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Peugeot, Mazda better official fuel figures in real world test

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 21 October 2015

MAZDA’s SKYACTIV technology showed its worth after achieving strong results in the recently held MPG Marathon in Britain.

The annual economy driving event challenges competitors to find and drive the most efficient route between set checkpoints.

Both the all-new Mazda2 diesels entered finished in the top four, with the leading Mazda supermini recording an average economy of 103.42mpg (2.7l per km) – an impressive 24.45 per cent better than the official claimed combined economy.

Powered by Mazda’s lightweight 105ps SKYACTIV-D diesel engine, the highest placed all-new Mazda2, driven by journalists John Kerswill and Ian McKean, finished second overall – just 1.08mpg behind the overall winner.

Recorded over a distance of 400 miles, the 103.42mpg average is a strong example of how, with considered economic driving, it’s possible to match or possibly improve manufacturers laboratory recorded fuel consumption figures.

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Designed to showcase economy in real-world conditions, MPG Marathon rules stipulate that teams must arrive at checkpoints within pre-determined times to prevent cars being driven unrealistically slowly.

With checkpoint locations placed to make using the motorway network less beneficial, the mixed road conditions and types used, increase the real-world motoring element of the event.

Equipped with Mazda’s i-stop system, which delivers the world’s fastest restarts on a diesel engine, the all-new 1,499cc SKYACTIV-D common-rail diesel engine features a lightweight all-alloy construction and an ultra-low 14.8:1 compression ratio – one of the lowest of any current production turbo diesel engine.

By radically optimising the engine’s compression ratio to achieve superior air-fuel mixture levels and more uniform combustion, the 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-D has a higher expansion ratio for improved economy.

At the same time sophisticated variable geometry for immediate throttle response, coupled to low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation systems and a water-cooled intercooler integrated into the lightweight intake manifold, ensure Mazda’s latest generation 1.5-litre diesel engine impresses with its combination of exceptional economy, refinement and flexibility.

The all-new Mazda2 also benefits from Mazda’s focus on weight saving, which achieves maximum economy, not just from engines, but from chassis, body and transmissions. This allows Mazda to boost economy at the same time as enhancing handling and performance.

Podium finishing MPG Marathon driver and journalist John Kerswill, commented: “We covered 400 miles in two days, concentrating hard all the time, but the Mazda2 made it easy. It’s comfortable, quiet, handles really well and has an exceptionally smooth and willing engine that shows just how good a modern diesel can be.”

Meanwhile, the all-new Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav recently achieved 41.0mpg in What Car? Magazine’s True MPG testing. With an official combined consumption of 40.9mpg this makes Mazda’s sports car one of only a handful of cars to match or better its official consumption figure.

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PEUGEOT took overall victory in this year’s MPG Marathon, with a brand-new 208 Diesel 5-door hatchback, an average fuel economy of 104.5mpg.

Not only was it the highest MPG figure of any car taking part in the event, but was also the ‘Best Percentage Improvement’ with a 29 percent improvement over official (EU Directive 80/1268/EEC) Combined Drive Cycle economy figures.

At a time when the public’s attention is firmly focused on new car fuel economy, PEUGEOT’s victory shows that with thoughtful ‘real-world’ driving, it is perfectly possible to improve, by a significant margin, on manufacturers’ laboratory certified fuel consumption figures.

Peugeot’s star was its best-selling 208 hatchback – and the model entered a Diesel ‘1.6-litre BlueHDi 75 Active 5-door’ with a declared Combined Drive Cycle fuel economy figure of 80.7mpg.

This was a brand-new car, with only a few miles on the clock (hardly benefitting from being run-in) but driven by former PEUGEOT SPORT UK Manager Mick Linford and part-time rally navigator Jemma Champion who managed to achieve a very impressive 104.5mpg average over the two-day event.

Linford said: “We’re absolutely over-the-moon. This is the highest mpg I have ever achieved in the event and I’m absolutely delighted to win it.”

There is an even-more fuel efficient 208 being introduced into the UK line-up in October with the Diesel 1.6-litre BlueHDi 75 now specified with Stop & Start technology that has the Combined Drive Cycle fuel economy of 94.2mpg.

Images: Mazda/Peugeot

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