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Old 04-06-2017, 01:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What car would you CREATE?

A number of threads exist requesting input on what car people should buy. These are quickly filled up with the existing leader board of cars, and pretty much all other vehicles on the road are excluded.

However, out of morbid curiosity, and a desire to always do something different to others, I would love to hear peoples thoughts on what car they would create, or extensively modify to achieve a fuel efficient basis for various tasks.

For example a template could be as basic as the below

Budget Bracket {$0-->$5000,$5001-->$15,000,$15001-->$30,000,$30,000+}

Purpose of car {Daily driver around town, Daily Driver longer distance, 1/2 ton Work Truck (or Van), 1 ton work truck (Or van), luxury touring, sports car}

Proposed basis for car {Ground up build from raw materials, Kit car, previous production car}

Engine of choice { ??? }

Transmission of choice { ??? }

Drivetrain of choice {fwd, rwd, 4wd, other}

Modifications required to above { ??? }

Expected mileage { ??}

Expected cost to build { ?? }

This effectively removes the constraints from the obligatory Civic vs Mirage recommendations, and opens the field up to those with broader vision..

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Old 04-06-2017, 09:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Winsight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 56.69 mpg (US)

Miaderp - '95 Mazda Miata
90 day: 28.53 mpg (US)
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I would definitely take the 00-06 Honda insight shell and put a 1L TurboDiesel engine in it. No fancy hybrid, just good ol' reliable diesel tech with a 6-7 speed manual gearbox. The only thing I would change about the shell would be smaller side view mirrors.

The benefits of this over what the car currently has.
-no hybrid systems to fail.
-vehicle overall would be more enjoyable to drive due to the increased powerband of TD engines.
-Way more cargo space in the rear.
-Due to how Torquey TD's are, you could tow a decent amount (not a lot, but a hell of a more than a stock insight can).

Last edited by Baltothewolf; 04-06-2017 at 09:22 AM..
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
Eco Sol
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I've had the design and parts figured out for this for a long time, but not enough time or money to spare...

Purpose: DD around town
Basis: Built from ground up. Steel space frame/fiberglass body
Engine: Dual Agni 95 DC motors
Transmission: None... sprocket and chain
Drivetrain: READ
Modifications: Reverse trike (2-seat tandem), front steering from junkyard car (smart car?) with the rear half of a motorcycle.
Expected Mileage: 300+mpg
Expected Cost: 10k-15k

Even factoring in the cost of changing the lithium batteries when they die, it still costs less than $0.03/mile to drive

Best Tank = 42.72 mpg (in the 94 Del Sol)

CR-Z Current Mods:
Max Sidewall PSI

Last edited by Shortie771; 04-06-2017 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Neo Volvo - '98 Volvo S70 10V
90 day: 24.98 mpg (US)
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i've planned a tiny ev. It would look like something resembling a Peel p50.

id like to make a enclosed, tiny car as possible (i have a thing for minimalism/functionalism)

Engine: 1000W Electric, center rear wheel or two 500w at both rear wheels, if i make a 4-wheeler (no need to register) if total max is 1000w

Speed: 25Km/h (no need to register then)

bolted alu frame.

Budget? Id hope to stay under a couple hundred, maybe 500 bux.

making a tiny paintball tank would be cool too. DD
If you don't make any mistakes in your life,
life itself will be a f*ckup.

With Volvo to Valhalla and back!
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
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I like the rear-engine RWD layout from the earlier Volkswagens, which provides some reasonable off-road ability at a relatively low cost, but I would be open-minded to eventually consider other possible layouts. When it comes to bodystyles, a priority would be a cab-forward utility vehicle (either a van or a crew-cab truck) with a turbodiesel engine and 4WD but I would also not disconsider a Baja bug (even though it would be nearly impossible to title it with a Diesel engine in my POS of a country).
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One I have been thinking about , but too time poor (And $$$ poor!!) to start on...

