Finally stumbled upon a good disscussion and information repository for us fuel economy weenies. When I bought my first car in '82 I had to find a good Datsun 510, legendary race history, bulletproof, and fuel efficient for the time. My friends were in V-8 mustangs, camaros and (gasp)impalas. Funny thing why we took my car to go on trips and skiing each weekend tho. (Still made them pay for gas).
I've been riding motorcycles on the street for 23 years now. It all started because it was fun, with the added bonus of being really cheap to own and operate. Not so much of an advantage now as 4 wheelers have steadily improved fuel efficiency and motorcycles have gotten much more powerful but NOT more fuel efficient. My '84 Kawasaki 550 got 60 mpg no matter what. A modern 600 makes almost twice the power but struggles to get 50 mpg.
Later transportation I had were a '79 rabbit, '78 scirocco, '86 golf, '91 tercel, '72 911, '88 Mazda B2200, and a bicycle (healthiest).
I always tracked mpg figures but couldn't figure out how to decrease the 80% or so of fuel going to waste. My philosophy is that I don't care how much fuel I use as long as I waste as absolutely little as possible. Use only what you need to accomplish the goal. I've always opposed SUVs for that very reason, very few are used for thier designed capabilities or at least pretensions, the rest is just waste. I think it's funny that now people are rediscovering how much better handling (and safer) driving a car is and now the manufacturers are trying (and doing quite well) to make a vehicle look like a truck and drive like a car.
Whatever. Rant mode off. Sorry.
I do all my own wrenching and understand almost anything hot-rodders or mechanics may do or talk about. "Hot-rodding" for fuel economy is a specialized direction for automotive tinkering and few people that really know what they are talking about. I hope to contribute my knowledge on the subject and learn alot from the collective discussion. Thorough, repeatable, quantitative testing is a must for this, as seat of the pants fuel economy testing doesn't work. We're working with numbers here, not something you can feel. Thanks to whomever for getting this discussion going.
BTW if you want to really enjoy your car, or reasonably stable truck, and learn to drive all over again go autocrossing for a full season. You'll learn a TON, it's cheap to do, and it's lots of fun. I highly recommmend every driver to keep an open mind and give it a good try, you won't regret it, not one bit.
Now, on to making these thing we drive work better than the factory designed!!!