In my short study of FE driving I have noticed serveral things when comparing performance to fuel efficiency.
1. It is a lot harder to go from 15mpg to 30mpg, than it is to go from 0-60mph in X number of seconds.
2. The majority of people buy vehicles based on performance not on FE.
3. Parts are readily available for performance, where as most FE parts are home brewed.
4. There are thousands of magazines and websites dedicated to help make your car go faster and get more HP. There are only a handful of FE sites, and 0 magazines (that I've seen).
5. Most car conversations go something like this, "how fast does it go," or "how big is the engine?" Rarely you would hear a conversation like this "how far can your car go on a tank of gas," or how small is your engine?"
6. People often complain about gas prices, even when it goes up 1 cent. But people say (from the people I've talked to), it's not worth it to save a few pennies I'd rather get their faster. This is a contradiction Big Time!
7. When people ask me about what I'm doing to my van, I tell them trying to make it more effiecient. They laugh and walk away. When people see someone trying to soup up their car, then they ask lots of questions.
8. My favorite - it takes a lot of money to get better HP. It takes a little bit of patience and a lot of thinking on how to get better FE.
From my experience, the equalizer is when there's a massive traffic jam on the highway. The cars that "Haul A" are probably higher horsepowered which may translate to a higher wasted gas rate while idling compared to us "FE"ers. Also, they probably don't know about the "popping gear into neutral" trick. Also, they might be the ones who become road ragers with rising blood pressure and associated health and psychological problems. According to some testimonies I've read of fellow GSers, sometimes an "FE"er may make it to the destination about the same time as the "Haul A" type.
It's not just a few pennies. It's the f'b KBB value of most used vehicles, or even new ones if the owner keeps it long enough. It also depends on the price of gas. As it stands, going from 50mpg to 100mpg over 20k miles only saves ~$600/year w/ gas at $3/gal. Otoh, going from 10mpg to 50mpg saves ~$4800/year w/ the same assumptions.
Originally Posted by FormulaTwo
I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.
The more intelligent people I know and respect actually ask questions more along the lines of FE than performance, yet the slightly less intelligent or less knowledgeable people I know, tend to ask more about performance. I'd agree.
I really doubt intelligence has anything to do with FE and performance, I think it's more along the lines of being informed. About 6 months ago I really didn't care about FE but that didn't make me any less intelligent than I am now. I didn't drive that much either because I was able to walk to work.
driving our N600, it's suprizing the number, and type of people who are like "it must get great gas mileage" people who drive trucks, and drive fast are impressed with the .6L engine, and wish they had one, because it's cute! I have yet to hear someone say "I bet you could put a turbo on that thing" and I have the same kind of responsis from people about my "47mpg" magentic sticker on the back of my VX, it seems to get people thinking, and they really do seem impressed, at least the ones that talk to me, kind of wish I could hear the people behind me at stop lights.
I've seen that people do get interested in higher mpg. Especially when you tell them what mpg your getting, and how much more than EPA.
I entered my car in my company's employee classic car show. I entered it as an mpg project car. Not a category, just a reason for entering since it's not pretty or "hot". (I already posted at GasSavers on this show but it's pertinent here too I think).
Anyway, I printed up some materials including the EPA #s and my current mpg which is about 1.5x EPA. And some other materials too. Where I work is full of nerdy engineering and accounting types and plenty people wanted to know how I did it. I told them what I could. Oh yes - i also told them to vote for their favorite car - and I came in first, ahead of 4 shiny 'vettes and a 1929 Model T!
Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.