Following a trend started by a number of European carmakers, GM recently revealed a new ‘XFE’ (E)Xtra Fuel Economy labeling system which debuted on the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt and soon followed onto the Pontiac G5. The cars feature a number of modifications to their drivetrains and aerodynamics, and as a result see fuel economy improvements of around 9% when compared with the standard models.

However, the modifications mean the acceleration and handling of the XFE models aren’t as good as the standard models but in a time of record fuel prices consumers are less inclined to care. The XFE accounted for about 9% of Cobalt retail sales in June, and the fuel-efficient model sells quickly, averaging just 28 days on a dealer's lot, reports the Detroit Free Press.

GM is now considering adding the XFE badge to certain Chevrolet models and it could even be applied to other brands, although they might not use the same XFE badge.

The first model has proven so successful that GM has decided to add a third shift at the Lordstown, Ohio, plant that builds it. "We saw fuel prices rising early this year, and rather than sitting on the sidelines worrying, we did something," Chevrolet spokesman Terry Rhadigan told reporters.