Mitsubishi Motors Extreme MPG Hypermiling Challenge was led by Aaron Gold of About.com, reaching fuel efficiency of 74.1 mpg at the wheel of his Kiwi Green 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.
Following Aaron in the 275-mile trek from Las Vegas, Nevada to the Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) headquarters in Cypress, Calif. was Mike Austin from Popular Mechanics in a Plasma Purple Mirage and Joni Gray of Autobytel in a Sapphire Blue Mirage.
Both Mike and Joni tied with an average fuel economy rating of 68.5 mpg.
“This was such an exciting event, to have such knowledgeable colleagues in our industry to push the limit to see how high of an MPG can be achieved in our 2014 Mirage,” said Don Swearingen, executive vice president of MMNA.
“I never figured I’d come in over 70 mpg!” said winner Aaron Gold. “All three of us kept our speeds down; I think keeping my eyes way down the road, planning ahead and avoiding sudden changes of speed was what gave me the edge. Truth be told, the car made it pretty easy.”
Mitsubishi said as part of the rules for the event, the participants were only allowed to make very minor modifications to their cars from production form. All of the participants opted to try to reduce aerodynamic drag by taping over the gaps between the hood and the fenders, along with covering up sections on their vehicle’s front fascia to varying degrees.
A special episode of the nationally-syndicated half-hour automotive television program Cars.TV will air an entire episode dedicated to the Mitsubishi Motors Extreme MPG Hypermiling Challenge soon. The exact date has yet to be confirmed.
Mitsubishi explained in addition to competing for the bragging rights, these three seasoned automotive journalists were also racing for a cash prize to be donated to a charity of their choice. Aaron Gold’s charity – the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – was awarded the top prize of $1500. Driving on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Project, Mike Austin earned the veterans service organization an award of $500, with Joni Gray’s charity, TJ’s Dream Team, scoring $500 to benefit brain cancer research.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is EPA-rated at 40 mpg combined, 37 mpg city and 44 mpg highway on models equipped with the continuously-variable transmission (CVT).