Hybrids' New Rival: Ye Olde Gas Engine Conventional cars are giving hybrids a run for their money By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff Posted Mar 10, 2011 7:35 AM CST 30 comments Comments Henry Ford With His Model T. (Getty Images) (Newser) – Hybrids are gas-sipping wonders, and electric cars may be the green wave of the future, but oil-addicted America's best hope may be ... the conventional gasoline engine, reports the Washington Post. GM, Ford, and Hyundai are now selling cars with conventional engines that get 40mpg or better on the highway, and getting there wasn't that hard: Chevy shaved 200 hundred pounds off its Cruze Eco, tightened the aerodynamics, upgraded the engine, and is now squeezing 50mpg out of the car. And for every Prius or Volt that hits the streets of America, there are scads of F-150s and the like, meaning, "When you take some of the most popular vehicles in the US, and improve them by just a few mpg, the effects can add up very quickly," says an expert. "Much more so than with a niche car." And now, we're seeing the more efficient conventional cars that resulted from the last gas spike in 2007 hit the market: "40mpg (has) become the new 30," says an expert.