Think you need a plug-in hybrid to get over 65 mpg? Not if you're Ernie Rogers. He took a Volkswagen New Beetle, made a few tweaks (the obvious "wings" you can see on the back of the Bug) and now can get up to 65 mpg. According to Gas 2.0, sometimes that number gets as high at 76 mpg. These aren't constant results, but they are possible. On a long-distance (2,985 miles) trip from Salt Lake City to Anchorage in 2004, Ernie used just 52.7 gallons of diesel, which means he got 56.6 miles per gallon for the entire trip, and that's not an easy drive.
As stated on his website, Ernie's mission is straightforward: "To promote fuel conservation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by researching, developing and commercializing novel technologies that simply and cost-effectively improve the efficiency of cars and trucks." Some of those novelties are the additions to the rear end, which give the Beetle a better drag coefficient and improves fuel economy by 5 to 8 percent, as Ernie explains here. By adding "lower-rolling-resistance tires, low-friction engine oil, and use of a B5 biodiesel blend fuel," the Beetle's efficiency just keeps creeping up.
Aside from Ernie's Max MPG website, you can also check out Ernie's infrequently updated blog here.
[Source: Max MPG via Gas 2.0, h/t to Thunder]
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