Energy & Sustainability
Aerocivic – green modded Honda Civic

Boatrebuild15
Darin writes –

Photos & details of a 15 year old Honda Civic, radically aerodynamically modified for increased fuel economy. The owner reports coast-down testing indicates the co-efficient of drag has dropped from .34 to .17 – better than GM’s ill-fated, and super-slippery EV1 electric car. With fuel economy instrumentation, the owner claims “Approximate mileage on a flat road at 85F … 85mpg at 70mph”.

Aerocivic – modded Honda Civic – Link.

36 thoughts on “Aerocivic – green modded Honda Civic

  1. I call BS on the claim that nighttime driving cost 2-3 mpg because of the electrical load of the running lights and headlights. Dont have time to crunch the numbers right now but that figure strikes me as pure unadulteratted bs.
    I applaud folks for maximizing mpg but this community like other extreme do it yourselfers probably has their share of bsers.

  2. An low drag car could be made nicely with a lot of design effort.(ie start with a clean slate). Even with a clean slate it will not end up looking like anything on the road today.
    More mpg is possible with a few simple paradigm changes( I cant believe I actually used the word paradigm)
    Use an efficient diesel engine
    Drop as much weight as possible
    Go with the lowest drag coefficient possible.

    The big problem is that most Americans want more mpg but they do not want too:
    Drive anything smaller than a light tank
    Dont want to drive anything that does not look “right”
    Drive anything that is “underpowered”

    Higher mpg awaits those who dare to be different.

  3. While interesting, the MPG estimate claim is grossly overstated. I would like to see a real test run. Since according to the claims, the drag coefficient was cut in half, I don’t see a 3.5-1 fuel efficiency increase. Which doesn’t take into account the added weight of the modifications.

    Hardly worthy of a Make entry, most things covered by Make actually work.

    “look at me, I can play with fiberglass” is how I read this one.

  4. Wow, some people don’t even read the articles before stating that they are false.

    “My truck/SUV/hummer/armchair gets 3 blocks per tank, therefore 85 mpg is a fictional number like eleventeen”

    Note: The mods were done with coroplast and aluminium panels. Not fiberglass.

    Also, he MEASURED the fuel economy…thus the effect of ALL changes have been incorporated and do in fact WORK. Vehicle weight has a much smaller effect on efficiency than aerodynamics at highway speeds.

    It’s an awesome mod and I think it looks really cool. Definitely some room to clean up the aesthetics, but a good start. texastiger is bang on.

  5. Too bad it will never pass US federal bumper regulations. That’s right, it doesn’t have a bumper at the right height and I’m sure it would fail the 5mph crash test.

    Imagine being impaled on the back of that spike in a collision. There’s a good reason why we mandate bumpers that will line up in a crash.

  6. He has spent a lot of money on eye-catching bad fiberglass but can’t spend money on new tires? I bet changing out his bald tires would improve gas mileage, too.

  7. It’d help his Cd if he cleaned up all those seams. If you look at the photos in the article, it’s very poor workmanship. The bad seams and rough surfaces cause a decent amount of drag too.

    I gotta wonder if he needs that crazy tail. Capping the wheel wells and a rounder front end might already get him in the ballpark.

  8. >I gotta wonder if he needs that crazy tail.

    Absolutely – it takes him from a bluff body to a streamlined body. Production cars such as the Prius and insight have a Kammback shape not too unlike basjoos full taper. For Example

    >He has spent a lot of money on eye-catching bad fiberglass but can’t spend money on new tires? I bet changing out his bald tires would improve gas mileage, too.

    jayfo – you obviously have spent more time commenting on this as opposed to even reading the article. There’s no fiberglass. As for tires – pictures are inconclusive AFAIK. Even so, worn tires have a lower rolling resistance compared to new tires :)

    basjoos has measured his economy – that’s what the SuperMID is for (in addition to tank/tank measurements) ;)

    And sure, it looks like crap visually… But I’ve seen much worse for cars with over 450,000 miles :) Here’s his gaslog log

  9. Would there be a heat problem for the brakes? The wheels being covered.. guess they would wear quicker. Operant word there is Guess .. as I really don’t know..

  10. My name says it all. I’m suprised he didnt use wood screws and ducttape to hold it all together. The caulking use on it is extreemly sloppy and applied poorly.

    tre-if you look at the pictures…its pretty clear that at least the one tire does not have too much more tread left on it. I’m guessing the others are like it.

  11. >tre-if you look at the pictures…its pretty clear that at least the one tire does not have too much more tread left on it. I’m guessing the others are like it.

    I’ll send him an PM and ask… according to his fuel log – those tires are less than 4 months old with less than 15K miles…. Although, it could just be old pictures – I’ve watched his posts and much of the car’s transformation :)

    It’s really just a perfect at showing that results need not be pretty :)

  12. Results probably could be better if he would have put some effort into actually making seams like the caulking seam on the hood completely flat….or even kinda flat. The poor (ugly) craftsmanship does effect results.

    If it was a better construction maybe with some nice paint then i’d like it more. Don’t get me wrong. I actually really like the idea. I’d love it if it was done nicely. Or even half-decent.

    I’ll be interested to hear about the tires. The one picture looks as if the tread is wore down pretty much. I say this in relation to the bottom of the channels between the tread. Then again it might just be the picture?

  13. Just got a response on tires… The verdict from the source:

    “My current tires are new tires installed in July and I have almost gotten them broken in so I can get my mileage back up where it should be. They haven’t been shaved or otherwise altered. The tires they replaced were well worn, but not bald.”

  14. ->”Neeeeerrrrrrdddddsssss!!!!!!!!!

    Is there any way to make an aero car that doesn’t look so, well, nerdy?””Too bad it will never pass US federal bumper regulations. That’s right, it doesn’t have a bumper at the right height and I’m sure it would fail the 5mph crash test.

    Imagine being impaled on the back of that spike in a collision. There’s a good reason why we mandate bumpers that will line up in a crash.”

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