A standard, British-registered Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID has driven from Africa to the UK non-stop on one tank of fuel.
British journalist Andrew Frankel was behind the adventure. Averaging 73.6 mpg (3.1 l/100 km), the journey took him from Tangier in Northern Africa to the UK, visiting two continents, four countries and three time zones in a total time of 27 hours on the road which he shared with a relief driver – arriving at Goodwood in time for its appearance at the Festival of Speed having covered a total of 1,223-miles (1,968 km).
The original intention was simply to see if it were possible to get to the UK without refuelling, but on arriving at Goodwood and the Festival of Speed late last night the fuel gauge was yet to register empty, the car estimating an available range of 100-miles (160 km) – equating to a range of 1,323-miles (2,129 km).
Of course, this news is meaningless without knowing how much fuel was started with and unsurprisingly, it does sport a large tank at 80 litres (a popular £100 option according to Mercedes-Benz). 80 litres is 21 litres more than you would have in an E-Class without the optional enlarged tank.
During the course of the journey Andrew encountered heavy rain, intense heat, rush hour traffic jams and dramatic elevation changes – providing a real challenge to the aim of travelling from Africa to the UK without the need to fill up.
Aside from the optional fuel tank, the car was scrupulously standard. Despite the focus having been on economy during the run from Africa, the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is no slouch. Its 204 hp diesel engine and 27 hp electric motor combine to allow it to accelerate from a standstill to 62 mph in 7.5-seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 150 mph yet it only emits 109g/km of CO2. It’s equipped with COMAND, automatic climate control, DAB (useful on long journeys) and leather upholstery with heated front seats as standard.
The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID – which has travelled further than any standard E-Class has ever achieved on one tank – can be seen in action throughout the weekend as part of the ‘First Glance’ paddock.
The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is available as a Saloon or an Estate with prices starting from £39,880.