Craig Henderson piloted his 1,500-pound, diesel-powered Avion from Blaine WA, to Mexico – a 1,478-mile journey – and he burned just 12.4 gallons of fuel along the way. Some simple math shows that this featherweight vehicle achieved an astounding 119.1 miles per gallon, but the mileage numbers don't tell the whole story.

Henderson and partner Bill Green began designing the Avion in 1984. They set out to build a prototype high-mileage vehicle and sell it to the public. The business floundered, but Henderson couldn't let his work on the Avion be for naught. He tinkered for years and made modifications that reduced the vehicle's weight and improved its aerodynamics. The end result tips the scales at just 1,500 pounds and packs a puny, 800cc diesel engine. Due to the Avion's light weight and enhanced aerodynamics, a scant four horsepower is required to maintain speeds of 55 miles per hour.

Henderson organized the run from Washington to Mexico as a promotional stunt to showcase the vehicle's abilities. On August 29th, Henderson fired up the Avion and took to the roads. His 1,478-mile trip ended three days later near Chula Vista, CA and eclipsed the Avion's own record-setting result of 103 mpg back in 1986. In 2008, the car managed 113.1 mpg. The car was entered (and then dropped out of) the Automotive X-Prize but Henderson's promotional run has renewed his interest in selling the Avion. We're inclined to believe that this mileage champ could win buyers over on its fuel-sipping abilities alone.

[Source: Autopia]


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