Budget Bracket $15001-->$30,000

Purpose of car : sports car

Proposed basis for car : Utilise a 1992-->2002 Mazda Rx7 - this is a lightweight platform, with superb aerodynamics, great handling, and importantly a good sized engine bay..Would require a transmission tunnel modification to fit gearbox of choice, and conversion of the popup lights to fixed units (Kits available on the market for this..in HID)

Engine of choice : Chevrolet Duramax 6.6 from as late a model as budget allows..Turbo of course..boosted slightly to give around 500hp which would make for a fun ride (The FD rx7 has a factory installed 13Brew engine (13B Rotary with twin turbos, intercooler etc), Conversion to LS v8 is a relatively easy thing these days with kits designed to bolt in...modifying from one of these to suit the big diesel should be relatively straightforward...expected weight difference to factory should be less than 200KG extra (440lbs))

Transmission of choice : TR-6070 7 speed manual from a 2014 corvette (0.42 final overdrive) - This is a big box, and would require some tin work to fit into the transmission tunnel..but would have the big torquey diesel ticking over at idle at 60mph ...for highway driving this should deliver outstanding fuel economy.

Drivetrain of choice RWD - Samberg diff conversion kit..replacing rear end with a cobra IRS kit is also possibly worthwhile to handle the torque, and give a broader choice of final gear ratios ..

Modifications required to above : apart from the fitment kit, and small amount of bodywork, the basic car and drivetrain are more than adequate for the task. Multiple 1000hp Rotary and V8 examples exist worlwide showing the chassis is strong enough for a simple 500-600hp diesel conversion. The Big duramax can handle 500-600hp without too many mechanical mods (injectors / pump / ECU), and for normal day to day driving tune could be configured to deliver a lazy 300hp for enhanced fuel economy..then turned up for some playtime on the track..

Expected mileage : - Wild estimate..but based on the corvette getting close to 40mpg with a petrol engine, on a less aerodynamic and heavier package..it would be estimated an easy 50mpg, and potentially with hypermiling driving upwards of 60mpg...from a 500hp sports car...

Expected cost to build: Base car $8000, Selling running gear $-3000, Used Duramax $4000, Transmission $3000, Conversion kit $5000, ECU / Ancilleries - $3000 - so around the $20,000 mark for a car that would return insane fuel economy better than some hybrids..and have 500hp, 10 second 1/4 mile times, and 300kph top speed...OBVIOUSLY if driven like a sports car, fuel economy would be poor however...Additionally, if some of the engine mods I am testing at the moment work as expected, applying them to this engine would result in a 40% further reduction in fuel..so maybe close to 90mpg from a 500hp car for ~$25k....

Last edited by craysus; 04-06-2017 at 10:12 PM..
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ND Miata - '15 Mazda MX-5 Special Package
90 day: 39.32 mpg (US)

Work Vehicle - '17 Toyota RAV4
90 day: 31.71 mpg (US)
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EDIT: conformed to template

Budget Bracket - I think it could easily run $30,000+, it's essentially converting an Insight into a VW XL1

Purpose of car - General use

Proposed basis for car - 2000-2006 Honda Insight

Engine of choice - Accord Hybrid drivetrain (2L Atkinson cycle engine mated to 181HP electric motor, 212HP combined), or if I could summon it out of the air, a miniature version with 2/3 to 3/4 the displacement to reduce weight. Alternatively, maybe the hybrid TDI from the XL1 itself.

Have options for small battery or PEHV with ~20-30 miles range. Easy 100mpg highway on gasoline alone, ability to do short trips without starting the gasoline engine at all. Common battery chemistry makes replacing battery a breeze when that eventuality comes. Battery for PEHV could be 1/6 to 1/8 the Leaf's size, very inexpensive to replace.

