DSC_3188The quest to advance the science of mobility never ceases here at Gearhead Grrrl’s top secret Buffalo Ridge “Skunkworks”… Well, that’s the “official version”. Actually, I was wondering how well the Golf Variant would handle a sidecar on it’s roof, being as I’m probably going to be picking one up on the way to Florida. Now I just happened to have a sample of the same sidecar handy here, I wanted to play with the alignment of the chassis underneath it anyway, and there’s only five bolts holding the body on!

Thus the stars sorta came into alignment yesterday when the crossbars for the Thule rack were delivered and we had dry but cold roads today. With no less than three straps for securement, I drove about 12 miles at 65 MPH… And if I hadn’t been watching the mirror I’d aimed up at the ‘hack body and the MPG readout, I wouldn’t have known I was hauling around an extra half a square meter of frontal area in the form of a Motorvation Formula II sidecar body. With little wind at 65 MPH, MPG was down from 40 MPG bare roof to 32 MPG with the sidecar.

DSC_3189Rear view to better illustrate the Formula’s not inconsiderable 20% or better increase in the Golf’s frontal area. Given that the Golf is a fairly slippery little hot hatch with a CD in the low.30s, for the Formula’s body to increase fuel consumption in no greater proportion than it’s increase in frontal area suggests that it’s one slick side hack. There’s actually less wind noise with the sidecar atop than their is with the rack bare, and no buffeting… Somebody decades ago when Motorvation designed the Formula clearly knew their aerodynamics!

Not sure if I’ll haul the new (to me) Formula to Florida on the roof or inside the Golf, a 20% increase in fuel use does add up- I’ll probably do a test pack to see if I can get the hack and everything else inside before I kick the ‘hack out and onto the roof. But it’s nice to know I’ve got the option, and the Formula is as slick as a sidecar can get!

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