Volkswagen informed us today that a Passat TDI Clean Diesel set a new Guinness World Record for the “lowest fuel consumption – 48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car” category returning 77.99 mpg US, which is equal to 3.01 l/100 km.
Ze Germans state that the diesel-powered Passat managed to beat the previous record for a car with a conventional powertrain by more than 10 mpg (0.45 l/100 km), while also breaking the hybrid vehicle record of 64.6 mpg (3.64 l/100 km).
The Passat’s journey began on June 7, at 12 pm, from Volkswagen of America’s headquarters in Herndon, Virginia and ended in the same place on June 24, after 8,122 miles (13,071 km) across all 48 states.
Automotive journalist Wayne Gerdes, founder of Cleanmpg website, and Bob Winger, an electronics engineer involved in energy and conservation projects, drove the Passat.
“To cover 8,122 miles on just 104.94 gallons (397.4 liters) of fuel is nothing short of astonishing and shows just how economical our TDI Clean Diesel vehicles can be,” said Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen of America president and CEO.
Given that a standard Passat TDI Clean Diesel with a six-speed manual gearbox officially averages 43 mpg (5.47 l/100 km) on the highway, the drivers of the record car had to do some tricks to reach 77.99 mpg. “Obviously, we employ some specialized techniques to achieve such figures, but there’s no reason why owners of TDI vehicles shouldn’t be able to achieve great mileage with a few simple pointers,” said Gerdes.
Among these tricks, Gerdes mentioned using downhill momentum to help crest an uphill section, coasting between intersections rather than using heavy braking and acceleration, and obeying speed limits, as the difference in fuel economy between 55 mph (88.5 km/h) and 75 mph (120 km/h) can be as much as 30 percent or even higher in some cars.
So what do you think, are these tips enough to go from 43 to 77.99 mpg or are there many more secret techniques that Gerdes and Winger used?
By Dan Mihalascu