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From Africa to England on one tank of fuel

E -Class travels from Africa to the UK on one tank of fuel
A Mercedes-Benz E-Class has just completed a 1,223-mile (1968-km) non-stop journey from Tangier to the Goodwood Festival of Speed without a single refueling stop.

And when the diesel-hybrid car, driven by UK motoring journalist Andrew Frankel, arrived at its final destination on Thursday evening, after clocking up 1,968 km, there was still enough left in the tank to go a further 100 miles (160km).

That means that the standard production executive sedan averaged 73.6 mpg (3.1l/100km) despite heavy rain, intense heat, traffic jams and steep inclines, not to mention passing through four countries, two continents and three time zones.

Impressive as the feat is, Frankel did have a little bit of help in his mission. Firstly, he had a relief driver — starting and shutting down the engine and building up speed from a standstill are all bad for fuel economy. And secondly, his car was fitted with the optional 80- rather than 60-liter fuel tank which is a £100 (€120) cost option on the E-Class.

Still, other than that, the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID was absolutely standard. It has a 204hp diesel engine mated to a 27hp electric motor and, despite its focus on conserving fuel and cutting emissions, it is still capable of going from a standstill to 62mph (100kph) in 7.5 seconds.

Endurance driving feats are becoming a popular way of highlighting fuel efficient or green motoring. In January, electric car company Tesla drove two of its Model S sedans across the US to celebrate the completion of its supercharger network. The 3,400-mile (5471 km) journey took 76 hours and 30 minutes, despite severe weather conditions and the need to stop at charging points for upwards of 20 minutes to top up the batteries every 300-400 miles (500-600km).