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Old 11-16-2009, 10:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Fun of Driving for Fuel Economy

Here's an extract from a recent AutoSpeed article I want to share with you. If only more fast driving car nuts would give hypermiling a try...

Originally Posted by Julian Edgar
Over the last few years a number of websites devoted to people chasing best fuel economy have appeared. Modifications, driving techniques and best economy cars are discussed in detail.

At first glance these enthusiasts seem to be diametrically opposed to traditional car nuts: after all, what could be more boring than gaining the best fuel economy?

But in these times of increasing fuel costs and road rules that are getting ever more tightly policed, challenging yourself to achieve best fuel economy is one of the few remaining ways you can have fun on the road without looking at potential jail time.

Thatís especially the case if your car has a fuel consumption display. Reset it before your daily commute and see how low you get can the fuel consumed. Set yourself the challenge and youíll be amazed at how interesting what would otherwise be a boring daily task can become.

Doing well requires high order car control and handling skills, the ability to read traffic and other variable conditions, and intense mental concentration. And, rather like traditional performance driving, the skills for the open road are different from those that work best in urban areas.

I will never lose a love of driving hard and fast, but when - in nearly all public road driving - that is now impossible, striving to gain best fuel consumption is a very rewarding substitute.


www.HyperKilometreur.com - Quand chaque goutte compte...
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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He speaks the truth. I only wish they'd crack down on aggressive drivers even more.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice find, Martin.

Julian's always struck me as an archetypal ecomodder: there's a large sub-set of members here who expressed their early enthusiasm for cars through speed and power mods and driving fast & hard.

Some still do it by keeping a "fun car" for weekend or track use. But more and more are keeping & modding efficient vehicles for daily use.

I've seen comments in his blog that suggests Julian is "ahead" of many of his readers in terms of viewing ecomodding & efficient driving as worthy challenges.

Can't expect everyone to come around to that viewpoint, but you only have to look at the growth of this forum to see it's really happening!
Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
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Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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New way for fun

Interesting read and puts my thoughts better than I could.

Until quite recently I was interested in speed only, I modded my car for reliability in prep for an upping in power. But then I got "zappped" by a Tallivan (mobile radar camera van here in the UK) and my clean licence gained 3 points. 12 points here is Game Over.

So the power plan went and now I'm honing my techniques for max MPG just as described.

Result is that the current tank looks good, just on a 3rd left at the same mileage that the previous one would be bone dry. I'm staying at or way under any speed limits, honing my techniques and having a ball.

I'm even considering redirecting the power budget into a project car - maybe a Peugeot 106 or Citroen Saxo 1.5 Diesel for some serious lightening and aero experimentation.

Its a bit of a bug.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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(originally posted by MetroMPG) Some still do it by keeping a "fun car" for weekend or track use.
My "fun car" is my daily driver.

I bought my Mustang about 22 months before I found ecomodder.com. Since I first bought it, I've made a "hobby" of seeing how many MPG I can squeeze out of it by adjusting my driving style and route planning.

And I haven't made it through a tank yet without giving it full throttle and/or barking the tires (unintentionally) at least once..

Looking at the fuel logs of quite a number of 4-cylinder Camrys, Altimas, and Foci in the ecomodder garage, I don't think I've done too badly with a 4-liter performance car.

On edit - Today I was telling a co-worker about the fuel economy I've managed to squeeze out of my "pony". He said, "That's better than I get with my Hondas!"
Fuel economy is nice, but sometimes I just gotta put the spurs to my pony!

Originally Posted by thatguitarguy View Post
Just 'cuz you can't do it, don't mean it can't be done...
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
The presence of traffic is the single most complicating factor of hypermiling. I know what I'm going to do, it's contending with whatever the hell all these other people are going to do that makes things hard.

Last edited by Mustang Dave; 11-17-2009 at 08:33 PM..
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's a cool write up.

I'm one of the freaks that has to have both, performance and economy.

Its been a ten year dream for me to have a 1.6L 2300lb car that can make 450+whp and get over 90mpg (74mpg is my current personal best) and run 10 second 1/4 mile times (11.8@130mph is my personal best no traction on drag radials).

The 450whp part is done that was easy. The hard part is my fuel mileage goal. But I'm sure I can get there. I learned a lot this summer with this engine and I have some more in it when it comes to mileage. I hope my new aero mods will get me to the 90mpg mark. Plus it will help the top end in the 1/4 mile.

I also plan on autox the car this next year and do a 12 mile hill climb.

It would also be nice to see what it would do in the standing mile.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mustang Dave View Post
My "fun car" is my daily driver.
If I go through with my project idea, my fun (as in fast) car will be my daily one and my ecomodder special will be my weekend / aka "special" one.

I'm thinking I may have this backwards. Ahh, well - suits my wife's idea of me...
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Anybody can mash the throttle. Not anybody can eek out the best FE out of their daily driver...

Makes the commute more interesting.
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Anybody can go fast, not anybody can *drive* fast. Mashing the throttle isn't even close to "performance driving", although most kids seem to think it is.

Driving for high average MPG as opposed to high average MPH brought my blood pressure down... not that that's a good thing, in my case. I now have to eat nearly twice the daily recommendation of sodium, but the money I save on fuel and tickets more than covers it.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Driving for FE is a blast. I love seeing how many lights I can get. It also makes me far more aware of the surroundings since factoring in other drivers and other induhviduals is totally necessary for getting the best FE out of my car.

It's also saved me lots of $$$ at the pump, and on maintenance.

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