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).
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.
The car, fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank (a popular £100 option), was scrupulously standard – enduring the 26 hours of driving with relative ease. Despite the focus on economy on the run from Africa, the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, which emits just 109g/km of CO2, 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. 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 – 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.