There's a lesson to be learned from the Mitsubishi Motors' Extreme MPG Hypermiling Challenge: if you want to get your 2014 Mirage to get over 74 miles per gallon, apply duct tape.

During the recent event, which ran from Las Vegas, NV to Cypress, CA (where Mitsubishi has its North American HQ), a number of journalists were "allowed to make very minor modifications to their cars from production form." Their solution was to put some colored duct tape over some of the gaps in the front fascia sheetmetal as a way to try and reduce aerodynamic drag. A combination of expertly applied sky blue tape on a Kiwi Green Mirage and careful driving allowed About.com's Aaron Gold to reach 74.1 mpg in the contest. That beat out Popular Mechanics' Mike Austin (driving a Plasma Purple Mirage) and Autobytel's Joni Gray (Sapphire Blue) who tied for second with an average mpg rating of 68.5. The $12,995 car's official EPA fuel economy ratings are 37 city/44 highway/40 combined (continuously-variable transmission model).

You can read the Autoblog review of the '14 Mirage here, check out the press release below and keep an eye out for a 30-minute video version of the event on Cars.TV soon.
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About.com's Aaron Gold Crowned the Winner in Mitsubishi Motors' Extreme MPG Hypermiling Challenge by Achieving an Amazing 74.1 MPG in his 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

Cypress, California, March 13, 2014 –

Aaron Gold of About.com, with an astounding fuel efficiency of 74.1 mpg driving his Kiwi Green 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, finished today with the highest MPG in the Mitsubishi Motors Extreme MPG Hypermiling Challenge. Following Aaron in the 275-mile trek from Las Vegas, Nevada to the Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) headquarters in Cypress, California was Mike Austin from Popular Mechanics in his Plasma Purple Mirage and Joni Gray of Autobytel in her Sapphire Blue Mirage. Amazingly, both Mike and Joni tied with an average fuel economy rating of 68.5 mpg.

"This was such an exciting event, to have such knowledgeable colleagues in our industry to push the limit to see how high of an MPG can be achieved in our 2014 Mirage," stated Don Swearingen, Executive Vice President of MMNA.

"I never figured I'd come in over 70 MPG!" said winner Aaron Gold of About.com. "All three of us kept our speeds down; I think keeping my eyes way down the road, planning ahead and avoiding sudden changes of speed was what gave me the edge. Truth be told, the car made it pretty easy."

As part of the rules for the event, the participants were only allowed to make very minor modifications to their cars from production form. All of the participants opted to try to reduce aerodynamic drag by taping over the gaps between the hood and the fenders, along with covering up sections on their vehicle's front fascia to varying degrees.

Look for a special episode of the nationally-syndicated half-hour automotive television program Cars.TV to air an entire episode dedicated to the Mitsubishi Motors Extreme MPG Hypermiling Challenge soon.

In addition to competing for the bragging rights, these three seasoned automotive journalists were also racing for a cash prize to be donated to a charity of their choice. Aaron Gold's charity – the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – was awarded the top prize of $1500. Driving on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Project, Mike Austin earned the veterans service organization an award of $500, with Joni Gray's charity, TJ's Dream Team, scoring $500 to benefit brain cancer research.

With a starting MSRP of only $12,995, the all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage delivers outstanding fuel efficiency at an EPA-rated 40 mpg combined/37 mpg city/44 mpg highway on models equipped with the continuously-variable transmission (CVT).

Every 2014 Mirage model includes automatic climate control; Electric Power Steering (EPS); power windows; remote keyless entry with panic feature; 7 air bags (including a driver's side knee air bag); Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL); and an ECO indicator light that illuminates to inform the drive when they are driving at optimal fuel efficiency.

Available upscale features include Bluetooth® hands-free phone system; 7-in. high-definition touchscreen navigation system with rearview backup camera; and one-touch engine start/stop switch, among many other welcome convenience features and technologies.

