We've just done a fuel economy rally in our 2000 Insight rally car and HCH rally car. (see www.oaktechybrid.co.uk
for pics and details.)
Before the rally we did some mods to the car which is a Jap import CVT which perceived wisdom says should be lean burn.
First up we repositioned the MIMA controller to a little plinth mounted on top of the instrument pod to allow easy access to the manual control joystick. (we have a PIMA setting for speed competition work ) 3 years of motorsport using PIMA have given this car an amazingly fit set of batteries!
Next we did some aero and suspension work checking all the alignments and replacing the very harsh competition front struts with a standard set. The car still has its stiff rear end and poly bushes etc. We backed off the rear shoes to eliminate any drag. On the aero front we made a dam to cover the lower front intake and tidied up the under side by extending the tray over the fuel tank and rear beam and screwing up the leading edge of the rear bumper to the floor of the car which otherwise hangs down as a big air scoop.
We fitted a set of Pirelli low drag tyres and put in 60psi.
Our next job was to blank off 75% of the radiator and fit a very neat curved intake pipe from the airbox to just behind the open part of the rad to pick up the warm air flowing through.
It's cold here at the moment and driving the car hard shows very little temp increase on the gauge. This pipe is trumpeted at the intake end the idea being to use this warm air to stimulate the lean burn.
This rally, run by Ilkley Motor Club, has run each year for over 40 years and covered a timed course of 55 miles of very tough single track rural and hill roads in the Yorkshire Dales plus some urban driving through the towns on route.
The result for the Insight was 81.3 mpg on the rally which was easily a new record for the event and 17 mpg better than the next best car a little Renault Clio Diesel. Our Civic Hybrid which also competed managed 52mpg.
On the 60 mile drive to the event however we measured the Insight at 98.9 mpg at a 42mph average over quite hilly 'A' roads and the Civic at 63 mpg at an average of 48mph.