Isuzu triumphant in longest fuel-economy run

Auto & Audio July 25, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Isuzu has breezed past yet another milestone with the longest fuel-economy run ever held, this time covering 1,318 kilometres using - well, hold your breath - less than a tank of fuel. All it took was a cool head and the correct driving attitude.

The “Isuzu 1-Tank Fuel Economy Run: Xiamen-Shanghai” was organised by Thai Isuzu distributor Tripetch Isuzu Sales (TIS) last week, reflecting the company’s fuel-saving philosophy. 
“Last year I took part in the ‘Isuzu 1-Tank Fuel Economy Run: Krabi-Johore Baru’ event and after 1,312km each vehicle still had a lot of fuel left in the tank,” said TIS president Hiroshi Nakagawa. “So we thought that this year we should give participants a more challenging feat with a longer distance. All vehicles arrived at the destination with enough fuel in the tank, so much so that even the low-fuel warning lamp did not light up.” 
Company vice president Panatda Chennavasin said that from 2007-2013, Isuzu has been setting records for one-tank fuel economy with longer distances achieved each year. 
“Fuel-saving techniques can be used in daily life and it will help reduce fuel expenses for the average driver,” Panatda, who is the first female vice president at TIS, added. 
Eight pairs of “real Isuzu users” were selected for the event and were given the factory-standard Isuzu D-Max Super Daylight to drive during the three-day event. Real-world driving includes having the air-conditioning system turned on throughout while covering the routes with average speeds of 80-90km/h. Fuel economy figures were obtained from the Isuzu Insight system in each vehicle and the driving data of each participant were analysed. They included speed, fuel consumption, idle speed, engine speed, braking and accelerator pedal input. Five out of eight participants earned a full 100 marks while three scored 90, and the best average fuel consumption recorded was 21.83km/litre. 
Somsuan Jaranwan, one of the drivers, said he previously did not care about fuel economy. 
“I used to accelerate and overtake all the time, and achieving 10km/litre would be a good day for me. But today I can easily get 20km/litre thanks to the Isuzu Insight system that gives me all the details and points out my mistakes,” Somsuan said. He had achieved average fuel consumption of 19.5km/litre on the economy run. 
Veerawat Khlongchan, who owns a transport company and drove a D-Max Highlander during the trip, achieved 22.87km/litre. 
“The distance of 1,318km is long, and we had to face a lot of obstacles ranging from driving on the opposite side of the road to the traffic conditions on Chinese roads. We needed to read the traffic and keep a cool head in order to maintain a smooth drive. After completing the route I still had a lot of fuel left, and I reckon that I can still run another 1,000km on the remaining fuel,” he claimed.