Going strictly by the Environmental Protection Agency's fuel economy figures, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan on the market, but Ford today proved it is also one of the most efficient vehicles on the road today, regardless of class.

A team of Ford engineers and fuel mileage experts - with a special cameo appearance by NASCAR driver Carl Edwards -- set out on April 25th to cover 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas in a showroom-stock Ford Fusion Hybrid, but wound up exceeding all expectations. When the Ford Fusion Hybrid finally rolled to a stop at 5:47am on Tuesday morning, the team had covered an astonishing 1,445.7 miles, netting an average of 81.5 mpg.

Not only is the mark of 1,445 miles on a single tank more than double the Fusion Hybrid's claimed range of 700 miles, but is also the new record for a gasoline-powered, mid-size sedan.

Ford openly admits extreme driving techniques were used to achieve the record economy, but the results go a long way in proving the adage "?it's not what you drive but how you drive'. "Not only does this demonstrate the Fusion Hybrid's fuel efficiency, it also shows that driving technique is one of the keys to maximizing its potential," said Nancy Gioia, director, Ford Sustainable Mobility Technologies and Hybrid Vehicle Programs. One of the Fusion Hybrid's key traits is its SmartGauge with EcoGuide, which helps the driver drive more efficiently.

Adding some icing to the cake, Ford's 1,000 mile challenge also raised $8,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.