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Econo Check – another better idea from Ford

by DrivingEnthusiast

Here’s another one of those great ideas that Ford is becoming very well recognized for. It’s only available in Britain at the moment, but perhaps it will also come to North America as well.

How does this work? You stop by the dealer, get a small recording device plugged into your car, it gathers data on your driving habits, and then after a week you return to the dealer and a report is generated that makes suggestions as to your driving style and habits. The recording device plugs into the European-standard OBD-2 port. Very simple!

The program was kicked off by a competitive fuel economy event that clearly demonstrates just how good fuel economy can be with an invormed and smart driving style. Covering 82 miles on a single gallon is a fabulous achievement, showing not only the capabilities of the Euro-only 1.4-liter Fiesta, but also what is possible with driver education and awareness of the factors that have a direct effect on fuel economy.

Ford Press Release follows:

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FORD ECONO CHECK SETS NEW RECORD AT BRANDS HATCH – 67 LAPS ON A GALLON

  • Inaugural Ford Econo Check ‘One Gallon Challenge’ at Brands Hatch circuit, Kent; challenges top drivers to beat fuel price rises
  • Five teams compete in identical, 1.4-litre Ford Fiesta Titanium road cars
  • Winners covers 82.0 miles on a single gallon – equivalent to 67 laps of Brands Hatch Indy circuit
  • 65 per cent improvement over official combined fuel consumption of 49.6mpg
  • Average consumption across all teams of 74.3mpg – 50 per cent improvement on official consumption figure

BRENTWOOD, Essex, 11 October, 2010– Ford has set a new record at Brands Hatch race circuit, in Kent, with the winner of the inaugural Ford Econo Check ‘One Gallon Challenge’ covering 82 miles – 67 laps – on a single gallon of fuel.

Five teams took part in the challenge, which included racing drivers Tom Chilton, Tom Onslow-Cole, Shane Lynch, Ben Collins (aka the former Stig) and Josh Hill, plus representatives from driving instructors, AA DriveTech.  Special guest driver and land speed record holder, Wing Commander Andy Green, swapped his role as the fastest man on four wheels, on earth, to drive at a more economical pace.

The group showed how drivers can beat fuel price rises by going further on a single gallon.  Each team was given a 1.4-litre Ford Fiesta Titanium filled with just one gallon of petrol, before lining up on the grid for an endurance race with a difference.  The highly fuel-efficient Ford Fiesta enabled all teams to drive for over two hours, with the last car finishing after 2 hours, 27 minutes and 51 seconds.  Every team covered over 65 miles, with the winners – led by  BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) ace Tom Chilton – clocking up 82 miles, a 65 per cent improvement over their car’s official EC combined fuel consumption of 49.6mpg.

Average fuel consumption across all teams was recorded by organisers as 74.3mpg – a 50 per cent improvement on official consumption figures.

The challenge coincided with this month’s latest fuel duty rise, which has pushed total fuel duty to 58.19 pence per litre.  The planned VAT rise to 20 per cent from January will increase the price of fuel still further.

Andy Barratt, Ford customer service director, said:  “With fuel prices already high and getting higher, fuel economy is more important than ever for customers.  By combining smarter driving with the latest fuel efficient vehicles, our ‘One Gallon Challenge’ has shown just how far you can make your fuel go, which is key to keeping down your motoring costs.  As most customers don’t have a race circuit to practice on, we’ve developed Ford EconoCheck to help them drive within their budget.”

Ford Econo Check ‘One Gallon Challenge’ final positions:

Position Miles covered Laps covered
1st 82.0 66.9
2nd 79.8 65.1
3rd 73.9 60.3
4th 72.2 58.9
5th 65.2 53.2

A Ford Econo Check costs £29.99 (RRP), with £15 refundable against the customer’s next scheduled service.  From a small data logger fitted to your car for one week, an Econo Check reveals how subtle changes to gear shifts, anticipation, acceleration andbraking could improve fuel economy and emissions and shows the annual fuel and CO2 savings possible. 

Drivers who would like more advice on economical driving habits and techniques can then sign up for a discounted 90-minute course with AA DriveTech (priced £79.99) where experts will coach drivers on getting the most from every tankful.

Interested customers can visit http://www.fordeconocheck.com/ for more information and to book an Econo Check with their nearest Ford dealer.

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