The MPG Marathon in Numbers
With fuel currently costing an average of £5.20 a gallon in the UK, and likely to increase due to falls in the value of Sterling, the competitor cars saved an average of £8.46 a vehicle over the circa 400-mile route. Put into context, this could save fleet managers operating fleets where drivers cover 400 miles a week around £400 per driver, per year – a significant saving.
Event organiser Jerry Ramsdale said: “The figures show how a sensible approach to eco-driving can really pay dividends for both fleet managers and private motorists – our competitors improved their fuel consumption by an overall average of 21%, with some doing even better than that, and with fuel costs increasing and fleets keeping a close eye on costs, it shows that educating drivers in eco-friendly driving techniques should be considered essential.”
The two most coveted prizes on the event, for best overall MPG improvement, were taken by Andy Dawson and Andy Marriott in a 5.0-litre V8 Ford Mustang in the cars category (an astonishing 75.12 per cent improvement), and by Doug Powell and Tony Warrington in a Fiat Fiorino 1.3 Multijet in the light commercial vehicles category (a 12.28 per cent improvement).
The highest overall figure was achieved by a pre-production Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, with 109.14mpg achieved over the 387-mile route. At the UK’s average fuel cost of £5.20 a gallon, this equates to just £14.63 worth of fuel to drive a route equivalent to the distance between London and Glasgow by road.
Meanwhile, the best overall fuel economy for a combustion-engined production car went to a Mazda 2 1.6d Sport Nav driven by John Kerswill and Ian McKean, which achieved 91.37mpg, an improvement of 8.27mpg (or 9.95 per cent) over the manufacturer’s combined figure, though the crew did incur a 2.5mpg time penalty reducing their score to 6.94 per cent in the final tables.
Other notable entrants included a Hydrogen fuel cell powered Hyundai iX35 driven by Chris Chandler, Principal Consultant at Lex Autolease. The iX35 used 6.45kg of hydrogen during the event, averaging out at 63.1 miles per kilo against a quoted figure of 60.9 miles per kilo.
“This is a great result for the Hyundai iX35 Fuel Cell and truly demonstrates the capability of advanced fuel technologies,” he said. “There was significant interest in how the iX35 performed both at the event and across social media, with people hungry to find out more about how hydrogen-fuelled vehicles work and what the potential benefits are. It’s clear the technology will play a central role in the industry’s future. The car is a working vehicle, used on a daily basis by the University of Birmingham and our fuel efficiency results speak to its potential – the only emission produced throughout the race was water.”
New for 2016 was a ‘Garage 56’ category, open to experimental and unusual vehicles and named after the prototype garage at the Le Mans 24 hour race. As well as the Prius and iX35, other Garage 56 vehicles included a Moto Guzzi 750 motorcycle (which achieved 88.05mpg) and a Mercedes-Benz E220D that was driven in semi-autonomous mode by Fleet World editor, Alex Grant.
In an event described by a number of competitors as ‘the toughest MPG Marathon yet’ and sponsored by RAC Business, ALD Automotive and Crystal Ball, drivers were charged with working out the most economical route between a number of waypoints in Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Northants and Gloucestershire in a two-day event starting and ending at the prestigious Heythrop Park near Chipping Norton.
For the first time, fans of the event – which took place on 18-19 October – were able to track the vehicles’ progress live using telematics data supplied by sponsor Crystal Ball, which broadcast where each car or van was at any given time via the event website.
To view the breakdown of all the winners and find out more about the event, go to www.thempgmarathon.co.uk