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darin AT metrompg D-O-T com,
Ad nauseum: three articles updated
Posted Saturday, November 19/05 in General
The trouble with the Internet is that it's never "finished". (Though some would disagree.)
I'm continually bookmarking interesting Suzukiclone & efficiency-related pages and occasionally adding them to the MetroMPG links page as well.
I've also added a few bits of information to several older articles since originally publishing them.
In this article, I detailed two efficiency driving games you can play (or download) online. To that I add:
Special mention: Grand Turismo 4 for PS2
You can drive a 2nd generation Prius - complete with fuel consumption feedback - in GT4. My brother-in-law and I have wanted to have a head-to-head "mpg" competition to see who could complete the quickest lap of a circuit entirely in EV mode, but my 3 year-old nephew won't hear of it. Too slow! Too boring! He only wants to watch us race Corvettes and Vipers.
Taking this idea to its logical conclusion, Sony and Toyota teamed up to create a special Japanese-market version of the game called Gran Turismo 4 Prius Trial Version.
According to IGN.com: "In addition to a standard time attack race, the Prius Trial Version enables players to race around a track attempting to conserve fuel at all points. At the end of the race, the game reveals where you wasted gasoline while racing."
Also, check the MetroMPG.com links for a browser-based Prius simulator.
• To Economy driving: fun, illegal, or dangerous? I should add this potentially anti-social fuel-saving strategy to the list, which I "remembered" while behind the wheel recently:
Taking shortcuts around traffic lights / jams can reduce idling time or conserve momentum. But it may also be seen as "queue jumping" by the motorists you drive past, and depending on the route could be illegal in some jurisdictions. Be prepared to face the social consequences!
Local example: there's a particular traffic light in town where the majority of vehicles in the right hand lane (of 2 lanes in each direction) turns right. The sheer volume of right-turners has made it a de facto right turn lane, even though it's not actually marked as such.
The locals who are going straight through generally stick to the left lane. So even on a red light, cars to the right can continue to flow around the corner when cross traffic permits. But occasionally, someone who doesn't know the local driving culture stops at the red light ... in the right lane ... and DOESN'T turn! Imagine.
An attentive driver approaching the resulting traffic clot has the option of turning right into a driveway, about 10 car lengths back from the intersection, going through a tiny never-used parking lot, and on to a side street that ends up at the same road s/he was originally heading for.
Zig-zag. Save fuel. And face the glares of the drivers left behind.
• If you read Gone in sixty seconds, you know I've been keeping my eye peeled for a low-mileage Metro.
You read that I recently missed out on a real cream puff - a gently used '99 with just 25,000 kms on the clock. I had made an appointment to see the car, but the person ahead of me bought it.
It turns out that person was a car dealer, and the Metro reappeared on a used car lot the next week, with an additional $1,100 slapped on the asking price (above the private sale price). Talk about adding insult to injury.
But maybe it was a blessing in disguise. If I had bought the red car, I would have missed out on the ultimate Metro: a little black beauty that was driven for a year, stored in a garage for the next six, and has just 2,500 original kms on the odometer. I bought it this week.
The past few days I've been spending my free time swapping my fuel economy mods over from my "old" Firefly to the "new" one, and getting the old one ready to sell. Watch for a post on the new car coming soon.
darin AT metrompg D-O-T com, or here