Subaru WRX STI surprise winner in Energywise Rally – how exactly?

Subaru WRX STI surprise winner in Energywise Rally – how exactly?

An uncompromising performance car like the Subaru WRX STI isn’t usually a machine you’d expect to do well in an economy rally. In fact, you’d be pretty crazy just entering the car, but the STI has taken out a surprise category win in the recent 2010 Energywise Rally.

The Energywise Rally is a race with a difference, with 49 vehicles covering 1,763 kilometres in four days, competing for the title of the most fuel efficient car, and the most fuel efficient driving team.

The Supreme Award, for the car that cost the least to complete the Rally, including fuel and road user charges, went to a new hybrid vehicle, the Honda Insight S, costing just $147.83 to cover the distance.

But it was the Driver Award where the WRX STI took top honours. The Driver Award is for the team that achieved the greatest percentage improvement on the manufacturer’s fuel consumption figure, it went to rally ace Emma Gilmour, Donald Holder and Stan Tucker driving the Subaru WRX STI, beating the manufacturer’s figure by almost 23%.

In addition to the Supreme, Driver and Environmental awards, vehicles compete in eight different classes, ranging from micro to commercial, for the title of the most fuel efficient vehicle in that class. There are also three category awards for the most fuel efficient petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles.

EECA Chief Executive, Mike Underhill congratulated the Subaru team for their excellent driving that saw them beat the stated fuel economy of the WRX by close to 23%. “What the Rally consistently shows is that the way you drive your car makes a massive difference to the amount of fuel you use. And fuel efficient driving is something every single motorist can do, starting today.”

Keep New Zealand Beautiful represented Volkswagen New Zealand during the rally, driving the Golf 1.2l petrol TSI model, coming 4th in the Compact Vehicles class behind three Honda Hybrid and Toyota Prius models – a stand out effort given the difference in the competing models make-up.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s National Programmes Manager says “we’re thrilled to be involved in the Rally; we think it’s a great way of promoting efficient driving techniques and modelling how much of an impact the results have on our environment, as well as our pockets!”

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