JCW Mini, the 50mpg sports car

UK magazine Auto Express entered the hottest, fastest Mini Cooper available in a MPG Marathon. How did they fair?

2008 John Cooper Works Mini
The JCW Mini is the fastest Cooper that money can buy and, as it turns out, it is pretty economical as well. BMW/Mini USA

Just last week, we were able to best the Honda Fit's claimed 33 highway mpg to achieve just a bit more than 40 combined mpg (and that was with lead-footed me behind the wheel for about a quarter of a tank). Now, the Fit is a fairly economically tuned car, but how would we have handled a less docile vehicle? U.K. magazine Auto Express entered a John Cooper Works Mini--the hottest, fastest Mini Cooper available--in a MPG Marathon. How did they fair?

Surprisingly for a turbocharged hot-hatch with enough moxie to sprint from 0-60mph in only 6.5 seconds, the JCW Mini was able to also achieve 50 mpg-plus fuel economy with a journalist behind the wheel and camera gear in the rear. That's 25 percent more than the maker's claimed 40.9mpg combined figure.

You'd think that it would take some pretty extreme hypermiling techniques to achieve such high fuel economy, but you'd be mistaken.

For the first of their two-day trek, they utilized hypermiling techniques, such as short shifting and freewheeling down hills, to achieve a peak of 54.7 mpg. On the second day, they merely drove conservatively and maintained the speed limit, ending up with a two day average of 50.2 mpg.

Check out Auto Express for more information about the 50 mpg Mini.

The relative ease at which we at Car Tech and the blokes at Auto Express smashed the manufacturer's claimed fuel economy has gotten me wondering what kind of mpg I could get out of our bare bones Chevy Aveo car audio test vehicle. Be sure to share your suggestions for other potentially underrated mpg champs in the comments.