It's no secret that the biggest variable that affects fuel consumption of a car is not the powertrain, or the drag or rolling resistance. It's that bit between the seat and the steering wheel and pedals. As any hyper-miler can tell you, the behavior of the driver has a huge influence. That's why Ford devised the SmartGauge cluster for the Fusion hybrid and why most automakers are looking at more feedback systems to help coach drivers on more efficient behavior.
Having said that, more power usually means more fuel consumption and you might expect a 305 hp Ford Focus RS to be somewhat thirsty. Truth be told, driven the way it was intended it surely does consume a hefty amount of premium unleaded. However, British auto writer Jeremy Walton apparently behaved himself as he piloted a Focus RS in the just-completed 7th annual UK MPG Marathon. Walton averaged 32.05 mpg (U.S.) over a two-day, 360-mile drive in the high-end Focus. The official rating for the car is a combined 25.1 mpg (U.S.), which Walton topped by 28 percent. An impressive feat.
FORD FOCUS RS EXCEEDS 38MPG
BRENTWOOD, Essex, 05 October 2009 – Ford's fastest-ever European production car, the 163mph Focus RS, added a surprising new figure to its remarkable performance statistics – an average fuel consumption of 38.5mpg.
This impressive result, one of the best in its class, was officially recorded during the UK's seventh annual MPG Marathon, which finished this week.
This frugal driving challenge is judged by the improvement in economy over official, manufacturer-supplied figures. The 2.5-litre, 305PS Ford Focus RS used just nine gallons of fuel to cover the competition's 360 miles, bettering the car's quoted 30.1mpg combined fuel consumption figure by 28 per cent.
At the wheel for the duration of the two-day event was automotive writer Jeremy Walton, who covered the varied route at regular road speeds, guided by co-driver Alyson Marlow. Jeremy said: "This is the fastest RS road car yet, but also the most efficient. This shows that, with a bit of restraint, you can use an efficient, high-performance car in daily driving, without enormous fuel bills."
Ford Team RS powertrain manager, Len Urwin, led the team that developed the Focus RS engine. He said: "Focus RS was designed throughout to appeal to the heart and the head. This result shows how successful we've been, both in making Focus RS a practical day-to-day car – as well as continuing the 40-year RS tradition of exciting, high performance."
More than half of the UK's Ford Focus RS allocation has already been sold, with each priced at £26,395 on-the-road.
Note: Fuel economy figures quoted are in UK mpg, based on the European Fuel Economy Directive EU 80/1268/EEC and will differ from fuel economy drive cycle results in other regions of the world.