set a new all-time record for sales of electrified vehicles in America, including the Clarity series, Accord Hybrid and the Insight. The company has added the CR-V Hybrid to its lineup for the 2020 model year and there are indications that more electrified powertrains are coming not too far down the road. Honda has previously announced the intention to have two-thirds of its automobile sales to be electrified by 2030.

Other automakers are electrifying their lineups and making already existing hybrid models more fuel-efficient. Subaru recently introduced the Crosstrek Hybrid, a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) based on the engineering in the Toyota Prius Prime. Toyota has recommitted to electrification in the U.S. but debuting new, more efficient RAV4 and Highlander Hybrid models in the past 18 months. A RAV4 plug-in model, called the RAV4 Prime, is coming for the 2021 model year.

Click here to see the most fuel-efficient SUVs sold in the U.S.

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Bugatti is selling just 40 Divos worldwide.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Only 40 Bugatti Divos will be made. Four of them were recently delivered to U.S. customers. The latest customized version of the supercar to be delivered by the French automaker pushed the limits of what the Bugatti craftspeople are capable of. As company founder Ettore Bugatti once said: "If it is comparable, it is no longer Bugatti."

Meet the Bugatti Divo named "Lady Bug".

The Divo premiered in 2018 and shortly thereafter a prospective buyer and noted collector from the U.S. approached Bugatti with an idea in mind. They wanted a strict geometric pattern that featured diamond shapes in a unique color contrast on their Divo. The Bugatti design and development team set about figuring out how to make that happen.

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug" design process

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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Two special metallic paint colors were developed: Customer Special Red and Graphite. The diamond pattern was designed to run precisely from the front over the sides to the rear – matching the silhouette of the Divo.

Bugatti's team spend a year-and-a-half to develop and implement the technical and graphic solutions the Divo owner required. Adding the diamonds to the car was far more complex than they expected. They would have to be painted onto the body with precision and exact definition.

What made it so hard? According to Bugatti, "the digital patterns in the CAD program bear little resemblance to reality: owing to the three-dimensional, sculptural form of the Divo with its contours, curves and ribs, the 2D-printed diamonds became distorted on the surface of the exclusive hyper sports car. As a result, they had to be digitally modified."

Being off by as little as one millimeter would ruin the entire visual effect. The total would be 1,600 diamonds by the time the pattern was fully executed.

Weeks later, designers discovered a way to match the CAD data with reality. They ended up being able to pull the film over the deeply concave surfaces of the Divo without the diamonds becoming distorted or developing folds.

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug" graphics application

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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During the pattern's development, a test car was used to perfect the pattern. After the initial steps of the application process were applied to the customer's Divo, Bugatti's team need to remove each diamond. Graphite paint and a clearcoat were applied on top of the effect paint in Customer Special Red in order to invert the pattern. As part of this process, the paintwork was sanded, smoothed, checked, retouched and then re-sanded. All in, the total time spent on the paint on the customer's car alone was two weeks.

"Every Bugatti Divo is one of a kind. With the custom-made 'Lady Bug', Bugatti has demonstrated the full range of its customization expertise. What initially seemed impossible was executed to perfection by the designers and developers in collaboration with the customer," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti."We are proud to have matched the customer's personal taste and expectations with this unique Divo. The car really demonstrates what the marque is capable of in terms of creativity and craftsmanship."

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug"

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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There were no changes to the car's W16 powertrain for the project.

Each Divo is priced at $5.6 million USD but buyers pay more depending on which options they choose. All Divos are produced by the Bugatti Alelier in Molsheim. The first deliveries of the supercar happened in August 2020. All models will hav been delivered by this spring.

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The Alfa Romeo Giulia is one of the models that can be found on the new CPO website.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Customers looking for certified pre-owned Alfa Romeos no longer need to pay a visit to their dealership, browse the lot, and keep their fingers crossed. The Italian automaker has launched a new version of its certified pre-owned vehicles website.

The new site allows buyers to locate, research, and purchase late-model certified pre-owned Alfas from wherever their smart device will connect to the internet.

Every Alfa Romeo certified pre-owned vehicle passes a certification process followed by a thorough reconditioning process using authentic Mopar parts. The certification process includes a 169-point inspection including a diagnostic review, service and maintenance background verification, and examination of the interior, exterior, undercarriage, unibody and multimedia.

The Alfa Romeo website now has a certified pre-owned vehicles section.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Certified Alfas are sold with a factory-backed five-year/100,000-mile Maximum Care Warranty that includes a $0 customer deductible that starts the date of the vehicle sale. Buyers can choose to upgrade that to an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty. Maximum Care Warranties cover over 5,000 mechanical parts.

A CARFAX Vehicle History Report is also included, as is a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM.Twenty-four hour roadside assistance that includes flat tire service, gas delivery, battery-jump assistance, lockout service, towing service and rental car allowance is also part of the package.

As with a new vehicle, multiple financing options are available.

Don't want to shop in person? Alfa Romeo's E-Shop option allows buyers to locate, research and purchase vehicles from home, as well as take advantage of home delivery.

The updated alfaromeousacertified.com website can now also be accessed via the alfaromeousa.com homepage.

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