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Old 02-29-2008, 06:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks Rick!

I have always wanted a Hypermiler to review this car, and you've done the best car reviews I've read. Are you going to do a 'Beater Review for the Vibe?

From a car-genetics POV, would this car be the "missing link" between mini-SUVs and Crossovers? I ask because I think it's looks are designed to evoke SUV-ness.

A few years ago I even joined the www.genvibe.com site to ask questions. There are people there who work at the plant in Fremont. If I got one new, I was going to ask them to "shepherd" my car through production. Here is my perfect Vibe :

- Base model
- Manual Transmission
- White with unpainted plastic lower trim. I like this two-tone because I think it breaks up the "tall/skinny" design aesthetic of a lot of todays compact cars. It gives the car a perception of having wider proportions.
- NO POWER ANYTHING
- 1st generation nose design. 2nd gen is too "solstice-smooth" for me, but probably better for aero.
- ABS and airbag stuff
- Minimum manufacturers warranty so I can plan to make changes after what, 36K miles?!?!?!?

CarloSW2

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Old 02-29-2008, 07:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Thanks Rick!

I have always wanted a Hypermiler to review this car, and you've done the best car reviews I've read. Are you going to do a 'Beater Review for the Vibe?
Thanks! I was hoping that you would get some useful info from it. No Beater-Review -- that's only for old vehicles. But yeah, I had to give it back to rental folks today. They always ask, "Was the car OK -- any problems?" -- Usually I answer, "Great" or "the car was good" - that sort of thing. Today was -- "I got 36 miles per gallon with this!". The guy was like, "Really?" That was it. I don't think he believed me. I wasn't about produce the SG as evidence

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- White with unpainted plastic lower trim.
That's the one I had! I knew I should have taken a picture or something. The rear bumper is a target for scratches on a rental (suitcases, cargo, golf clubs, etc.) It was gouged pretty good in a couple spots. It could be a softer plastic, or the lack of paint didn't offer a layer of protection.

That's neat about the Fremont folks. I wonder if they'll be making the '09 there? It's a complete re-design...

Anyhoo, I'm headed back to the rental lot to pick up a sedan for a weekend trip to St. Louis. I think Teggy is starting to get jealous...

RH77
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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RH77 -

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Originally Posted by RH77 View Post
...

That's the one I had! I knew I should have taken a picture or something. The rear bumper is a target for scratches on a rental (suitcases, cargo, golf clubs, etc.) It was gouged pretty good in a couple spots. It could be a softer plastic, or the lack of paint didn't offer a layer of protection.

That's neat about the Fremont folks. I wonder if they'll be making the '09 there? It's a complete re-design...

Anyhoo, I'm headed back to the rental lot to pick up a sedan for a weekend trip to St. Louis. I think Teggy is starting to get jealous...

RH77
Just to beat a dead radish, , if I had ever gotten a Vibe, I had worked out a way to try to use the side rails as a foundation for a Kammback :



Not to scale, of course.

I don't know about the 2009 Vibe. I hope it will still be in Fremont. You made me search genvibe and I found someone doing MPG musings :

Hypothetical car concept- 100mpg 2009 Vibe!
http://forums.genvibe.com/zerothread?id=9641
Quote:
- The bodystyle would be something very similar to the Vibe, only lower drag. A nice smooth profile would cut drag to around .20 or .22, which is respectable. The body itself would, most realistically, be an aluminum spaceframe. This is already in production in the Audi A2 and A8. This type of construction uses extruded aluminum beams linked together like a skeleton. It looks sort of like a "birdcage" race car body. Body panels would be composite plastic, like Saturn- light weight, no dents, no painting. The advantage is 1/3 weight savings. For even lighter weight and higher efficiency, use carbon fiber for all or part of the spaceframe. Maybe some sort of composite plasic for doors, hood, and hatch.

- Power would be supplied by a small, highly advanced rotary engine. The advantage here would be light weight. I'd use a Russian refinement of the standard Wankel rotary that is as clean and efficient as a piston engine. Look up "Wankel engine" on google for how this type of engine works. The engine would crank out no more than 30hp (probably closer to 20hp) and be roughly the size of a coffee pot. It would burn compressed natural gas or propane. Or perhaps alcohol.

- Huh? you say. That's not enough to power a car! It'd be a slug! Nope, I reply. That rotary engine is hooked up to a flywheel generator. The engine only runs for about 2 minutes out of 12. It exists solely to spin up to speed a heavy carbon-fiber cylinder. This cylinder is lined with magnets and spins around a wire-wrapped stationary core. It's inside a vacuum chamber that reduces friction, and it generates power using the heavy wheel's momentum. Every so often, the wheel is kicked up to speed again by the engine. The rest of the time, the flywheel stores power in its momentum and generates power off of that. Advantage: the engine runs very seldom, and can be run at its most efficient RPM when it does run. Maybe there's a capacitor bank to store electricity for passing or mountain driving. Engine + generator= about the size of a small trash can. Maybe two feet long, 9 or 10 inches wide at the absolute most.

- This power is fed to compact, efifcient electric motors in the wheels of the car. No transmission, no diffs, no driveshafts to gobble up power with friction losses. Electric motors create 100% of their power at any RPM range, so all that's required is modulating the amount of power the motor gets. In-hub, the motor has maximum efficiiency. Go to http://www.e-traction.com for more info. Alternative technology: An new Japanese development may, if valid, lead to electric motors 80% more efficient than existing ones, and would be perfectly suited to this application. This would allow the engine and flywheel generator to be even tinier. Brakes would be regenerative, feeding power into a small battery for EVEN MORE efficiency.

- Depending on your desires, the car could be rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, or 4wd. Maybe 2wd for efficiency in the summer, and swap in 2 extra (rented?) motor wheels for traction in the winter? Rear-wheel for sporty driving, if you want.
Don't know how practical it is, but it is pretty creative.

CarloSW2
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I modded some Toyota Matrix seats into my Toyota Tacoma..

I had a Vibe as a rental and I got around 32ish mpg without even trying..
I almost got a Matrix after having the Vibe as a rental after a rear ender car accident.

turns out the only real thing I liked was the seats.. the rest was history..
stock seats sucked..
drivers side in, pass side stock..

pass side in..




and the payoff!


ok, sorry for the thread jack
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris D. View Post
I modded some Toyota Matrix seats into my Toyota Tacoma..

I had a Vibe as a rental and I got around 32ish mpg without even trying..
I almost got a Matrix after having the Vibe as a rental after a rear ender car accident.

turns out the only real thing I liked was the seats.. the rest was history..
stock seats sucked..
drivers side in, pass side stock..
...
ok, sorry for the thread jack
This is pretty cool. Do you have this mod published anywhere? Maybe it's not too ecomodderish, but you could make a thread showing how you modded the seats into your Tacoma. I am interested in "the connections". Did you get lucky with the Toyota heritage?

CarloSW2
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Teggy - '98 Acura Integra LS
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90 day: 32.74 mpg (US)

IMA - '10 Honda Insight EX
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Thanks: 31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Maybe it's not too ecomodderish, but you could make a thread showing how you modded the seats into your Tacoma. I am interested in "the connections". Did you get lucky with the Toyota heritage?
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris D. View Post
ok, sorry for the thread jack
Not a jack at all -- the functionality of the seats are important in the discussion. To follow Carlos' question, did they bolt right in?

RH77

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