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Ford Hybrid Goes 1,445 Miles On One Tank

Posted on May 17, 2009
Filed Under Ford Fusion, General News | Leave a Comment

ford fusionA team led by a NASCAR racer and the guy who coined the term “hypermiling” spent 69 hours and $37 driving a bone-stock Ford Fusion Hybrid 1,445.7 miles on a single tank of gas, a feat Ford says sets a new record for fuel efficiency

Hypermiling king Wayne Gerdes and NASCAR driver Carl Edwards were among the drivers who averaged 81.5 mpg during a three-day run that started Saturday and saw them double the 700-mile range Ford claims for the Fusion Hybrid. Ford says that’s a world record for gasoline-powered mid-size sedans, but Guinness wasn’t there to certify it.

The team’s impressive distance fell just short of the hypermiling distance record John and Helen Taylor of Australia set in 2002 when they covered 1,459.16 miles in a Peugeot 406 HDi diesel.

Ford dreamed up the “Ford Fusion 1,000 Mile Challenge” to show people that simple tricks like smooth acceleration, following the speed limit and limited your use of the heater and air conditioner can significantly boost your fuel efficiency. The automaker was quick to say it doesn’t condone some of the riskier things hardcore hypermilers do – drafting 18-wheelers comes to mind – and says such tactics aren’t necessary.

The Fusion Hybrid is pretty thrifty out of the box, and the EPA says it’s good for 41 mpg and 36 on the highway. The tank carries 17.5 gallons of gas, and Ford says it’s got a range of 700 miles. The Challenge crew doubled that by, among other things, keeping the car below 47 mph whenever possible to maximize all-electric driving, accelerating and braking smoothly, keeping the windows up to reduce drag and coasting to a stop at traffic signals.

The team spent three days driving a route in and around Washington, D.C. that included elevation changes, the George Washington Parkway and a three-mile stretch of road marked by 30 traffic lights. The drivers spent two or three hours behind the wheel before handing the car off to the next guy. Edwards arrived after his spectacular crash Sunday on the final lap at Talladega and drove the car past the 1,000 mile mark.

Edwards called the experience “exciting” and said he is so impressed by the Fusion Hybrid that he bought one.

SOURCE: Wired

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