A fuel consumption figure of 58.12mpg has been recorded by a Toyota Avensis diesel GLS four-door saloon 2.0-litre D-4D in the 2001 RAC/Fleet World MPG Marathon, an annual on-the-road competition to test the economy of cars in real conditions.

The Avensis, powered by Toyota’s D-4D common rail engine, used only 37.17 litres of diesel to cover the official distance of 475.2 miles. It was driven by Douglas Powell, who is a Fleet Executive with Ventiv Health.

The MPG Marathon is staged over two days on a carefully designed course that takes in a wide range of urban and rural roads between Birmingham and Harrogate – and all driven at an average of 30mph. A total of 36 vehicles were entered this year, with the winners announced on 16 October at the heart of London’s media land, the Groucho Club.

“The official consumption figure for the Avensis GLS diesel on the combined cycle is already very respectable at 47.9mpg, and the MPG Marathon result exceeded that by more than
21 per cent,” said Jon Pollock, General Manager of Toyota Fleet. [Across the various classes of vehicle, the Avensis finished fifth in terms of percentage improvement over official figures.]

“It just shows that with careful driving it’s possible to achieve outstanding fuel economy – not only with small cars but on a standard medium-sized fleet model like the Avensis. But you could only expect this sort of result with a modern direct injection diesel engine such as the D-4D, because it is designed to ensure complete combustion.”

Using the D-4D’s ‘intelligent technology’ system, fuel is stored under pressure in a common-rail reservoir. A high-pressure pump and computer-controlled injectors deliver precise amounts of fuel with exact timing directly into the centre of the combustion chambers on

each piston head. The computer even injects a small amount of fuel fractionally ahead of the rest, to smooth out the shock of the main combustion and reduce noise and harshness.

“Because the fuel is atomised so efficiently, the D-4D boosts performance and delivers outstanding fuel economy in real conditions, as on the MPG Marathon,” added Jon Pollock.

The D-4D engine used in the Avensis is a 1995cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled unit. Twin overhead camshafts operate four valves per cylinder, and the engine delivers 109bhp at 4,000rpm and maximum torque of 250Nm at 2,400rpm.

“There’s no compromise on performance,” said Jon Pollock. “The Avensis D-4D saloon or liftback will do 121mph and accelerate to 62mph in 11.4 seconds. Torque output is virtually constant throughout the engine’s speed range, which means superb driveability and smooth acceleration whether around town or on the open road.”

Efficient fuel combustion also means a big reduction in harmful emissions – 10 per cent less carbon dioxide, 60 per cent less NOx and 44 per cent fewer particulates – and the engine doesn’t smoke at all.

“The D-4D is one of the few units to meet the tough Euro Step 3 emission requirements,” said Jon Pollock. The CO2 rating of the diesel Avensis used in the MPG Marathon is 158g/km, which puts it in the lowest 15 per cent company car tax bracket and in VED band B.

“For a fleet manager a car that offers such significant fuel savings has to be good news,” said Jon Pollock. “With so much going for the Avensis diesel, and given its good looks and the generous equipment levels of the GLS, company car drivers really shouldn’t need too much persuasion that diesel is no longer a dirty word!”



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  • Jon Pollock General Manager, Toyota Fleet

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