Jul 18, 2013 update to the Volkswagen Beetle TDi project car

Testing Tires at VIR

Our Beetle TDI project made the trip to VIR for the 2013 Ultimate Track Car Challenge in a most uneventful and economical fashion. Average mpg for the trip was just a shade over 40mpg of diesel, and now we’re ready for some track adventures.

While we won’t be actively competing in the UTCC this weekend, we are taking advantage of having one of the finest tracks east of the Mississippi River to do a bit of tire testing. Recently we did some coast-down measurements with three sets of tires—the OEM Continentals which are heavily geared toward fuel economy, a set of +1-sized BFGoodrich Super Sport AS and a super-sticky set of BFG R1s. Not surprisingly, we found that additional width and softer compounds translated into more drag.

We talked to a scientist and got some fancy equations and will be discussing the findings at length in an upcoming issue. But we also fully expect that additional drag to come with additional grip on track. The stopwatch will tell the tale.

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