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Honda Rally Car scores highest MPG on economy run

Oaktec Honda Hybrids duke it out on the race track

A Honda Hybrid stage rally car achieved the highest miles per gallon figure at a recent fuel economy run with 81.4mpg, however on the way to the event the same car managed an incredible 98.9mpg!

Oaktec entered its unique Honda Hybrid stage rally cars into the Ilkley and District Motor Club annual November fuel economy run. This event has run each year for over 40 years and covered a timed course of 55 miles of very difficult rural and hill roads in the Yorkshire Dales plus some urban driving through the towns on route and is normally contested by petrol and diesel cars in road trim.

The EEMS supported Oaktec Honda Insight and Civic Hybrids competed in full motorsport competition trim but with road tyres, and took part to highlight the fact that despite their successful competition pedigree, the cars have genuine environmental credentials.

ollowing on from its remarkable second in class in May 2008 on the British Championship Jim Clark Rally in the Scottish Borders, the Civic Hybrid was crewed on the economy event by Tom Harrison and Franca Davenport and recorded 51.3 mpg. This was the 6th highest mpg on the event and the 3rd best from a petrol powered car.

The Oaktec Honda Insight, which won class A of the 2006 Formula 1000 stage rally championship faired even better, scoring an event best of an incredible 81.4mpg beating the next most frugal car, a Renault Clio diesel by over 17 mpg!

However this only placed the Insight in third place overall in the event when the handicapping system, which equates manufacturers economy figures with achieved figures, was factored in. First and second places went to Subarus, an Impreza that scored 48.2 and a Legacy Estate that returned 41.3mpg.

However the Oaktec team was delighted to score the lowest fuel consumption on the event and demonstrate that the development work they have done to improve the performance for motorsport has also enhanced the fuel efficiency of the cars. Bill Meeson of Oaktec elaborated on this after the event. “We have focussed on extracting performance from the electrical side of the Honda IMA system to make the cars more competitive on the rally stages, but at the same time seen tangible gains in fuel economy in normal driving conditions. We decided to put this to the test and some further optimisation gave us remarkable results in testing. The Insight recorded 98.9 mpg on the 60-mile drive from Lancaster to Skipton prior to the event. Our GPS recorded an average speed 43 miles per hour for this journey, and this was carrying two people and a full fuel tank!” He continued: “The CVT transmission allows these cars to run at optimum efficiency and is ideally suited to the extremely hilly terrain of this event. However we are still surprised to be so far ahead of the small diesel cars.”

The Oaktec Honda hybrids make their next public appearance at Wales Rally GB where they will be on display at the Millennium Stadium on December 4th.