This year’s ALD Automotive / Shell FuelSave MPG Marathon is set to dispel many of the myths surrounding the alleged inability of some passenger cars to achieve the combined fuel consumption figure claimed by the motor manufacturers.

THE UK’s leading economy driving event, which takes place on 9th and 10th October, features a number of cars and drivers that have a proven track record in beating the combined figure – a feat that some motorists seem to think is unachievable.

“Since we first ran the event in 2000 – in the aftermath of the worst fuel shortages and protests seen in the UK in living memory – we’ve seen literally hundreds of cars pass their combined figure with ease,” said MPG Marathon event organiser, Ross Durkin.

“I chuckled at the time when I read in a national newspaper’s Saturday motoring supplement how one well known motoring journalist was eco-driving a Ducati so he could get home on a tankful of fuel. But there is a far more serious side to the MPG Marathon, and that’s changing the mindset of drivers who have been conned into believing they can never achieve their car’s combined figure, so they don’t even try.

“All but four of the 27 vehicles in last year’s MPG Marathon beat their combined figure, and of those that failed, two were by less than one percent and the other two were just five percent under. Across all the cars taking part last year, the average improvement over combined cycle figures was 9.4 percent, while for the seven vans that took part the average improvement was a staggering 33.4 percent. Whether you are a fleet buyer or a consumer, you simply can’t ignore savings like this,” added Durkin.

The MPG Marathon takes place on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th October, based at Tankersley Manor, near Sheffield. The event covers some 360 miles over two days, with strict time penalties for those who fail to keep up a safe speed, providing competitors with a “real-world” test of their eco-driving skills. Competitors include motoring journalists, fleet managers, racing drivers and celebrities, and the purpose of the event is to raise awareness among motorists of the potential fuel savings that can be made through the use of certain, easy-to-learn techniques.

“There seems to be a misguided lobby of car enthusiasts who want the motor manufacturers to re-calculate their fuel consumption figures by anything up to 20 percent. Even if they were successful, it wouldn’t change the way these individuals drive, though they might feel happy to achieve a much-reduced combined figure. However, I suspect that the sudden leap in motoring taxes that everyone would have to pay as a result – all taxes being based on CO2 emissions – would soon wipe the smile off their faces. The only winner would be the chancellor,” concluded Durkin.