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Long before the Fiat 500 came to the US to try and capture the public's imagination, a Fiat 600 was cruising in the Shell Mileage Marathons (the precursor to today's Eco-marathons) and setting records by getting over 300 miles per gallon. The little red cutie was on display at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013 in Houston, TX this weekend to remind the students participating in the challenge – and the public stopping by to see what all the crazy cars were about – incredible that fu

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Watching the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013 is, to be honest, kind of boring. Yes, the vehicles are all interesting and unusual, but they don't go very fast, you only see them on the track for a brief moment (there's no live video feed) and the ones competing against each other aren't even racing at the same time. But this is an efficiency challenge, after all, and one where students can learn by doing. Much of the action, after all, is off-side. It's the struggle of the 120 different high sch

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The Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013 kicked off in Houston, TX this morning with a twist on the usual: Ladies and gentlemen, start your fuel-efficient engines. The area around Discovery Green was buzzing with high school and college students, all here with one mission: go as far as possible on as little fuel as possible. Last year, the winning team in the internal combustion category got 2,564.8 miles per gallon. That's quite an increase since the first Eco-marathon back in 1939, when the winner

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2009 Shell Eco Marathon winners - Click above for an image gallery

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We're getting close to the start of the 2008 Shell Eco-marathon Americas, and the list of 38 teams that will participate in the competition in some ways mimics real-world power train usage. The overwhelming majority (28) of the vehicles will use combustion engines to try and top last year's incredible 1902 mpg winning score. Alongside the gas engines will be six fuel cell, one LPG, one diesel, and two solar entrants. You can find a full list of the schools from five high schools and 24 universit

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Last year, Cal Poly (ok, ok, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo) won the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas with an astounding 1,902.7 mpg score. For 2008, 34 teams will compete at the California Speedway event in April. Last week, Shell-Pennzoil driver Kevin Harvick was at the speedway with some of those winning Cal Poly students to talk about defending their title. The picture above shows Harvick and the students checking out last year's winning vehicle. We don't have too long

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In this week's MPG Marathon, a Chevy Captiva with seven people on board returned 42.42 mpg. GM has helpfully done the math for us: that's 14.35 percent more than the official figure (37.2 mpg) and 15.1 kg of CO2 per person over the 334-mile route. I'll do my own math to turn that into 105.7 kg over the whole route, which comes to 197 g/km for the full car. Hopefully my math is right.

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Do you remember when we ran an article about the Shell Eco-marathon? Does the sound of 6,792 miles per gallon jog your memory? Think that's high? That can't hold a candle to the all-time record of 10,705 miles per gallon set in 2003! That kind of mileage is impressive, even if the vehicles used to record such astounding numbers are very small and can seat only one person. Not surprisingly, as you can see from some of our pictures, women are often the drivers, as they often weigh less that us guy

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The Axon Eco-M sports car is a sleeker, lightweight version of the Caterham 7 and designed for maximum fuel economy. It uses the standard 1.4-liter petrol engine but the aerodynamics are improved by removing the roof and windshield. Many components made from carbon fiber remove weight. The result is a 20-percent improvement in fuel economy. In a few days, the Eco-M will make its public debut at the Sexy Green Car Show in British town of Cornwall. Axon ran Caterham 7 vehicles in the Shell Eco-Mar

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The annual Shell Eco-Marathon is a competition designed to find the entrant whose car achieves the maximum fuel economy after driving 40 minutes and completing seven laps around the track at a minimum of 15 mph. Cars can run on gasoline, diesel, LPG, or hydrogen. This year's UK event was held at the Rockingham Speedway.

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The vehicles in this year's European Shell Eco-Marathon are not exactly the cars you'd want to go on a road trip in, but they can go amazing distances on very little fuel. Engineering students from the Lucee La Joliverie School in France entered this year's top mileage-getter. Their ethanol-powered sleek racer was able to go the equivalent of 6785 miles per gallon.

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