All 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage models are backed by the company's exceptional 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

For more information about the highly fuel-efficient and affordable 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, please visit media.mitsubishicars.com. To check out a recap of the Mitsubishi Mirage Extreme MPG Hypermiling Challenge, please visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/Mitsubishi and on Instagram at instagram.com/mitsubishimotors.

About Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all research & development, manufacturing, marketing, sales and financial services for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells sedans and crossovers/SUVs through a network of approximately 400 dealers. MMNA is leading the way in the development of highly-efficient, affordably-priced new gasoline-powered automobiles while using its industry-leading knowledge in battery electric vehicles to develop future EV and PHEV models. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.


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  • 28 Comments
      2 wheeled menace
      • 9 Months Ago
      Wow, that's interesting. I didn't know that duct tape, despite filling in troublesome surfaces, could actually improve fuel economy. I figured that it sort of bent under aerodynamic load and had a surface which was far from ideal ( kind of bumpy ), which may give you a neutral or opposite effect. I am literally inspired to trash up my old Nissan 200SX 1.6L now, lol.
      • 9 Months Ago
      "Laws of Nature", you sound so smart. You should go very far with the brilliant ideas and design concepts you have created to prove there are better ways to promote efficiency.
      Sami Love
      • 8 Months Ago
      i like it it's best car eco
      goodoldgorr
      • 9 Months Ago
      Even if im looking for a cheap high mpg car this review say that the steering is impresise, my actual neon has a sharp steering. http://www.autoguide.com/manufacturer/mitsubishi/2014-mitsubishi-mirage-review-3502.html
      Bryan Lund
      • 9 Months Ago
      Want ta know what their new world order Lancer/EVO is going to look like and what they're installing for engines and transmissions. And things like when it will be out would be cool, too.
      • 9 Months Ago
      If they want to improve mileage, why don't they "dimple" the surface of the car like they do golf balls, to reduce friction?
      • 9 Months Ago
      Mirage drivers are getting good "real world" mileage, too. Though obviously not in the eye-popping 70 MPG territory. The fleet average of 30 owners tracking their fuel economy on Mirage Forum is 41 mpg US -- beating the car's highest "combined" EPA rating (the CVT version). http://mirageforum.com/forum/emgarage.php Interestingly, if you average the numbers by transmission choice, the 5-speed owners are beating the CVT owners despite the CVT's higher EPA rating. That's the same result as in this hypermiling contest. And of course the pair of Mirage owners with the 1.0L drivetrain (only sold in Europe/Japan) are spanking everybody's butts (on average). Darin (nope, not affiliated with Mitsu)
      me_not_you
      • 9 Months Ago
      I am thinking that is painters tape. It has a smoother surface and is less likely to ruin the paint than duct tape.
        ABG Sebastian
        • 9 Months Ago
        @me_not_you
        Hmm, you might be right.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 9 Months Ago
        @me_not_you
        Painter's tape has an illustrious history among car modders. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=painters+tape+car+mods
        Dave R
        • 9 Months Ago
        @me_not_you
        Looked like the blue tape was painters tape, but the tape other cars used was duct tape.
      Level4
      • 9 Months Ago
      props to Mitsu
      Gerard Thai
      • 9 Months Ago
      Well even though the Mirage is getting bashed in every other publication for it's cheapness, build quality, and ride, it's nice to see something good printed about this car. I have high hopes for Mitsu motors and would love to see them competative again in the small car market. I think if they get themselves a small pickup, like the MightyMax, they'd do much better.
      • 9 Months Ago
      I vote for paulwesterberg to head the new aerodynamics school for all manufacturers involving duct tape.
      Doug Danzeisen Sr
      • 9 Months Ago
      Props to Mitsu for allowing this, and pretty darn impressive at that. I read an article yesterday from Popular Science published in 1970 that had "Economy cars," midsizers with six cylinder engines and their fuel economy during testing varied between 14-17mpg, with 0-60 times between 15-17 seconds. We've come a long way baby.
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