Neither the Ford Focus RS nor the Mazda 3 MPS are the most obvious choices for a competition that’s all about fuel economy, and yet they were two of the competitors in the 2009 MPG Marathon.
The idea of the MPG Marathon is to improve on the official fuel consumption figures as provided by the EU, demonstrating that even the less fuel-efficient vehicles can return an improved fuel performance when driven smartly. The cars with the highest overall MPG and biggest percentage improvement are crowned the winners.
This year the car that achieved the best improvement was a Mazda 3 MPS, powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 230bhp on tap. The drivers, Iain Robertson and Rob Marshall, covered the 329.7-mile route from Basingstoke to Torquay with just 7.61 gallons of petrol, an average consumption of 43.34 miles per gallon and an astonishing improvement of 48.95% on the Mazda’s official combined figure of 29.1mpg.
Another top performer was a Ford Focus RS, a car with a not-very-green 2.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet. Officially the RS’s official fuel comsumption is 30.1mpg, and yet it managed to cover the route at an average of 38.53mpg. Not bad for a 300bhp hot hatch that can reach 163mph. You see, now you can afford to run a Focus RS!
The best overall MPG of the event was 96.81mpg, recorded by a diesel Smart ForTwo Coupe.