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And The MPG Champion Is... A 6.2-Liter V8 Sport Sedan?

 
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Vauxhall VXR8

Vauxhall VXR8

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Come up with a list of high MPG cars and we're willing to bet that a car powered by a Chevrolet LS3, 6.2-liter, 425-horsepower V8 wouldn't be present.

However, just such a car has won one of the categories in the Fleet World MPG Marathon, bettering its quoted MPG figures by 50 percent.

The car in question is the Vauxhall VXR8, from General Motors' U.K branch. You might be more familiar with the car as the old 2010 Pontiac G8 GXP, and the car was originally developed by GM's Australian arm Holden as the Commodore HSV E3 GTS.

Equipped with an LS-series V8, performance is its strongest suit, and a gas-guzzling 17.5 MPG rating on the European combined cycle is testament to this.

In the hands of Top Gear Online editor Chris Mooney, the VXR8 managed 26.7mpg - a 53 percent improvement on the official ratings. The route took in 350 miles of driving including a mix of twisty country roads and freeway routes.

With strong torque available from very few revs it's perhaps no surprise that impressive figures can be achieved when careful technique is used, though we do wonder if it's a little soul-destroying driving such a car at only a fraction of its potential.

The overall champion of the event was the Smart ForTwo Cdi, a diesel model unavailable in the U.S. market. In the hands of eco-driving expert Mick Linford, it achieved over 82 MPG. We achieved 60 MPG in the Cdi when we drove it last year.

Just think - if every low MPG car achieved 50 percent better MPG than it does now, the fuel savings would be huge. It just goes to show - it's not always what you drive that matters - how you drive it is important too.

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Comments (3)
  1. Oh dear another misleading headline. So your "MPG Champion" actually used more than 3X the fuel of the "overall champion."

    It is worth mentioning that 26.7 mpg in a sedan is terrible gas mileage not impressive in the least.

    Apparently the "Top Gear" attitude has worked its way over to a "green car" website. Just sad.
     
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  2. Agree - the context of this headline is unjust. I cared not to a.) check the source or b.) reread this article again, but I assume this "champ" won by being the highest % above its EPA estimate. This is not a useful win by any means.

    If I make a car that gets 5mpg by the sticker says it gets .5mpg does that make my POS 5mpg the new winner of this 'title'?

    Worthless article IMO.
     
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  3. I'm sorry you both feel that way but I'm surprised you see no merit in the lowest MPG achieving vehicles making such vast improvements? A near 10mpg improvement on a 17.5mpg car saves vastly more fuel than a 10mpg improvement on a 70mpg car.

    If you look only at the bare numbers then the bigger picture is missed. The biggest of gas-guzzlers have the most to gain in fuel savings.

    There is no Top Gear style smoke and mirrors here - I mentioned the Smart Cdi - a car I've driven - all too gladly but a car with very poor MPG making a 50% gain is much more of an achievement.
     
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