Have you ever wanted to drive a golf ball? And no, I don’t mean hit it with a driver down the fairway in hopes of a hole-in-one. I mean get behind the wheel of a car covered in dimples which replicate the skin of a golf ball.
That’s the idea behind the Fastskinz MPG-Plus car wrap, which claims to increase gas mileage by as much 20% and in the process reskins your car to look like a four-wheeled, car-shaped golf ball. Popular Mechanics decided to put the Fastskinz MPG-Plus to the test and see if the claims of greater fuel efficiency are for real, or just a bogus marketing scheme.
The idea behind Fastskinz MPG-Plus is that by replicating the dimples of a golf ball on a car’s body, drag will be reduced and thus fuel efficiency improved. There is a whole lot of science behind golf balls as it turns out, and those dimples create turbulent air around the ball, allowing it to sail farther on a cushion of air while decreasing drag. Pretty nifty huh? But does it work on cars? Well, according to Popular Mechanics…no.
The PM guys took two equally-equipped Ford Flex crossovers, one wrapped in dimples and the other left as it came from the factory, and then drove them around to test the fuel efficiency. Turns out that the unwrapped Flex actually got marginally better gas-mileage than the Flex wrapped in Fastskinz even though both cars were driven the same way on the same route.The unwrapped Flex managed to get 24.55 MPG over a 430 mile trip, while the wrapped flex got 24.52 over 429.8 miles…what happened to that missing 1/3 of a mile, I don’t know. But in fairness to Fastskinz, PM did choose pretty much a box-on-wheels to test this skin on. Maybe something more reminiscent of a golfball-shape, like say a Yaris or Fit, might have different results.
But for now, there is still no magic cure to your MPG blues, unless you’re the patient type and don’t mind taking your time to get where you’re going. Because at the end of the day, it’s both what you drive and how you drive that determines your MPG. Even big diesel trucks can manage 40+ MPG if you stay off the throttle, but all that torque can be mighty tempting…
Source: Popular Mechanics