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Old 08-24-2009, 10:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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$3k for carbon fiber VX upgrades?

Someone PM'd me with this question (name removed to protect the innocent):

Quote:
hey im ********** and i have a civic vx, im wondering if i get carbon fiber fenders, doors, hood and trunk would that increase my mpg, i get 40 right now. here's the catch all of that cost like 3000 dollars in by next year i will be striping out the car.
Yup, lightening a car will improve fuel its economy. A bit.

If you want, you can estimate the effect of weight on steady state MPG by plugging the car's numbers into this tool:

Aerodynamic & rolling resistance, power & MPG calculator - EcoModder.com

The effect will be less pronounced on the highway than in stop & go driving, but it will get better in both environments.

As for the cost, I assume you're wondering about cost/benefit. $3k invested in lightness won't pay for itself in fuel savings in any reasonable amount of time. If you're going to go carbon fiber crazy, do it because you really, REALLY like lightness, not because you want to save money (if you get my drift).

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Old 08-24-2009, 10:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yep, that money would easily buy a 5th ev wheel with decent power to up FE a lot more than the lightness would
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sure, but maybe he's like Colin Chapman, and really, REALLY likes lightness.

Everybody has to have their thing.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Or, maybe he likes CF enough to spend the money for the "look", and just wants the added benefit of better FE as a bonus?
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I like the CF hood on my VX, but it was free and that is about as far as CF parts will go on my car.

CF doors are a huge safety NO-NO in my opinion.

But yes, it is possible to turn a 92-95 Civic hatch into an almost completely CF car... there are hoods, fenders, doors, even one piece CF front ends, the rear hatch, and even a replacement CF roof panel.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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it seems like if he is getting 40mpg with his civic vx he has bigger issues, also alot of the carbon fiber parts have a fiberglass base and are just as heavy if not heavier then their steel parts.

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