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viio 01-17-2012 03:03 PM

Project EconoPolo (aeromodding a VW)
Hi folks,

I've been driving a Subaru Impreza WRX STI for a while now, and I've just bought an economical car for doing most of my daily driving. I plan to do a fair bit of eco-modding with the goal of making improvements to the economy without making the car look "ghetto". I'm pretty sure my wife will refuse to drive it if I cover the car in coroplast!

It's the 1.4 TDI (3 cylinder turbo diesel, 6 valves). 1258kg according to the manufacturer, and I hope to get it beyond the 61.8 mpg advertised.

Anyway, here are the cars at the moment, and mods are underway!

viio 01-17-2012 03:35 PM

I'm using SolidWorks and it's FlowSimulation tools to build a 3d model of the polo so I can test out aerodynamic theory and cut down on drag before I get out the duct tape and glue.

Here's a sample of the model as it stands right now. Lots of work to be done and lots of testing.

viio 01-17-2012 04:05 PM

Today I completed blocks to both side of the lower grilles on the Polo. The one on the left needs to remain open as it supplies air to the intercooler, so I've actually cut that open a bit more. But now both sides are blocked, photos below:

COcyclist 01-17-2012 05:47 PM

Nice! Welcome to EM. Check out what Vekke has done to his Lupo. Since yours is a diesel you will find you need very little grill opening as these cars do not generate as much waste heat as a petrol car. I block the upper grill on my Golf year round with black foam "pipe insulation" stuffed between the grill bars and part of the lower middle one too in winter. Speeds warmup times and helps reduce aerodynamic drag through the cooling system. I have done a full belly pan and a passenger side mirror delete but otherwise my car appears pretty stock on the outside. Check out photos in my albums on this site.

aerohead 01-17-2012 06:25 PM

you could skip all the theory and copy the AEROVIVIC.Copy everything!

NachtRitter 01-18-2012 04:18 AM

Nice side-grill blocks... Mine are not quite so fancy, but accomplish something similar... I had to leave a hole on the driver side so I could access the bolt that holds the bumper cover on ... as you can see, I cover nearly everything (upper and middle); only the lowest lip is still open (black part of the bumper) ...

BTW - How did you attach your driver side block?

viio 01-18-2012 05:18 AM


Originally Posted by aerohead (Post 280352)
you could skip all the theory and copy the AEROCIVIC!

As much as I admire the design, I find the execution a bit... umm... rough. Anyways I like the theory :)


Originally Posted by NachtRitter (Post 280476)
BTW - How did you attach your driver side block?

All the blocks are attached using this plain old superglue, cut to shape and then glued into the hole.

So do you not have any airflow onto the intercooler then?

Vekke 01-18-2012 09:51 AM

On regular driving you dont need any cooling air to the intercooler. If you drive over 120 km/h in hot summer days then the intercooler is actually needed. On winter conditions it should be also blocked on the front side or even take it fully out.

Also you can block all the cooling holes in the bumber if the temperatures are under +5 celsius. or if you drive under 100 km/h in summer. On the hottest day you need to make small holes or take the upper block off.

Smooth underside is a also a nice mod.

For tires I recommend to front 175/80R14 Continental ecocontant3
And to rear 165/70R14. This setup need 30 mm lowering kit to front or 60/30mm.. These tires and lowering alone will reduce fuel consumption about 10% ;). Check out my lupo thread and Seat cordoba vario threads for more info.

Oh and welcome.

edit: Oh and remember to take out the rear muffler. It should help a lot.

skyking 01-18-2012 10:15 AM

Nice car! It looks pretty slick to start with.

NachtRitter 01-18-2012 01:40 PM


Originally Posted by viio (Post 280486)
So do you not have any airflow onto the intercooler then?

In fact, I do leave an opening on driver's side for the intercooler (where it is not pink, it is open :p ). But watching the intake temperatures using the Scangauge II, I would agree with Vekke... the area could probably be blocked completely in winter.

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