February 2, 2009 It might look ugly but this 1992 Honda Civic has double the fuel mileage of a standard Civic simply by lowering the coefficient of drag (Cd) from 0.34 to 0.17 with a little engineering savvy and $400 worth of material bought the local hardware store. In fact the drag on this 350,000 miles (563,270 km) old Civic has been reduced to the point where it is virtually equal to the radical tear drop shaped Aptera which has a Cd of 0.15.

The car's builder Mike Turner says at a highway speed of 65 mph (105 km/h) he can routinely achieve a fuel mileage of 95 MPG (2.5Lt per 100km). The most obvious feature are the wheel covers and Boat Tail which were modeled on a Vintage German 1939 Maybach. The extended tail eliminates the recirculating, low-pressure eddy that forms behind "normal" cars and that act to slow them down. More subtle but just as important additions have been a fully enclosed undertray, the removal of wing mirrors and blocking intake vents at the front of the car and exhausting the radiator air out through the front wheel wells.

Using coast down tests and a SuperMID fuel consumption computer Mike’s next target is to improve mileage during night driving as he has calculated the electrical load from the lights are costing him 2 to 3 mpg with half of this loss being from the parking lights. Mike wants to replace the parking and dome lights with LED's. Check out the Aero Civic web site.

Paul Evans