New Hypermiler Special

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GaToR
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New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:34 pm

Daily commute: 80 miles
Going for lowest possible TCO in a livable mobile.
Commuter of choice: Focus 1.0 SE 6MT.
They were trying to get rid of their manuals for significantly under invoice, so I obliged them.

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by drwrx » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:26 am

Keep us posted on the specifics. Give us a breakdown on the type of commute, average speed, etc. And what your overall take is on the quality and driving enjoyment (if any) of the Focus.
As always "your milage may vary."

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:17 pm

65mph for 25 miles, then 15 miles of 2-lane tulip fields at 50mph.

We're about 2 months away from this:

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Right now looks like a lot of dirt. :ugh:

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:43 pm

First tank almost depleted

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5YHfA ... sp=sharing

The 1.0 sorta reminds me of a wankel. Not much going on down low, but it is super-smooth and barely makes a sound at 5K rpm all day long. It is light enough in the front end that it would feel agile with some non-OEM rubber. Very light clutch and the 6 rows never miss. Pretty nice shifter for an ecobox.

As for comfort, it eats up miles just fine. I could put on some tunes and drive to CA no problem. And that's precisely part of the plan with this car. Long-distance highway beating in order to see Oregon and British Columbia. And no natural aspirated altitude sickness crossing the Cascades 10x in a year :D

Ana's Sonata has been good for the task. However, the Hyundai infotainment sucks compared to Sync, and I don't care for the limited 3 transmission modes, 'Normal 'Eco' 'Sport'. PowerShifting helps, but the overall package is both less well integrated, and lets face it not as much fun as a 1.0 and a 6MT.
Not to pick on an excellent car in the Sonata; I definitely wanted the Hyundai for Ana for the warranty. But if it were me, it's be a Fusion, or in this case the Focus.

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by Sabre » Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:15 pm

Congrats :) That commute doesn't seem too bad!

Seems like a pretty decent commuter box! :)
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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:58 am

I'm starting to understand what the EU sees in little 1.0-1.5l engines in reasonably priced cars.
No weight up front helps this thing corner really flat for an eco box. And the boost is there when you need it... up high, kinda like VTEC. "Eco boost just kicked in yo!"

It was meant as an appliance to do serious work while driving me to and from serious work. My thought was that it would be economical to take over the mountain passes... but now I'm itching to do it just because of the fun factor of a good handling little car.

Portland this weekend. Probably hit up the Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls.

http://www.travel50states.com/columbia- ... ge-oregon/

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by drwrx » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:42 am

You should be on the look out for ECU mods in the future.
There have been a number of write-up on the 1.0 Superchips tuned Focus in Europe.
Their claim is +22 hp and +42 lb/ft from just a stock reflash and no one appears to be doubting those numbers.
That would be 145 hp and 190 lb/ft from a 1 liter!

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by Sabre » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:13 am

I can understand the appeal! If that's true from the reflash, that's impressive! It also speaks volumes on why people like the Fiesta ST so much.
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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:33 pm

1.0L is the new diesel.
Ambients going from 40F on average to 50F on average saw a jump from 39mpg to a tank to 50mpg to a tank. Thats 500 miles on 10 gallons. [ if you drive highway, highway, highway, stoplight, finish and reverse course. YMMV.] I expect that to go up as daily ambients move to 60 but above that it'll probably peak if I have to use windows/AC.

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by drwrx » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:20 am

50 mpg! Just image what you could get with a good tail wind and a gentle slope.
So you are only having to fill-up once a week despite the 80 mile round trip commute?

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:29 am

drwrx wrote:50 mpg! Just image what you could get with a good tail wind and a gentle slope.
So you are only having to fill-up once a week despite the 80 mile round trip commute?
Yup. Range per tank is actually 550-600 miles, but I pull off at 500 to see how much needs to go back in.

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by Sabre » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:25 am

NICE!
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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by ElZorro » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:31 am

Wow. Food for thought...
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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:29 pm

Best tank.

Photos point to my trip mileage computer is way off... it's saying I only got 50mpg. Hand calc was way better.

579.5 miles on 10.714 gallons = 54.078 mpg for the tank

Lifetime mileage for the car is 46.7mpg (including break-in and winter months)


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwkX5w ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwkX5w ... sp=sharing

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by drwrx » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:31 am

DAMN! I am shocked. I figured you would get some impressive mileage out of that mill, but 54 mpg is just amazing. That is putting-up serious Prius like numbers.

