Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic has won first place in an industry competition for fuel efficiency and smart driving.

The automaker announced that its vehicle won the 2012 ALD Automotive /Shell FuelSave MPG Marathon. The Fiesta clocked up 108.78mpg over a 370-mile route — involving “tough, real-world driving” in challenging weather conditions.

The annual event is a test of fuel consumption for showroom vehicles. Organizers also use the marathon to demonstrate that engined cars can be turned green with careful driving habits. This year’s route through the hills of South Wales and the Cotswolds was made more challenging by a bridge collapse and a traffic light failure along the way.

Ford’s winning team consisted of Andrew Marriott and Andy Dawson. They are both former rally drivers and beat their nearest rival by more than six miles per gallon.

The super-frugal Ford Fiesta ECOnetic boasts an official combined fuel consumption of 85.6mpg and emissions of 87g per km CO2. Ford says the vehicle proved that smarter driving can dramatically reduce the cost of running a family car. This year’s run demonstrated a 27 per cent improvement over its official combined fuel consumption figure.

The automaker says its ECOnetic technology significantly assists the efficiency of Fiesta and FiestaVan models. It combines Start/Stop technology, combustion and calibration improvements, smart regenerative charging and revised gear ratios among other enhancements.

Event organizer Ross Durkin said he was impressed by the participants in this year’s event: “Manufacturers have done a tremendous job in improving the fuel efficiency of all new cars and vans, but motorists should see their published fuel consumption figures as a target to beat, not the maximum achievable.”

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Other cars that did well in the marathon are the Tesla Roadster and the diesel-run Fiat Fiorino Cargo van

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