A Lexus IS300 SportCross has completed the annual Cape-to-Cape Challenge in a new record time.

The standard, road-going car covered the 3,463 miles from Nordkapp in Arctic Norway to Cape Tarifa in southern Spain in 55 hours 24 minutes, averaging 62.51mph and beating the previous best by 31 minutes.

The car was piloted by a three-man team led by motoring journalist Brian Laban, with challenge veteran Bill Hardwick and John Coplestone. They beat the second placed Jaguar diesel by over two hours.

The challenge is not a race, but a carefully regulated competition in which the teams must adhere to all national speed limits and plan their route entirely on public highways between continental Europe’s northern and southern-most points.

“We couldn’t have had a better car for the challenge than the Lexus with its combination of superb engine and gearbox, wonderful comfort and a navigation system that was invaluable in helping us plot and keep to the most time-efficient route. Throughout the event, we didn’t incur a single penalty point,” said Laban.

“On our return to the UK we had spent nine days in the car and covered more than 8,000 miles without it missing a beat, it was superb. Apart from filling the fuel tank, we didn’t have to touch it.”

The Lexus recorded a best average consumption of 31.8mpg, over 6 mpg more than the quoted EC combined figure, and managed 475 miles on a tank of fuel.