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.
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.