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VW Passat Owner Easily Picks Up 14 MPG With Simple Aero Mods

Moon disks aren't only stylish. They're practical, too.
B Sport via YouTube

Most car enthusiasts mod their machines for more power or performance, but not all of them. Hypermilers are interested in modifying their cars, sure, but it’s to maximize fuel economy and efficiency. That may sound lame to somebody chasing lap times, but the same aerodynamic principles that make a car faster around a track save fuel, too. Just ask YouTuber B Sport, who squeezed as much as 33% more MPG out of his 2006 VW Passat diesel wagon with a slew of straightforward mods.

B Sport says he works a day job as an engineer at Volkswagen, which explains his attention to detail when it comes to his modifications. The most visible changes are the aerodynamic moon disk wheels, roof rack delete, and 40mm lowering springs. There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye, though. The car’s radiator and brake cooling ducts have been covered from the back side, while the bottom of the car has also been smoothed over considerably, with other cooling ducts for parts like the transmission getting aerodynamic covers.

B Sport via YouTube

You might think the car would overheat because of these mods, but as B Sport explains, the vehicle is experiencing extremely light load on the highway, which means it doesn’t need all of the cooling it would normally get. He stresses that these sorts of mods are designed for his specific use case, which is saving fuel. If he often found himself towing in stop-and-go traffic in a hilly neighborhood, he obviously would reconsider his modifications. He’s not, though. He’s mostly doing 80 miles per hour on the Autobahn.

That’s the speed at which he measures his first fuel economy figure: 43 MPG. He also took a measurement on his commute, most of which is country roads. It came in at 41 MPG. It’s worth noting that he claims the car was running a little rough when he took these measurements due to a worn cam belt, which was later replaced. That could’ve made the fuel economy worse than normal.

The gains are impressive either way, though. B Sport even went as far as to seal all of the gaps on the front of the car with foam. Although not visible, that makes a big difference. The car also got an alignment to ensure the wheels were straight, as well as new tires.

The end result is 57 MPG on the highway and 52 MPG on his commute, a gain of 14 and 11 MPG, respectively. That’s huge, even without considering the car’s 1.9-liter diesel engine and five-speed manual transmission were not modified in any way.

In the end, B Sport ended up selling the car, reverting it to stock before doing so. This being said, it was a very interesting project, and the cool part is that it really didn’t take much to revert it back to factory form. It makes me personally wonder how much I could boost the fuel economy of my personal car with mods like he did.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but I’ve been able to get over 34 MPG in my C7 Corvette just by keeping the car at low RPMs in cylinder-deactivating “Eco” mode and driving conservatively. I’m something of a hypermiling enthusiast myself. I’ve actually tried to get tire manufacturers on the hook before for a set of their super-efficient EV tires to put on my car, but they didn’t offer a factory fitment. When I asked for whatever they had in the right diameter, they said no because they effectively didn’t want to recommend people doing what I wanted to try. I might just do it myself one day. I think with mods like B Sport’s plus a set of rock-hard tires, I could easily push into the 40 MPG range.

Peter Holderith

All of this just goes to show what is possible with the right knowledge. Clearly, B Sport knows what he’s doing, and it’s interesting to consider what could be achieved by applying such tricks to other cars.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: peter@thedrive.com