Malcolm Kinsey is not what you might call conventional; during his career he has been a motor sport and powerboat photographer, a publishing editor, a motor racing and rally driver, a free-lance motoring journalist and, more recently, an avid cyclist.
His most recent achievement adds to the list of unconventional adventures he has undertaken. Starting at Zimbabwe’s Beit Bridge along with his cousin Rod Kinsey, two VW Golf TDi’s, four fellow drivers and 1941km of open road, he set off for Cape Town. What separates this from any other journey across county? Well, just one tank of fuel.
Having won no less than ten Total Economy Run’s, Malcolm is no stranger to frugal driving techniques. So if you’re wondering how it was done, here goes; squeezing approximately 70 litres of Total’s finest diesel into the Golf’s standard fuel tank was an important starting point – giving the VW’s an approximate range of 2000km at a predicted consumption level of 3.5l/100km.
Averaging just 67km/h was the next step required to match their predicted 3.5l/100km, which may sounds easy, but trust me, it isn’t. The concentration level required to hold a gentle foot over 29 hours of driving is immeasurable.
Jan Hettema, a man who has been involved in organising the Total Economy Run since its inception, over saw Malcolm and his team’s journey to Cape Town. Having observed the fuelling of both vehicles, he sealed each vehicle’s tank, rode as a passenger in each and unsealed the tanks once in Cape Town – thereby confirming the legitimacy of the run.
This remarkable run isn’t necessarily indicative of the economy you might achieve in everyday life. However it does show that manufacturers have made enormous strides in achieving maximum efficiency through energy recuperation systems, better aerodynamics and improved engine technology. Not to mention that how you drive has a very definite impact on your car’s efficiency. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Price: R 270,900
Engine: 1,598 cc turbo charged diesel
Power: 77 kW
Torque: 250 Nm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 11.3
Top speed (km/h): 190
CO2 emissions (g/km): 99
Fuel consumption (l/100km): approx 3.45 (achieved)
Tyres supplied by: Goodyear
Fuel supplied by: Total