what would you do? I sometimes think about this, and perhaps in the future when I have my own place, room, and money, I will do it. If you had 10,000$ to modify your car, or purchase a new car and modify, what car would you get and what would you do?
I think I would get a 96+ 1L 5speed metro for a project because it is already a top contender. There may be better choices, but I am already well familiar with this vehicle.
For starters, extreme weight loss (couple hundred pounds), suspension lowered as close to ground as possible but still be able to hit bumps, custom 13x4 (or less width) aluminum wheels with less backspace to suck wheels closer to body and lightest reasonable tire, heavy areodynamics modification (mirrors, grill, entire rear taperd down, tire shrouds, etc).
Then more extreme like tubular aluminum frame to eliminate wieght and be stronger than rusted-out frame, diesel conversion (?), xfi cam, 6-speed tranny(?), electrical assistance(?), computer adjusters and moniters (megasuirt, scangauge, etc), LED conversion.
And finally, fuzzy dice for my rearview mirror.
I think it can be done (most of it) if you did the work yourself, had the knowledge/patience/tools, and found good deals on stuff. How about you'all?
I would get an Insight, get one of those reprogrammed motor controllers for it, the Mima or whatever they are called, some 145/85 R14 tires. LED indicator lights all around, a single middle back seat to allow 3rd person (part of why I didn't like the CRX), maybe get the engine cryogenicly treated and replace the battery pack with Lithium Iron, I've also thought about getting a Honda Fit, and putting an insight drive train in, as they supposedly are similar size..
I've also thought about getting a 1996-? civic hatchback, and putting a hx engine in it, because I really like the civic hatch backs, then add lighter weight fenders, hood, wheels, a stainless steel exhaust system.
Other option is to buy another electric car that doesn't need to be fully rebuilt, use that for driving to work, save the gas car for longer trips, or get a diesel for long trips and use what is left over for beer.
high 11s in the quarter mile - or swap for long range vs. performance.
All electric. Zero emissions ( windfarm electricity ) ( in a car with four seats - so no aero bubble cars needed )
Has approx $ 13,000 invested.
Buy a street sweeper, use half the back for a low RPM industrial diesel, and half of it for a centrifugal separator, then you suck tire powder and organic dust from the road, separate the grit out of it, and run the diesel on it... oh and I'm the only one that gets to have one, or there'll never be enough fuel to go anywhere.
Find a truck with a nice rounded cab shape, then put one vertical roller in each of the front corners of the bed, and one vertical roller on a moveable arm at the back of the bed. Stretch a band of canvas/tarp around the three rollers... and shifting the back roller side to side will alter the airfoil shape allowing you to "sail" in crosswinds. Oh and you can motorise it, making it scroll around slowly, helping lift slightly and you can sell advertising space on it...
Get another 1st gen caravan or voyager, strip it right down and rebuild it lighter, fit a VW 1.9TDI and 5 speed, insulate the heck out of it for peak thermal efficiency, go nuts on the aero... because having an 80mpg minivan screws with peoples heads more than having an 80mpg insight.
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
I'd probably find an unmolested Honda Civic VX and remap the ECM to run in lean-burn mode for everything but rapid acceleration. Do a complete fiberglass aero package like basjoos has, with a dynomatted sheet-metal belly pan, LRR tires, and FE gauge. Then I'd install a small electric motor at the rear wheels for 0-5 mph acceleration and give the car an auto shutoff capability. You'd let the clutch out and push on the accelerator and the electric motor would effectively bump-start the engine and you'd be on your way. You'd probably have to play with 2nd or 3rd gear starts and then a quick downsift to avoid a jerky start, or maybe size the electric motor so you can start in 2nd. The electric motor would be extremely helpful in slow bumper-to-bumper traffic where having the engine running is extremely inefficient. Obviously I'd give the small battery pack a plug-in capability and unstall a ultra-high-output alternator to charge it while in motion. You could also get a small amount of regenerative braking by using the electric motor(s) to slow you down. Overall, I'd be suprised to not see 100 mpg in the city AND on the highway.