Hypermiling isn’t always practical–just try cruising way below the speed limit and coasting through red lights if you really want to anger your fellow drivers–but Ford has proven that it can save huge amounts of fuel. This past Saturday, the car company embarked on the Fusion Hybrid 1,000-Mile Challenge. The goal? Driving 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas.
The off-the-showroom-floor 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, led by a team including NASCAR star Carl Edwards and hypermiling legend Wayne Gerdes, was driven for 69 continuous hours. In the end, the team managed to squeeze 1,445 miles (81 mpg) out of a single tank of gas before the car finally came to a stop–a world record for a gas-powered, mid-sized sedan. The Washington, D.C., challenge route included everything from the George Washinton Parkway to a 3-mile stretch of road dotted with 30 traffic signals.
It’s not as impressive as the Honda Insight’s 124 mpg hypermiling record, but the Insight is significantly smaller than the Fusion.
Officially, the Fusion’s range is 700 miles per tank, and hypermiling really isn’t for inexperienced drivers. But for anyone who wants to try, Gerdes offer these tips: accelerate gradually and brake smoothly, slow down and maintain even throttle pressure, maintain a safe distance between vehicles, coast up to red lights and stop signs, avoid bumps and potholes, and use downhill momentum to build up speed.