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Car numbers will soar as vehicles become more efficient

The number of cars will soar in the coming decades. But they will do much more for much less fuel

As a means of shifting a few humans down a road VW’s Golf has long set the benchmark. “Sublime, effortless, powerful”, was how BBC’s Top Gear, a TV show for petrolheads, described it in a recent review. Used models hold their price, meaning customers are likelier to buy straight off the showroom floor. Solid German engineering makes the Golf reliable, but cheap to run. The most frugal of the 2013 range, claims VW, gets a combined fuel consumption of 83.1 miles per gallon, or 3.4 litres per 100 km (l/100 km), putting its diesel engine well ahead of the US market’s new hybrid Toyota Prius C (4.7 l/100 km). No wonder Europeans, whose governments heavily tax fuel consumption, bought more Golfs t

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