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You would need to put the diff-lock ON if you are removing the prop-shaft to the rear axle, so theoretically it should work.

Mileage difference:
Fuel economy depends on weight for energy used in acceleration and rolling resistance, but aerodynamics is also significant as does drive-train losses.

You can get better acceleration as you suggested, but fuel economy, which is a much more complex calculation might only be 10% better overall with the 3dr version.

Basically weight is less significant in cruising, but more important during acceleration.
Aerodynamics is less significant during acceleration, at least up to 40 mph, but more important during highway cruising at higher speeds.

The engine size and gearing are actually quite significant.

There is extra drag/friction with another axle/diff whether it is driven or not, but the highest drag/friction happens when it is transmitting power.
 
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