If there's any doubt that there's a technique to driving economically, the results of this week's MPG Marathon run in the UK will convince you that driving the right way will optimize your fuel bill and carbon footprint.
The overall winner of the 2016 running of the annual event was a 1.6 liter diesel Mazda 2 1.6d Sport Nav that delivered an overall economy figure of 91.37 mpg. Even with a 2.5 mpg penalty due to being over time, it still managed to take the win with 88.87 mpg, some 6.94 percent better than the manufacturer's claims.
The big winner from the event in terms of publicity though, will be the 5.0-liter V8 Ford Mustang, which didn't have a time penalty and finished the course with 36.6 mpg, a 75 per cent improvement over the car's official homologated economy figure of 20.9 mpg.
Piloted by rally drivers turned hypermilers Andrew Marriott and Andy Dawson, the Mustang achieved the biggest improvement over manufacturer's claimed mpg in the MPG Marathon's 14-year history.
The previous highest MPG Marathon improvement was 58.2 per cent in 2014 by a Ford Fiesta ST-3 1.6 liter EcoBoost driven by another racing duo in the form of Louise Richardson and Harrison Scott. The pair crossed the finish line with 75.77 mpg, compared to the official combined fuel consumption of 47.9 mpg.
The former works rally team of Dawson and Marriott who drove the Mustang in 2016 were the outright winners of the 2012 MPG Marathon in a Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi (above) which returned 108.8 mpg, further emphasizing the time-honored mantra that "it's not what you've got but how you use it."
"The Mustang was perfect for the MPG Marathon due to brilliant steering, handling and roadholding. We were able to let the 'Stang follow the road, with minimal brake use or wasted energy", said the duo, neglecting to add that using a V8's acceleration potential is counterproductive to producing results such as this.
The full results of this year's event can be found here.
Source: MPG MarathonView gallery - 4 images