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Old 04-06-2013, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is there a market for super-aero, futuristic looking fiberglass full body kits?

Some kind of super-aerodynamic bodies bolted on existing bodies to preserve crash protection structures.
Likely they will need to include some custom made windows.

Is there such a thing already being made?
Is there a (niche) market for it?

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Old 04-06-2013, 11:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd say there's a market, but it'd have to be proven stuff.
I'd be willing to buy a low CD kit with data to back it up.
The only problem is ROI.. If its a complete kit, it'll be expensive to develop and test so it'll also go to market with a high price. If it takes 100,000 miles or more to return the investment, it's not that marketable.
You'd probably have to start with already popular vehicles in the Ecomodder garages, like Matrix/Vibe, Prius, Metro, Civic, etc.. to avoid stretching yourself too thin.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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kits

If 'Kit Car Magazine ' is still in print you might want to track down a copy 'n see what remains in the market place.
After the first Arab Oil Embargo of 1973,outfits like Fibre Fab,and later,Kelmark Gt entered the market offering body replacement kits to fit air-cooled VW chassis's.
I never see any driving around.Sometime I see derelict unfinished kit cars at auto swap meets.They're a pariah to most attendees.
It would be a brave soul or fool to believe that they could satsify such a fickle consumer market,who's desires change with yearly with the Paris fashion market.
And since all modern autos are of uni-body construction,you can't 'un-bolt' their bodies and put something else on there.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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no.
1. the person who 'cares' or would appreciate it couldn't afford it.
2. regular consumers (not overly interested in mpg) wouldnt want to look so 'over the top'.
3. THe saving on the 'aero' side of the mpg equation are not that great.
4. from a business model, it's not profitable.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd have to take issue with your third point - aerodynamic drag is about HALF the load on the drivetrain at about 28-30MPH, and at highway speeds it is about THREE QUARTERS. That is the most significant part of the MPG equation, assuming you cannot improve the efficiency of the drivetrain very much.

And unless you convert from an ICE to an EV, then you cannot improve the efficiency of the drivetrain very much.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
I'd have to take issue with your third point - aerodynamic drag is about HALF the load on the drivetrain at about 28-30MPH, and at highway speeds it is about THREE QUARTERS. That is the most significant part of the MPG equation, assuming you cannot improve the efficiency of the drivetrain very much.

And unless you convert from an ICE to an EV, then you cannot improve the efficiency of the drivetrain very much.
Neil, I probably stated it poorly.
A marketable, acceptable, cosmeticly appealing, reduction in drag.
1. nobody is going to buy boattails.
2. long and pointy aren't going to fit in parking spaces (the question is about retofitting existing cars) Reminding me of the Daytona Super Bird from the mid- 70s. with the huge slooping front noise.
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Third: Full underbelly pan
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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THe issue in the question is existing automobiles.

I just don't think you can design something for existing models that is cheap enough for the eco-minded and attractive enough for the mass consumption needed.
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Third: Full underbelly pan
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree that a "bolt on" body over an existing car would be a futile way to go. Well made aeromods is more likely. I think a good looking boattail would be great - but making one for every possible model of economy car on the other hand would be a tough row to hoe.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The smart car body is molded plastic and replacement body panels are cheap, if you want a different color it's cheaper to get different color panels than to paint it.If someone made a proven more aerodynamic body I would definitely be interested but how many would have to be made to justify making them?
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My favorite "body bolted on existing frame of semi-modern car" is the Smyth Performance G3F, which is discussed in this thread: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tdi-14154.html. It may not be "super-aerodynamic" but it is (hopefully) more aerodynamic than the Jetta upon which it is based. Considering I can get 60mpg tanks with a Jetta body, I'd guess that 70 or even 80mpg tanks would be possible (maybe even more) with the G3F body.

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