The Focus at 75mph (typical motorway speed in the UK) is running at a much higher RPM (probably 4000+RPM, I can't say for sure but my old Peugeot 306 ran about that) than the M3, which is practically idling at that speed. It's part gearing, if you gave those hatchbacks an extra top gear they could get great efficiency at real motorway speeds. It's also horsepower. If you generate more HP per revolution, you don't need so many revolutions to maintain a speed. Obviously there's a balance as increasing HP typically means decreasing MPG.
- Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. A comedy about the coming of the anti-christ. Very British humour.
- Nine Tomorrows - A collection of shorts by Asimov. Some very interesting visions of the future that have been the basis for a number of more recent authors' work.
- Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson. The backdrop is an interesting vision of a hyper-privatised world.
- Foundation - Asimov, the whole trilogy. At a deep level, it observes the cycles of civilization and the optimal methods of control exerted at different stages of development.
- The Marching Morons - Cyril Kornbluth. Sometimes I feel this is where the world is headed.