Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006 achieves 103mpg in RAC Future Car Challenge in BMW 116d ED drove a BMW 116d EfficientDynamics in the RAC Future Car Challenge 2012 and achieved 103mpg over the 64-mile Brighton to London route, winning the Internal Combustion Engine class.

The team consisted of Paul Clarke and Paul Andrews, who shared the driving. Between them, they have won 9 eco-driving events and 24 class wins in special stage rallies.

The route from Brighton to London included many miles of uphill sections, and busy London traffic. The BMW116d EfficientDynamics was a completely standard car. The event organisers measured the fuel used over the 64-mile route, and this equated to 103 miles per gallon.

RAC Future Car Challenge 2012 Results Driving from London to Brighton

Paul Clarke, Founder and Editor of, says: “It is an incredible achievement for a BMW to achieve over 100mpg on a busy Saturday morning drive from Brighton into central London. Hybrids and electric cars certainly have an important future, but it shows that people shouldn’t write off the internal combustion engine yet, as its efficiency is improving all the time.”

Paul continues: “In our road tests we have always focused heavily on the miles per gallon that carsachieve compared to their official figures, and we are usually disappointed with a car’s real-life economy in everyday driving compared to the manufacturers’ claims. It’s therefore refreshing that this BMW exceeds its claimed economy figure – without any compromises to the driving experience.”

Steve Chater, Corporate Operations Manager, BMW UK said: “We know our cars are class-leaders when it comes to efficiency and driving pleasure but this result raises the bar further. Being able to achieve more than 100mpg is an outstanding result and this is on top of it being the cleanest BMW ever offered for sale in the UK courtesy of 99g/km CO 2 emissions. 2012 has seen BMW launch ActiveHybrid models in 3, 5 and 7 Series guises, but while we push ahead bringing new technologies to market we will continue to enhance the conventional combustion engine as has been clearly demonstrated here.”

BMW 116d EfficientDynamics in the RAC Future Car Challenge 2012  BMW 116d EfficientDynamics in Brighton

The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics was the only premium brand vehicle in its class. It beat the Kia Rio, Vauxhall Astra and the new Renault Clio. As well as competing in the event, also drove the car from the North West to Brighton and back again, a round trip of over 500 miles, and achieved more than 90mpg over the motorway route.

In addition to founding and editing, Paul Clarke runs Automotive Comms, a consultancy specialising in communication in the automotive industry. Both Paul Clarke and Paul Andrews are members of the Northwest Automotive Alliance. Paul Andrews, who runs the engineering consultancy Oaktec, is well known for competing in eco-marathons, as well as winning motorsport events in a hybrid rally car. As part of a North West-led consortium, Paul has recently been awarded Technology Strategy Board funding to develop a lightweight, low emission ‘Car for Young Drivers’.

The Brighton to London RAC Future Car Challenge event results from the RAC Future Car Challenge 2012

The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics
is a rear-wheel drive family hatchback that can accelerate from 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds, has a top speed of 121mph,and has no range limitations as long as you can refuel with diesel.

The official combined economy figure of the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics is 74.3mpg, which equates to 99g/km CO 2 . The extra-urban fuel economy is 83.1mpg, and urban fuel economy is 64.2mpg. The 116d pays zero Vehicle Excise Duty, it’s exempt from the London Congestion Charge, and it has a benefit in kind rating of just 13% for company car drivers.

The 116d benefits from BMW’s EfficientDynamics technologies, which are designed to maximise fuel economy and lower emissions. Read our review of the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics .

The Brighton to London RAC Future Car Challenge event, sponsored by RAC Motoring Services, was first introduced in 2010 to showcase low energy use vehicles. It features competitors driving electric, hybrid, hydrogen and low-emission conventional petrol and diesel cars on a route from Brighton to London, using the least amount of energy possible. The event is a real-world test of current and future vehicle technology. The Best Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) award was sponsored by the Global Fuel Economy Initiative.

Eco-driving principles were applied during the event to achieve the extremely high fuel economy. More extensive coverage of the drive, and of the entire Future Car Challenge event, coming soon at

See the full results from the RAC Future Car Challenge 2012

Read about our drive of the BMW ActiveE in the 2011 RAC Future Car Challenge