BMW’s award-winning and cleanest car currently on sale in the UK now has another accolade. A BMW 116d EfficientDynamics five-door Hatchback entered into the RAC Future Car Challenge 2012 achieved an outstanding103mpg over the 64-mile Brighton to London route, winning the Best Internal Combustion Engine class in the process.

The route from Brighton to London included many miles of uphill section and busy London traffic, but event organisers measured the fuel used over the challenging route recording a 39 per cent improvement over the official 74.3mpg combined economy figure. The Brighton to London RAC Future Car Challenge event was first introduced in 2010 to showcase low energy use vehicles. It features competitors driving electric, hybrid, hydrogen and low-emission conventional petrol and diesel cars on a route from Brighton to London, using the least amount of energy possible. The event is a real-world test of current and future vehicle technology.

The 116d benefits from a suite of BMW’s EfficientDynamics technologies, which are designed to maximise fuel economy and lower emissions. These technologies were put to good use on the completely standard car by an experienced driving duo from editor, Paul Clarke, and engineering specialist Paul Andrews from Oaktec, who between them have won nine eco-driving events and 24 class wins in special stage rallies.

The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics is a rear-wheel-drive family hatchback that can accelerate from zero to 62mph in 10.5 seconds, has a top speed of 121mph yet still achieves impressive performance figures. With its 99g/km emissions figure the BMW 116d qualifies for zero Vehicle Excise Duty, is exempt from the London Congestion Charge and it has a benefit in kind rating of just 13 per cent for company car drivers.

Steve Chater, Corporate Operations Manager, BMW UK said: “We know our cars are class-leaders when it comes to efficiency and driving pleasure but this result raises the bar further. Being able to achieve more than 100mpg is an outstanding result and this is on top of it being the cleanest BMW ever offered for sale in the UK courtesy of 99g/km CO2 emissions. 2012 has seen BMW launch ActiveHybrid models in 3, 5 and 7 Series guises, but while we push ahead bringing new technologies to market we will continue to enhance the conventional combustion engine as has been clearly demonstrated here.”

Paul Clarke, Editor of, said: “It is an incredible achievement for a BMW to achieve over 100mpg on a busy Saturday morning drive from Brighton into central London. Hybrids and electric cars certainly have an important future, but it shows that people shouldn’t write off the internal combustion engine yet, as its efficiency is improving all the time.”


The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics was the only premium brand vehicle in its class. As well as competing in the event, the team also drove the car from the North West to Brighton, and back again, a round trip of over 500 miles, and achieved more than 90mpg over the motorway route. Eco-driving principles were applied during the event to achieve the extremely high fuel economy. See more extensive coverage of the drive at