BMW's cleanest and greenest 3 Series ever has just completed a record-breaking journey from the UK to Munich and back on one tank of fuel.
Filled up at the Channel Tunnel, the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Sedan made it to Munich, then as far as Lille in France on the return leg - a staggering total of 1013 miles on a single tank of fuel - before it needed to be refueled.
Just as impressive was that the intrepid driver - Sunday Times motoring journalist and TV presenter Tom Ford - didn't use specialized efficient driving techniques such as coasting or drive slowly.
Although he did switch off the air con and radio as a concession to fuel saving, Tom managed a reasonable freeway pace there and back. He proved that in the real world, the European-spec BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Sedan delivers what it promises on paper - an official combined figure of 57.4mpg US (68.9mpg Imperial) and CO2 emissions of 109g/km.?
On the way to Munich, Tom achieved highs of 63.2mpg US, and didn't dip below 54mpg US for the entire trip. With an average speed of 59.3mph, the car achieved 57.4mpg overall.
He said: "I was prepared for this car to fail in the real world. I was wrong. Although I did try to be careful and drive in a feather-footed manner, I did cruise at a reasonable 65mph on the autoroutes and autobahns, so I faster than the usual economy run pace.
"Thinking about it in the context of everyday motoring: more than 1000 miles on one tank of diesel means just 12 fills a year for the average UK motorist - and even driven normally I still think you're looking at 750-800 miles per fill."
The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Sedan develops 163hp between 3500rpm to 4200rpm and 265 lb-ft of torque from 1750rpm to 3000rpm. This equates to a 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 137mph, ensuring that while it might be extremely efficient, it still offers decent performance.
"It's difficult to tell the difference between this EfficientDynamics model and a regualr 320d in terms of driving performance, which is brilliant. It means that as well as the obvious financial advantages, this special 320d is for the environmentally conscious who still want a car that drives superbly."
The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon comes with a suite of BMW EfficientDynamics technologies, including Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and Electric Power Steering. However, it also achieves its class-leading emissions with the addition of innovative engine construction, a longer transmission ratio, lowered suspension and the use of specially designed aerodynamic wheels with Michelin EnergySaver tires.
To watch a short video of the 1000-mile drive log on to: www.facebook.com/sundaytimesingear