Honda sets fuel efficiency record
Honda has set a new world record for fuel efficiency after one of its cars covered 8,387 miles across 24 EU countries - using just £459 of diesel.
Two amateur drivers spent 25 days behind the wheel of the Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC, which recorded an average of 100.31 miles per gallon.
Fergal McGrath and Julian Warren stopped a total of nine times to refuel during their journey, which equalled the distance of driving from the UK to Australia.
The car, which was a standard model without any modifications, achieved an average of 932 miles on each tank of diesel, a fuel cost of £459 in average UK prices.
Mr McGrath and Mr Warren, both members of Honda's European research and development team, set off from Aalst in Belgium on June 1 to navigate the continent in a clockwise direction.
They returned to the start point on June 25 having exceeded the Tourer's quoted efficiency - 74.3mpg - by more than 25%.
The drivers will be presented with the Guinness World Records title for "Lowest fuel consumption - all 24 contiguous EU countries (all cars)" at Honda in Swindon, Wiltshire, today.
Mr McGrath said: "It was tough, but we really enjoyed it, and setting this new Guinness World Records title has made all of the hard work worthwhile.
"This was a huge team effort so I'd like to thank everyone involved for all of their commitment and support.
"After spending so much time behind the wheel Julian and I are just happy to be back behind our desks for a while."
The official title is measured in litres per 100km and miles per gallon, calculated over the entire journey.
Under the rules, the same two drivers must be in the car for the whole journey.
This meant Mr McGrath and Mr Warren, colleagues of 18 years, had the challenge of driving an average of 380 miles a day - about 7.5 hours.
The car had to enter each of the 24 countries specified, collecting a range of evidence including a fuel/mileage logbook, GPS readings, video and photographs and signatures from independent witnesses.
It was fitted with a tracking device, provided by fleet telematics and stolen vehicle recovery expert TRACKER - part of the Tantalum Corporation.
Rules state that the vehicle must be a standard model, with no modifications to create an advantage - replicating "real world" conditions.
Fuelling was carried out at regular filling stations, with the tank filled to the maximum level at each stop to ensure no weight advantage.
Tyres were inflated to the recommended pressures and the wheel alignment was set to factory specification to represent the experience of a regular customer.
Mr McGrath and Mr Warren used methods including careful route planning, driving smoothly and consistently without hard acceleration or braking, anticipating road conditions ahead, carrying no unnecessary weight and ensuring the car was maintained at all times.
Driving speed remained within the law and kept up with traffic conditions.
Leon Brannan, head of cars for Honda (UK), said: "This is an incredible achievement and the team should all be very proud of the efforts that they have put in to set this new Guinness World Record.
"Driving the equivalent distance from their home in the UK to Australia in just 25 days is a huge challenge very few would take on.
"The fuel economy figures are remarkable - particularly when you consider that this is not a small car, but an estate with class-leading load space and vast practicality."