Transmission of choice Clutched direct drive from engine, single speed

Drivetrain of choice FWD, possibility of an electric motor in single rear wheel

Modifications required to above

Make it a trike - 3 wheels, 3 seats, longer wheel base, more aggressive rear taper, longer hatch - with the rear seat folded down, so you could maybe sleep in it comfortably. Lithium batteries moved to floor, freeing up tons of room in the rear, giving it a cavernous cargo area.

With the loss of a rear wheel, a change to lithium and the removal of the transmission, the car would probably end up lighter despite being longer and having more power, maybe 1600-1800lbs, down from 1850. With ~150+ ft-lbs torque, it would be a blast to drive.

Expected mileage 150-200MPGe, 100mpg+ on the highway on gasoline

Expected cost to build - Don't even want to think about this

Last edited by Ecky; 04-07-2017 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Cibbie - '88 Honda CBR 250R
90 day: 52.51 mpg (US)

Rarity - '06 Honda Accord EX V6
Team Honda
90 day: 33.69 mpg (US)

Baby viff - '86 Honda VFR 400R
90 day: 42.15 mpg (US)

Latios - '08 Suzuki SV650SF
90 day: 69.56 mpg (US)

Mazda 3 - '14 Mazda 3 i Sport
90 day: 44.52 mpg (US)
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I drew my dream eco/sports car a while ago, here is the picture I would be basing this car off of.
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Here would be the realistic donor car, a 1991-1997 Mazda MX-6
Click image for larger version

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Budget Bracket {$0-->$5000,$5001-->$15,000,$15001-->$30,000,$30,000+}

Purpose of car {Daily driver around town, Daily Driver longer distance, 1/2 ton Work Truck (or Van), 1 ton work truck (Or van), luxury touring, sports car}
Sports car

Proposed basis for car {Ground up build from raw materials, Kit car, previous production car}
The closest reasonable car I can find to my drawn design would be the 1991-1997 Mazda MX-6

Engine of choice
One of two inline sixes: Either a 1JZ (2.5) or a 2JZ (3.0)

Transmission of choice
A 6+ speed manual compatible with a mid engine RWD layout.

Drivetrain of choice {fwd, rwd, 4wd, other}
Rear wheel drive

Modifications required to above
The base car would require extensive modifications to turn it into what I would want it to be. Most notably would be the switch from front engine front wheel drive to mid engine rear wheel drive. Another big switch would be the changes to the cooling system. My design features a cooling system which would utilize the meredith effect to minimize drag from the cooling system.

Expected mileage
As far as EPA ratings, maybe 21 city, 32 highway? Ideally, it should be able to achieve 50 MPG highway with my driving style.

Expected cost to build
Probably in the $15K-$30K range. Custom fabrication would probably have to be farmed out to turn a 1-2JZ into a mid engine rear wheel drive.
-Kaze o tatakaimasen-

Best trip in V6: 52.0
Best tank in V6: 46.0
Best tank in Mazda: 49.9
Best tank in CBR: 61.3
Best tank in SV: 83.9

Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
You can lead a fashion-conscious horse to unusual-looking water...

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Old 04-06-2017, 11:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
Eco Sol
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^^ (Ecky) I like your thinking. That's pretty much the design I was talking about, but 2 seater tandem instead​ of 3 seats so I could taper the boat tail more. Also I like the hybrid idea. I'd probably go with the smallest engine I coul get away with though to maintain highway speeds (and charge) and use the electric motors to accelerate to speed and cruise around town.

Best Tank = 42.72 mpg (in the 94 Del Sol)

CR-Z Current Mods:
Max Sidewall PSI

Last edited by Shortie771; 04-06-2017 at 11:37 PM..
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would start with a chevy half ton from the mid 90's amd retrofit a cummins 4bt turbo diesel from the same era. No computer anything. P7100 injection pump, oring head, head studs, and a smallish turbo. Lpg fumigation and a 6spd manuel (g56) would give it exceptional mileage possibly in the mid 40s the way I drive. Diesel dave would probably get in the 70s. The lumber rack would make aero mods kind of pointless.

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