Six Cylinders of Fury
Fuel Economy

I drive “easy” most of the time for the purpose of gas mileage savings by keeping the engine revolutions between 2000-2500rpms using the absolute maximum throttle I can get away with while keeping it in that range. There is a reasoning for this, low RPMs waste more energy as heat is evacuated from the engine, high rpms waste more energy as frictional loses increase, and the throttle plate is a WEAKNESS of the gasoline powered engine. Manufacturers are now starting to shy away from them in favor of variable valve lift in the cylinder head.  The reason this is such a weakness is the same reason that you end up using a spoon rather than a straw for a thick milkshake, it’s just too hard to suck through! If a gas engine is left at idle with factory cams it generates in the area of 20psi of intake vacuum, that’s 20lbs of force per inch doing absolutely nothing and your engine still has to make it! The way I drive, my car gets in the area of 26-29mpg in the city and 37mpg on the highway, the EPA says my car should get 19/24 and back when I was 17 and floored it everywhere I got 17mpg.

If I had to make a car to set a conventional gas-powered economy record (or at least personal record it would be

  1. Drag Coefficient of .26 or less
  2. Minimal weight, 2000lbs or less
  3. Naturally aspirated 1.6L 4 cylinder
  4. 11:1+ Compression
  5. SOHC Solid roller valvetrain
  6. 5 speed manual transmission

It is my belief that such a car could be made to get 60+mpg without going overboard.

My personal beliefs on what makes a car great

I feel like I’m in a very small minority of people who actually understands what makes a good car. A car is just a tool, I like calling certain cars scalpels and others sledgehammers. A sledgehammer is a car that just has too much mass for its own good and a scalpel is car that is engineered properly to do the job it needs to do.

Ideally everyone on earth would drive a car that has just enough grunt for their driving habits, just enough cargo space for their usual payloads, just enough seats for their expected passengers, etc.

I have a fairly heavy foot myself and I am for the most part satisfied with the low end given to me by my 3 liter V6. My car is about 500-600lbs lighter than factory and before modifications even my grandfather could accidentally chirp the tires at a redlight. Top end is where it needs help.

WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY?

Not quite sure to be honest, at the moment it’s probably either riding with my dad in his Nissan 200SX or being amazed by my grandma’s car’s fancy features (compared to my mom’s Oldsmobile at the time). I was probably around 4 for both.