Paris, France - Peugeot's newly-crowned European Car of the Year has just set a new record for fuel consumption and distance driven on a single tank of petrol.
To be specific, a Peugeot 308 hatch with the newly-launched 96kW PureTech 1.2-litre e-THP 130 turbopetrol and six-speed manual gearbox returned an extraordinary 2.8397 litres per 100km.
A team of (very patient) featherfooted drivers trundled the standard production 308 around the Almeria circuit in Spain practically nonstop (other than driver changes) for more than 32 mind-numbing hours, before its sealed 51.4-litre fuel tank ran dry after 1810.029km, under the watchful eye of officials from the Union Technique de l'Automobile, Motocycle et Cycle.
That's an average speed of 51.4km/h, for almost a day and a half, at the smallest possible throttle opening all the time; the sustained concentration required must have been almost superhuman.
But it got them an officially-recognised record for the lowest fuel consumption by a standard-production petrol-driven five-seater hatch and the furthest distance on a tank of fuel.
To put their achievement in perspective, the same model recorded 4.63 litres per 100km in the much-maligned combined cycle.
NUTS AND BOLTS
The new engine is a compact three-cylinder design running very high pressure (200 bar!) direct fuel-injection, and a tiny new-generation turbocharger spinning at up to 240 000rpm - in a car that Peugeot claims is the smallest and lightest in its segment.
The new 308 is also available with an 88kW BlueHDi 1.6-litre turbodiesel, rated at 3.12 litres per 100km diesel engine with 120bhp and a Combined Drive Cycle fuel economy.
The Peugeot 308 is available - in Europe - with a choice of five petrol (60 to 115kWp) and five diesel engines (68 to 110kW). The 308 is expected to reach SA within the next year.