Ford Motor Co. of Australia Ltd. says its LPG Falcon has driven entirely around the Australian continent using less than A$1,000 ($756) worth of liquid petroleum gasoline.

Race-car driver Jason Bright cruised into Melbourne last week to give Ford Australia President Tom Gorman A$2.45 ($1.85) in change after the Falcon he was driving covered 8,668 miles (13,950 km) and used A$997.55 ($754.23) worth of LPG.

In early August, the auto maker teamed up with its stable of race-car drivers in the "Ford LPG Challenge" to prove the fuel advantages of its LPG Falcon over a 23-day trial.

"Australians are constantly worrying about fuel prices, and there has been a lot of talk about a movement from large cars into smaller vehicles," Gorman says. "We wanted to show Australians that you can have all the performance and package benefits of a large car while enjoying the refueling costs of a much smaller vehicle."

A similar trip in a gasoline-powered vehicle would have cost approximately twice as much, Gorman says.

The biggest price difference encountered during the trip was in Geelong, Victoria, where LPG was A$0.45 ($0.34) vs. unleaded gas at A$1.43 ($1.08).

At the end of the trip, the vehicle had achieved an average fuel consumption of 23 mpg (10.2 L/100 km).

"We also wanted to prove that concerns about the ability to access LPG outside major metropolitan cities are unfounded, and that it is possible to drive the whole way around mainland Australia and fill up only on LPG,” Gorman says.

He says the team was able to fill up at LPG service stations in remote areas in Western Australia and Queensland.