Earlier this year, we wondered out loud if it was really possible to achieve drastically improved fuel economy figures through the use of a dimpled vinyl automotive wrap. The premise is pretty simple: just as golf balls and recent high-tech sporting outerwear feature an uneven surface to cut down on wind resistance, a similar pattern could be applied to the outer skin of an automobile to achieve greater aerodynamic efficiency – at least theoretically.
In fact, a company called Fastskinz has stepped up to the plate, saying it can increase overall vehicle fuel mileage by up to 20% with its decidedly simple vinyl wrap. Naturally, Popular Mechanics decided that bold claim was worth investigating.
To properly test the Fastskinz wrap, PM obtained two identically-prepared 2009 Ford Flex test vehicles. Both examples had about 8,000 miles on the odometer, featured the same powertrain combination and had similar levels of equipment. One vehicle was wrapped by Fastskinz with its MPG-Plus coating and the other was left just as