smart driving gives Mick the MPG Marathon hat-trick
At a ceremony in London today, the iconic smart fortwo cdi has been awarded the “Overall Best MPG” winner of the prestigious ALD Automotive Shell FuelSave MPG Marathon 2011. The smart recorded a stunning 99.24mpg– the most frugal result ever-recorded in the 11-year history of the competition.
Eco driving champion Mick Linford and co-driver Ella Flynn judiciously steered the smart through over 370.9 miles of tough roads around Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and Somerset over two days. The smart cdi has won the MPG on all three occasions it has been entered, and always with “Eco Mick” at the wheel. In this year’s test, the smart cdi was 12.84mpg more efficient than its nearest rival.
Strong winds and inclement weather made driving conditions tough, as Mick explained: “I was determined to break the magical 100mpg mark this year, but the weather and one particularly hilly section was against us. To get so close is a double-edged sword - but I’m delighted that the smart delivered these incredible results despite the challenges!”
With CO2 emissions from only 86g/km, the frugal, 54bhp smart cdi proved to be the ideal choice for the two-day challenge that demonstrates how careful eco-driving can increase safety, dramatically reduce fuel costs and lower CO2 emissions.
Gary Savage, Managing Director Mercedes-Benz Cars said: “To win this incredibly tough challenge for three years on the trot is an exceptional result, more than 15 per cent better than the official combined fuel consumption figure of 85.6mpg. My thanks to Mick and Ella for delivering another victory.
“smart has been pushing the boundaries of environmental motoring for 13 years now, and as well as being frugal, it’s also fun to drive. Next year the electric drive goes on sale, which doesn’t emit any local emissions at all.”
During the 2011 competition, the smart’s on-board odometer reading meant the average fuel consumption for the recorded distance travelled was showing 101.68 mpg – a little more ambitious than the official verdict, which was recalculated due to a diversion en-route.
Gary Savage added: “The organisers generously offered a charity prize of £1000 to be donated for the first manufacturer to break into three figures. If we split the difference between our recording and the official result, we’re just over that magic marker.
“So to mark the smart cdi’s hat-trick I’d like to match the organisers’ gesture, and donate £1000 to the charity of their choice. We’ll even deliver the cheque in the winning smart!
“And after three wins it’s the perfect way for the smart cdi to gracefully bow out of this competition – next year we’ll give someone else a chance to win,” Gary concluded.
Mick Linford is used to winning behind the wheel. Before ‘recycling’ his career as an eco supremo he worked in motorsport for over 20 years. He concluded: “The will to win is the same, whether we’re going for the fastest time or the most frugal result. I’ll be back next year, driving something else – and going for another challenge!”
MPG Marathon organiser Ross Durkin said: “Mick Linford’s performance was up to his usual incredibly high standard and we were all holding our breath at final refuelling, but the dial clicked agonisingly past the vital point. There were plenty of other notable performances with almost every team taking part beating the manufacturer’s published figures for their vehicle – something that every car driver should aim for.”
The smart cdi costs from £10,400 OTR. A full range of offers is available from uk.smart.com/offers.