I guess I have to ask, How is Miss Daisy? I have to assume to get that kind of millage you are driving her.

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:22 am

drwrx wrote:DAMN! I am shocked. I figured you would get some impressive mileage out of that mill, but 54 mpg is just amazing. That is putting-up serious Prius like numbers.

I guess I have to ask, How is Miss Daisy? I have to assume to get that kind of millage you are driving her.
Had to leave her on the side of the road. Couldn't afford the weight. She'd also kept hitting me when we cornered, since in order to maintain momentum and keep mpg's up I slowed as little as possible. :D


Few YMMV notes: I'm 90/10 highway/city with average traffic jams per week of 1 (Friday afternoon 3PM rush). I drive the highway speeds, but don't go over 70mph because there's an accepted "aerodynamic wall" for the auto engineers I work with that above 70-72mph doesn't bode well for aero efficiency on road vehicles.

Pure city I wouldn't expect to crack 40mpg to a tank. But I have limited needs for acceleration runs and when I'm not highway I have roundabouts to deal with rather than stop signs. All adds up to the right car for the right route.

Also, the effects of heat rejection are interesting. Power and efficiency are definitely mutually exclusive. When the car doesn't have to heat its fluids as much due to high ambients (15-30C is sweet spot I've found) it gets 60-70mpg instantaneous on the highway. Below 15C when you feel more power, that drops to around 40-50 mpg same road same speed. I do see value in the louvers that open and close on some Eco package cars (mine doesn't even come with). I might even consider creating some louvers for the winter. Most autos are designed with heat rejection at 40C in mind. Anything under and the heat rejection system is overkill. And all that cold air blasting in at 70mph requires fuel to keep the oil and the passenger happy.

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by drwrx » Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:01 pm

GaToR wrote:I drive the highway speeds, but don't go over 70mph because there's an accepted "aerodynamic wall" for the auto engineers I work with that above 70-72mph doesn't bode well for aero efficiency on road vehicles.
I'm sure you can find ways of improve aerodynamic efficiency; tape, louvers, perhaps a front splitter?
What is the Focus' coefficient of drag?
I'm sure with just a few hundred hours and a couple thousand of dollars I'm sure you can make the hypermiler even more slippery. Maybe even add another 1 even 2 mpg to the average!

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:42 pm

drwrx wrote:
GaToR wrote:I drive the highway speeds, but don't go over 70mph because there's an accepted "aerodynamic wall" for the auto engineers I work with that above 70-72mph doesn't bode well for aero efficiency on road vehicles.
I'm sure you can find ways of improve aerodynamic efficiency; tape, louvers, perhaps a front splitter?
What is the Focus' coefficient of drag?
I'm sure with just a few hundred hours and a couple thousand of dollars I'm sure you can make the hypermiler even more slippery. Maybe even add another 1 even 2 mpg to the average!
No thank you?

Contrary to popular belief, louvers over the radiator are mainly for managing thermo under the hood, not for aerodynamics. There's probably less than 0.5% in the aero of hood louvers (or tape). This car in particular is probably as good as its gonna get in fair weather without, as you say, seeing substantial investment for little gain.

My point was that there is a 15mpg delta between summer driving and winter driving. Some of that is recoverable, hence why cars with 'eco packages' cover up the radiators when the thermostat says its safe.

Radiators are designed to keep the smoke going out the tail pipe up to 40-50C ambient. At 0C all you are doing is burning fuel to keep the water at operating temp. You can afford to cut the airflow to the radiator to ~1/3 of summertime air flow and be in absolutely no danger.

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by Sabre » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:26 am

VERY interesting on the mileage differences you are seeing. In other ways, it makes sense too: The colder charge is more dense entering the engine, which requires more fuel to keep at the stoic point. That doesn't change gearing though, so at the same speed you are using more fuel to make up for the denser charge.
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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:48 pm

Sabre wrote:VERY interesting on the mileage differences you are seeing. In other ways, it makes sense too: The colder charge is more dense entering the engine, which requires more fuel to keep at the stoic point. That doesn't change gearing though, so at the same speed you are using more fuel to make up for the denser charge.
I think the charge is part of the equation,
but think of how much cold is coming through the radiator. Every joule of enthalpy contained in the hot water in that radiator was caused by fuel being burned.

