Toyota at the MPG Marathon 2009: day 1

The ‘greatest economy driving test of them all’, the MPG Marathon, is taking place today and tomorrow. Toyota has sent a veritable fleet of vehicles – a new Prius, an iQ and a Yaris – to race across the Midlands in a bid to achieve second-to-none fuel consumption. This video explains a bit more about the Marathon, and features an interview with James Sutherland, one of the Yaris drivers.

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Raring to go: James Sutherland (left) and Richard Hill with the Yaris

The drivers have been keeping us updated with their progress. We’ll be reporting on how they fare on the roads, from achieved mpg through to coping without air conditioning.

We heard this from Richard Seymour in the Prius earlier today:

“We’ve done the first leg. We have reached Market Harborough in Leicestershire, and the results we have so far are that after 25 miles the trip meter in our vehicle is showing 99.9mpg. After finishing the first leg we had covered 47.2 miles. Our average fuel consumption at the moment is 92.7. With a change of drivers we will hopefully be able to improve on this morning’s performance.”

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Later, we heard from Richard S again:

“We have just arrived in Melton Mowbray having travelled another 67.9 miles. We have all had a few problems with the route planner directions but eventually all arrived at the stop point. The Prius totalled 89.6mpg for that route. We are aiming to get back into the 90’s on the next run. Cutting back on luxuries such as air con, it is pretty hot and stuffy in the car; we are resorting to opening doors at junctions!

We are now off on our last stint back to where we started earlier on today at Brandon Hall near Coventry – 53 miles away. The route will include a large amount of motorway and it will be interesting to see how the Prius copes with its larger engine at a slower cruising speed.”

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The Prius poses for the camera while Andrew Andersz answers some questions

The Marathon will continue on day 2.

Comments (4)

  1. I have just bought an AYGO and have to say it is very sluggish and I struggle to cruise at 70mph and the fuel consumpsion wasn’t that good either, espcially as I had to go into 3rd to get up any hills. Any solutions? Do you think the engine needs a run in time, its only done 500 miles.

    1. Hi again,

      I just spoke to someone who helped to select this year’s entries. He said that, given the fact that AYGO won two years in a row, there was considerable debate over whether it should be entered this year. However, this year’s Marathon presented a great opportunity to see how the new iQ would fare in this kind of race, given its good fuel consumption. That said, the team certainly haven’t ruled out entering AYGO into future races.

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