If you look at the torque on that engine (2001 Corvette test results) you'll see why the engine is able to turn so low.
Obscene amounts of torque everywhere. Over 300Ft-Lbs as low as 1500 rpm!
It's also why this car can cost only 65K and not only keep up but in a lot of cases beat 200K+ sports cars in performance, feel and fuel economy. This is actually the only car GM makes I would buy.
Oooh, that kind of bothers me. As far as performance and fuel economy goes, the Corvette holds it's own, but this is due to a complete lack of luxury, for the price it's a heck of a deal, but in no way does it feel like a ferrari, sl55, 911, or any other non-domesticish car. They just don't have the solid, quality, and fine materials. But if all you want is a little sporty tin/plastic can, they can't be beat.
Back on topic, I've also got a V-8 and am trying to see how good of gasmileage I can get with it. I have finally got my o2 sensor working and I can't wait to see what kind of numbers I get on my next tank. I should be able to do pretty good with a drag co. of .37 (not good, but for '85 it's pretty good) and the "economy" version. 3.8 liters
I agree the Oldsmobile Auroras were also pretty decent. Here's one driver claiming to get 29.3mpg out of theirs. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.d...rue&details=on
GM knowing their target market and thinking upside down as usual put lots of its R&D into making the v8s more efficient instead of making efficient engines more powerful like other car makers did.
1985 Chrysler 5th Avenue, 318 2bbl, lockup torque converter, 205/15 tires. All the stuff out of the trunk, tires pumped up to 40psi, windows up no air on (hot inside but worth it!!). Cruise control @ 55mph on I80 relatively flat. I could get 30mpg. Not bad. I was pretty happy.
1967 Plymouth Barracuda, 318 4bbl, lockup torque converter (newer 904), no junk in the trunk, 60mph, 3.00 rear ratio. I could get 25 mpg. Had 245/14 tires, not the best. The motor had stuff done to it, but probably helped out it's mpg. Same highway drive as the above 5th ave.
1988 Ford Thunderbird, too, same engine.
Thou to get 27 I had to keep it around 62-63 cruise controlled...
Or was it 29? It's been so long lol, but thereabouts, assume 27 to be safe.
I suspect possibly the Mercury Cougar and the Lincoln Continental Mark VII (or 8?) of about or around those years as well.
A FE gauge should be standard equipment in every vehicle.
My '92 9C1 Caprice regularly got 22MPG mixed and could pull 24MPG highway. It was a TBI 5.7, but the bodies on the '92 and up we amazingly aerodynamic, I could coast forever and ever and it took very little throttle to accel from 65-85. I wasn't hypermiling back then either, I wish I still had it to see what I could get now. My truck as the same engine but MUCH worse aero .
My last car was an '04 GTO with the LS1 V8 and a six speed. It would regularly get 27-28 mpg highway, but it was geared a little different than the 'Vettes and F-bodies with the LS1. What a fun car. Unfortunately it was too much fun.