This past weekend saw the running of the 36th Total Economy Run – a prestigious and unique motoring and motorsport event in South Africa. The field consisted of 54 teams this year, each of which would tackle 584km of demanding roads over the hills and valleys of the Mpumalanga Lowveld. Based in White River, the event passed through the towns and cities of Barberton, Graskop, Hazyview, Lydenburg, Nelspruit and Sabie as passenger vehicles from 21 different manufacturers pitted themselves against one another and the conditions.
Emerging victorious at the other end of the gruelling weekend was the Ford Fiesta Ambiente TDCi manual, which has been named the most fuel efficient car in South Africa. Driven by Stuart Greig and Wynand Gerber the Fiesta used just 4.485 litres per 100km, to claim the overall and Class L laurels.
The Fiesta’s state-of-the-art common-rail injection Duratorq TDCi engine features advanced technologies that ensure optimal fuel economy and CO2 emissions without sacrificing on performance. The 1560cc motor develops 66kW at 4000rpm and has a torque peak of 200Nm at just 1500rpm equating to a 0-100 acceleration time of 11.9 seconds and a top speed of 175km/h.
“We were extremely impressed with the Fiesta and the exceptional results we were able to achieve this weekend,” said Greig after the event. “The competition was stiff but the Fiesta was up to the challenge.”
In the realm of spark induced combustion, Peugeot’s 107 city slicker claimed honours as the most fuel-efficient petrol-engined car in the land, recording an overall consumption of just 5.063 litres/100km.
The 1-litre, three-cylinder hatchback saw off the opposition in a gruelling 1 105km test of a car’s economy, with Radio Tygerberg presenter Jeannette Kok-Kritzinger and navigator Riëtte Wannenburg tackling the Mpumalanga roads with aplomb. A number of hybrids couldn’t match the cheeky Pug, and only a trio of small-engined turbodiesels narrowly bettered its figures.
“This year’s event was run in the White River area and while it is very beautiful the mountain passes made it very tricky and technical,” said Kok-Kritzinger, who was perfectly at home on the route thanks to her motorsport experience. “On the uphills we had to preserve fuel by driving steadily and do everything we could to maintain momentum but on the downhills “Daisy” – as we christened our 107 – was more than capable of handling the turns and corners as we worked hard to make up time.”
Click here for full results.