Now imagine on a hot day, the radiator is basically running at optimal temp for 'free'. On a cold day,~25% extra fuel burn to maintain engine temp.

This is consistent with my mileage in the Ecoboost 3.5l F-150. Summer you could get advertised mileage easy (22). Winter you weren't cracking 17 city or highway driving like a granny.

I equate it to the caloric intake reqts of mammals in desert vs polar environments. Cold costs more calories.

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:54 am

After 2 years, and a lifetime dash reading of 47.4mpg (last 5000 miles at 48.6mpg), I traded in the Focus.

Assuming 5% overshoot by the dash relative to a few hand-calcs I did at the pump, probably right around 45mpg lifetime.

So a 1.0L Ecoboost isn't too bad.... if you have my commute (which most don't).

Also, I did end up duct-taping up about 2/3rds of the intercooler and 1/2 of the radiator in the winter. I tested both with and without. Was worth 10% FE by my calcs under 40-F. Above that I pulled the tape of course. Never once saw temps above 'N'. Those big Ford grilles are indeed overkill for anything other than Death Valley in July.


One thing I looked at was a 2018 Cruze Diesel, but I can't see paying 100% more for an extra 5mpg. The Focus EB is a steal when on sale (12-14K). Cruze starts at 24K and if lucky can get for 20K if you talk them down.

Picked up a used 1st Gen Chevy Volt. What sold me so far is the ability to warm it up on battery power.
-Ecoboost 6-speeds don't have auto start, and if they did would kill the mpg
-A 1.0L engine takes days to warm up even driving. My wife's Sonata warms up the first 'hard pull' from a stoplight, etc. Focus takes about 3 or 4 accelerations to build any heat at all.
-Volt I can drive like a nut for 35 miles electric and the gas needle goes up. Driving an Ecoboost at 50 mpg is a sedate affair.

Background; daily is 90-miles highway, though I read on Volt forums that there are ways of eeking out very high mileage by doing the 35mpg gas-motor on on the flat parts, electric uphill (infinity) and use the regenerative downhill. So mileage actually goes up from 35 both up and down hills (which we have some in WA).

Volt is not as sporty as a Focus by any stretch. But the main reason I've been targeting low TCO is because my commute is 2000+ miles per month, and that's beater territory, IMO. Weekends have been dominated by the 2-wheeler and the 4WD to haul it :)

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by drwrx » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:34 pm

Gotta say, 47.4 mpg is impressive!
Will be interesting to see how the Volt does.
Keep us posted. :popcorn:

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by Sabre » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:06 pm

drwrx wrote:Gotta say, 47.4 mpg is impressive!
Will be interesting to see how the Volt does.
Keep us posted. :popcorn:
Agreed, that's pretty awesome!
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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by GaToR » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:23 pm

Update with the Volt:

everything you can quote on a Volt comes with an (*).

My daily commute now to the Proving Grounds, 105 miles round trip, recharge only at home is averaging around ~60.5mpg.

Though my potential commute to the Engineering Center where I'm interviewing, 50 miles round trip, I got 101.0 mpg dash today.


So all over the map, though I can say without reservation: a used Volt is a better car than a used Focus (shouldn't be surprising considering the starting prices, but plug-ins drop off a cliff in value and this one still seems to be holding up).

And particularly on efficiency... Volt out of its element (long highway commute, use of gas motor) still beats Focus in its element (same environment). Having 35 miles of fuel 'free' running means you can boost your mpg big time from any point.

Not necessarily as much fun depending on the driving style, but the interfaces and such are all top-notch. Its a solidly built vehicle in a weird niche for folks who can't go LEAF on range, or Tesla on price!

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Re: New Hypermiler Special

Post by drwrx » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:02 am

What do you think accounts for the rage disparity of the two commutes? How much time/wattage is required for charging? How often are you charging?

Not surprised by the better “quality” of the Volt.
I’ve driven/ridden in a couple and was very impressed. Much more so than the Prius, which I loathe.

I’m also interested how maintainance cost vary between the two. A mechanic shop owner I know swears by the Volt’s reliability. The Focus family does not have the best reputation in that regard.

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