If there’s one thing the Ford Mustang is not renowned for its fuel economy.  Yet today, I witnessed something staggering – a Ford Mustang drove 27 kilometers on just one litre of petrol.  How they did it could be useful to your hip pocket if you’re smart.

The Ford Mustang is the smash hit Ford Australia needed right now as the Aussie car industry pivots to an import-only model.  It’s sold out – for months, maybe a year – similarly the Focus RS is in hot demand with a long wait list.

That demand is driven by the heritage of the Mustang brand, the striking good looks and the fact they haven’t been sold in Australia for donkey’s years.

And you get the choice of the stonking 5.0l V8 GT or 2.3l inline four cylinder “EcoBoost”.  Sure, you think the GT is the ducks nuts, and it is, that sound – oh dear, but when it comes to the hip pocket for regular refills of the tank – the EcoBoost looks the part and pays dividends.


But would you reckon you could get the thing 27km on just 1 litre of petrol?  No bloody way.  But I saw it with my own eyes today.

Ford Australia drained the car of as much fuel as they could (not totally through the lines etc – but good enough for me) then drove it up and down the strip at Western Sydney International Dragway.   Driven up to 100k on the way up and 80k on the way back it went on, and on, and on, and on.

The deal was, when it “coughs” first, pull it in.  When it did, it had driven 27kms.  Stunning.


Now there were no red lights, no traffic, just two hairpin turns per kilometer – but still.  I guessed it would go 19.5k, most others with us thought 12, 14, maybe 18.

The ability to stretch the limit came from John and Helen Taylor of the Fuel Academy.  These two have been setting world records for fuel economy for decades, they hold over 90 records themselves.

Their top tips or “Fuel Efficiency Hacks”?

  • Planning
    • Try to avoid repeat trips to the shops or local areas and plan your week as best you can to get things done on fewer trips, using less fuel
  • Keep your cool
    • Don’t drive angry, or frustrated – it’s just going to have you stomping on the pedals and that won’t help at all.
  • Put a cap on it
    • Don’t leave the petrol cap loose or off – you lose fuel through evaporation – that’s not good.
  • Racks off
    • Old roof racks were not aerodynamic so keep them off if you don’t need them – likewise the bike, luggage or kayak on the roof – take them off and save fuel
  • Easy does it
    • The biggest tip really is to take your time, don’t stomp the pedal down, ease it on – you’ll be amazed how little impact it will have on your journey but a big impact on the fuel use numbers.
  • Tune up
    • Don’t neglect your car, keep it serviced and the fuel efficiency will stay at top levels
  • Check the pressure
    • Just 1 psi under the recommended tyre pressures can cost you fuel – check them regularly (at every fill!)
  • Get into gear
    • Don’t just potter around in 3rd and 4th gear, use higher gears to keep the revs down and save fuel
  • Keep the weight down
    • Sure, it’s hard to lose weight – but in the car, get rid of the extras, empty the boot if you don’t need it – it’s weighing you down.
2015 Mustang Media Drive in L.A.

2015 Mustang Media Drive in L.A.

Logical really, and in just a few laps of a planned circuit today, I got my fuel use down from 9.4 l/100k in a Ford Focus, down to 6.5 in the exact same car.  Amazing what a bit of thought can do.