Fiat Economy

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Jack Hill (Reading) Ltd. recently submitted two Fiat cars, a 126L and a 127, to an RAC-observed fuel-consumption test. The Report is detailed as RAC Trial No. 888. The 126L covered 149 miles at an average speed of 27.34 m.p.h. inclusive of traffic stops and returned 63.40 m.p.g. of 3-star petrol. The 127 averaged 28.95 m.p.h. for 152 miles and gave 54.29 m.p.g. The test was conducted in the Reading area, no coasting was resorted to, and the tyre pressures were normal. These are very creditable fuel-consumption figures; even if the average speeds were distinctly on the modest side, even with the then-prevailin overall 50-m.p.h. speed-limit. But it d suggest that the Fiat 126 could achieve th 60 m.p.g./50 m.p.h. target, although Fiat hay yet to prove this to us.

What is rather disturbing is that this official RAC report relied on “distances recorded on the speedometer”. The Chairman of the RAC Technical and Engineering Committee says this is regarded as adequate for the longer tests and we agree that not much mileometer inaccuracy should intrude. But it does mean that the unscrupulous could fake the results, although we are not casting the slightest. aspersion on the present tests, for which, standard Fiats were undoubtedly submitted. Even so, it would seem more scientific to check the mileometer readings against actual. distances covered, if m.p.g. figures are to be quoted to two places of decimals. However, this test has convinced us that if you do not hurry along, a Fiat 126 will exceed 60 m.p.g. and a Fiat 127 do better than 50 m.p.g. The latter car, incidentally, recorded three more miles than the 126, which could imply mileometer error.—W.B.