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Ford entered the new Mustang into the MPG Marathon and became a record holder

Those who want a Ford Mustang and affordable fuel bills would be tempted by the 2.3-litre EcoBoost version, but it seems the big 5.0-litre V8 is way less thirsty than you may think.

The 2016 Ford Mustang managed the biggest improvement ever recorded since the event began in the year 2000. The 431hp V8 capable of producing 430Nm of torque returned 36.6mpg ─ an improvement of 75.12 per cent on the official figure of 20.9mpg.

For a car that approaches 1,700kg in weight, hits 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and offers a rather loud and rare V8 engine note, we would say that is somewhat impressive, even if we assume Ford purposely low-balled its claimed figure.

Ex works rally team Andy Dawson and Andrew Marriott were at the wheel of the Ford Mustang 5.0 Fastback GT for the MPG Marathon, which required participants to drive from StoneHouse Court Hotel in Gloucestershire to Silverstone Circuit, then onto Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

All teams can pick what they think is the most efficient route. This is why the Ford Mustang travelled 430 miles, compared with the overall ‘best outright MPG’ winner, the Mazda 2 1.6d Sport Nav and its combined figure of 83.1 (6.94 per cent improvement), which went 406 miles.

Second place behind the Mustang in the ‘best per cent improvement’ class was the Honda CR-V EX 1.6 i-DTEC 4WD, which managed an improvement of 13.31 per cent over its claimed 55.4mpg, taking the total to 62.77mpg.

Factoring in cars that had more than just a combustion engine to play with, the Toyota Prius managed an overall miles per gallon figure of 109.14, making it the best on fuel. But it was 173.36 miles off the claimed figure of 282.5mpg, giving it the biggest per cent decrease of minus 61.37.

Dawson and Marriott have worked together to drive efficiently before, setting 108.8mpg in a Ford Fiesta TDCi back in 2012. Meanwhile Formula Ford drivers managed to make the Fiesta ST a winner of the most improved MPG class back in 2014.

“The achievement of the crew in the Ford Mustang was astonishing – our highest improvement ever in the history of the event – and it shows that even the most potent performance cars can be relatively economical if driven sensibly.” said MPG Marathon organiser Jerry Ramsdale.

Ford of Britain sales director Kevin Griffin added: “Since right-hand drive Mustang arrived here at the beginning of the year, over 3,000 have been delivered to proud new owners – two thirds of them with 5.0-litre V8 engines.”

He added: “They powered Mustang to the top of the sales charts as the UK’s top selling high performance sales car.  But a high power rating need not necessarily mean excessive fuel consumption – as this year’s MPG Marathon has demonstrated.”

The annual MPG Marathon was started by Ross Durkin of Fleet World magazine and is a spiritual successor to the Mobil Economy Run, a fuel economy driving challenge that began life in 1936 and ended in 1968, having taken a break during World War II.

The current lead time on the new Mustang is March/April 2017 ─ right when the new VED changes kick in so buyers should be weary of going too mad with the extras.

Keep your eyes peeled on the Recombu Cars YouTube channel for our video review of the Fastback V8.

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