The 2008 Ford Focus gets 35 mpg on the highway. Back in 1997, the Ford Escort (the Focus' predecessor) wagon got 34 miles (37 under the old EPA system). That's not much of an improvement in the last decade. Ecomodder thinks people can do better. That's why the website is offering up a $100 gas card to the best redesign of a 1997 Escort wagon that was purchased specifically for this project, so if you think you can beat the pants off Detroit in increasing the MPG rating of this basic ride, here's your chance. Hypermiling tricks are fine, because the goal here is to try and double the MPG number.

There is a sample redesign over on Ecomodder, and you can see that you don't need any great Photoshop skills or anything (although pictures will be accepted). Simply describing the improvements you'd like to include is all that it will take to win. According to Ecomodder, "Submission[s] will be judged on numerous factors including how comprehensive/complete the design/plan is thought out (engine, trans, rolling resistance, aero, paint etc.). [...] The longer and more complete the list of modifications the better. 'Best' submission will be judged by Xfi and any moderators of EcoModder.com that have not officially submitted a design."

The contest runs through the end of February.

[Source: Ecomodder, h/t to B. Jones]


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