Jeremy Clarkson, the outspoken host of Britain’s Top Gear auto show, made a spectacle of racing a Prius vs. a BMW M3, in which the latter recieved better gas mileage. His point was that is isn’t what you drive, but how you drive. Nothing emphasizes this idea more than the Aerocivic, a simple yet highly publicized Civic whose owner, Mike Turner, utilized basic hypermilling techniques such as coasting down hills and shutting off his engine at stop lights to maximize fuel usage. He then took his very basic car a step further by applying an aerodynamic body kit to reduce drag at high speeds, and now he is using the power of the Interweb to give further insight into the how and why of his car, the Aerocivic.
Turner details the cost of improvements to his 1992 Civic DX, such as the boat tail, smaller side view mirrors, and lower nose, all of which work to lower the drag coefficient, thus allowing the car to slide through the air easier and using less power and petrol. Turner says he spent only $400 improving the fuel efficiency of his car, which has been the subject of many stories already, and on a level road going 65 mph he claims to get 95 miles per gallon.
The website is very informational and also details where Mike got his influences, such as homemade aircraft and the 1939 Maybach Stromlinienkarosserie. The little details like the sealed panel gaps and windshield wiper deflectors help greatly in reducing drag, you can really appreciate the thought that went into this car. It is a really great read and contains some good ideas for your own Aero-car project, so make sure you check out the Aerocivic website.