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Mike Stevens | May 5, 2009

Fuel economy is the big ticket item for volume sellers at the moment, and Ford North America’s recent efforts in a Ford Fusion Hybrid have shown what can be achieved with modern systems.

Not to be outdone by its American opponent, Spanish brand SEAT – a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG – has set out to achieve the best possible fuel economy in the diesel-powered SEAT Ibiza ECOMOTIVE.

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Sharing its platform with the Volkswagen Polo V and the upcoming Audi A1, the SEAT Ibiza ECOMOTIVE is powered by a 59kW (80hp) 1.4 litre diesel engine, and this week it set a new recorded for the ‘supermini’ segment.

Under the steady foot of Austrian long-haul specialist Gerhard Plattner, the Ibiza ECOMOTIVE managed a stunning 2.9 l/100km, achieving a total distance of 1562km (971 miles) from a single fill of its 45 litre tank.

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Of course, economy like that can require some driving techniques that few people would be likely to employ on a day-to-day basis, but it does demonstrate just what can be achieved with a frugal approach and a lot of patience.

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It wasn’t all that slow a haul either, with the Ibiza ECOMOTIVE reaching cruising speeds of 110km/h (68mph) on the motorways of Spain and France.

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