We love the interwebs--you just never quite know what you'll find next. Submitted for your approval: The curious case of the sharkskin car wrap.
But first, a review, Jeopardy style.
Answer: A shape that moves smoother and straighter through a resistant medium because it has little dimples all over it. Question: What is a ...
Yeah, we know you were thinking golf ball. We were too. But it turns out sharks also improve their aquadynamics (same thing as aerodynamics but, you know, underwater) by having small depressions all over their skin.
FastSkinz & why it works
And that was the lightbulb that went off for Peter Salaverry. (No gland jokes, we promise.) He's the CEO of Skinzwraps, which makes flexible plastic wraps for cars, buses, and so on. You've probably seen them on the streets and freeways, turning an innocent Mini Cooper S into a shrieking purple-and-yellow ad for Yahoo Finance (to cite just one company car I thrashed around Sunnyvale many moons ago).
The result was a clear wrap with dimples in it, which Salaverry has tested on his own Scion xB, claiming mileage rose by up to 20 percent. One enthusiastic blogger reports here.
But (and it's a big but), the idea hasn't been rigorously tested, and Salaverry presented no hard data. We think it's at least a cool concept, though, so we say: Bring on the independent laboratory testing! And call us when you've got a rigorous report.
But meanwhile, no taking a ball-peen hammer to your car. Wait for the data; don't do this at home, kids.