At the 2011 mpg Marathon, Saab was keen to highlight its fuel efficient vehicle range whilst providing motorists driving techniques to reduce fuel consumption.
The 2.0 litre petrol turbo Saab 9-5 Saloon Aero entered the 370 mile challenge which emulated a typical motorist's driving route.
The Saab 9-5 was driven by motoring journalist Iain Robertson accompanied by navigator, Robert Marshall, returning 43.81mpg, a 27.35% increase over the official combined fuel consumption figure of 34.4mpg and a place on the podium.
Iain Robertson commented, "We employed neither 'tricks' nor 'cheats' to prove the immense potential of the car's engine. In other words, we relied on the Saab's engine technology to cut fuel usage and its superior amount of torque, at remarkably low engine speeds, to achieve the improved figure.
"It is only by adopting a series of carefully applied driving techniques that we know the savings were possible. Yet, they are techniques that can be applied by any careful driver."
"The key to obtaining a good fuel return," continued Iain, "lies in reaching a sensible and legal cruising speed and maintaining it with little more than a whisker of throttle depression. Planning as far ahead as possible, to avoid unnecessary fuel-sapping stops, and accelerating progressively, to pass slower vehicles, are by far the most effective means to driving economically."
Saab endeavours to ensure all models, including the highly-powered petrol turbo models, can return extraordinary good fuel figures.
Charles Toosey, Managing Director of Saab GB, said, "Excellent on-road performance can still work hand-in-hand with respectable fuel consumption. Even though Saab produces a number of high-performance petrol cars, developing well in excess of 220 hp, allied to exceptional pulling potency of 350 Nm, high fuel costs need not be a consideration, as long as the car is driven in a judicious manner."
A key technique is avoiding harsh acceleration, and reaching the required cruising speed without the use of the car's cruise control is also crucial. Maintaining momentum is also important and looking ahead of the driver's normal range also proves helpful. Block gear changes - for example from second to fifth) and avoiding harsh braking can also help.
"If a driver is caught up in traffic," Iain commented, "losing one’s cool is an unfortunate by-product. By concentrating, avoiding stop-start scenarios and even seeking alternative routes or departure times, to miss out the traffic build-up, a car's fuel economy will benefit to new and measurable peaks."
This is a 9-year+ news article, from our Saab archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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