The Subaru BRZ has surprised judges of the MPG Marathon 2014 by finishing second in the 'Percentage Improvement' category - proving that the rear wheel drive coupe is both fun and frugal.
Piloted by motoring journalist Richard Aucock and co-driver Katie Beck the Subaru BRZ achieved 55.42mpg over the 330 mile route - an improvement of 53.1% over the official combined fuel economy cycle - and in doing so, picked up second place in Percentage Improvement Class.
Subaru's 1,230kg sports car, equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and renowned for its 200ps power output, fine-handling chassis and low centre of gravity, is officially rated at 36.2mpg. The MPG Marathon result is also some 25.7% higher than the car's official extra-urban fuel consumption rating.
The annual MPG Marathon is a two day event organised by Fleet World magazine, and is a live demonstration of how both car and driver can make a massive difference to fuel costs and emissions. The 330-mile route started near to Cirencester and headed out into the Brecon Beacons in Wales on the first day and then down to Andover and Bath on day two. Contestants are allowed to plan their own routes, providing they included a number of pre-agreed fixed points, making keen navigational skills an important aspect of the competition.
While the Subaru BRZ is fitted with a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission for decisive acceleration, a relatively long top gear ratio (0.767) means that the BRZ is able to return impressive fuel economy at a cruise, while separate cooling circuits for the aluminium cylinder block and cylinder head allow the engine to warm-up faster, reducing friction and aiding fuel efficiency.