Since it became the first vehicle to deliver both 31 mpg and 305 horsepower, Ford has really been emphasizing the efficiency of its new 2011 Mustang V-6. The automaker's latest stunt, dubbed the Mustang 1,000 Lap Challenge, was an attempt to demonstrate that a stock production Mustang V-6 could run 1,000 laps (533 miles) around Bristol Motor Speedway on a single of tank of fuel. When the dust settled, the Mustang not only completed the challenge, but had actually gone on to complete 1,457 laps (776.5 miles) before the tank ran dry, averaging an impressive 48.5 mpg.
We're sure that you're picturing the fuel-sipping Mustang blasting around the oval track at a decent clip, but that's not necessarily the case. The Mustang averaged a mere 43.9 mph during the 12-hour and 26-minute test, a ridiculously slow speed for a track that's normally host to Nascar races that exceed 100 mph. Heck, that's a ridiculously low speed for most North American interstates.
The constant low cruising speed, made possible by the oval track's lack of obstructions, combined with the fuel efficient driving techniques of Ford's team of drivers--which included four Ford engineers and David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing--were necessary in order for the Mustang to meet the 1,000 Lap Challenge. The conditions aren't what you'd call "real world," but that makes it no less of an impressive feat in our eyes.