Electric is all the talk regarding cars of the future but a Mazda initiative shows there's life in the internal combustion engine yet.
How's 3.3L/100km for a diminutive petrol-powered Mazda2, for example?
Or less than 6.0L/100km for a petrol Mazda3, a car capable of carting about a small family?
Mazda's planned rollout of eco engines, labelled Skyactiv, is designed to drop fuel use across its fleet by a whopping 30 per cent by 2015.
The 1.3-litre Mazda2 model, which goes on sale overseas next year, uses 0.4L/100km less than Australia's most frugal car, the Ford Fiesta Econetic diesel, and 0.6L/100km less than an admittedly larger Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrid.
The Skyactiv label will be applied to models with new direct-injection petrol and diesel engines, fuel-saving transmissions, and lighter bodies and suspensions. Australia is likely to get a Skyactiv 2.0-litre Mazda 3 late next year and a Skyactiv Mazda2 in 2012.SPORTING ATTITUDE:
While convertibles are mainly about the look, image and open air for many people, Volkswagen's 2011 Eos stakes a claim for being a true driver's car.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol model gets a lift from 147kW to 155kW, putting its output on a par with the sporty Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The folding-hardtop convertible's 0-100km/h time is a spritely 7.8sec., though not up to the 180kg-lighter GTI's 6.9sec.
The Eos' 280 Newton metres of torque is delivered across a wide band - 1700-5200rpm - giving quick and strong response in most driving situations.
High-tech drivetrains mean the Eos can be both a sparkling and frugal performer, the six-speed manual delivering 7.4L/100km fuel use and the six-speed dual-clutch auto 7.9L/100km.Pricing still starts at $48,990 for the petrol model and $46,990 for the 2.0-litre 103kW diesel.