When someone talks about high gas mileage, most consumers think of hybrid vehicles and the generous MPG ratings they offer. That isn't always the case, however, as Volkswagen proved this month with its VW Passat TDI Clean Diesel passenger car. The car began its trip through the 48 lower US states on June 7, and ended its journey earlier this week, having traveled 8,122 miles on just under 105 gallons of gas.
In doing so, the auto maker earned a Guinness World Record under "Lowest fuel consumption -- 48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car," a record that was previously held at 67.9MPG. The highest rating achieved by a hybrid vehicle in its own category was 64MPG, quite a bit lower than both. The manual six-speed version of this car has an EPA estimated rating of 43MPG on the highway.
During the trip, the drivers fueled the Passat TDI with ultra-low-sulfur diesel from Shell and used Tg-F polymers-based PureContact with EcoPlus Technology tires, both of which helped contribute to the high mileage rating. As for monitoring the MPG, such was achieved using a Linear Logic ScanGauge II, while Guinness utilized a Motorola smartphone to track the trip.
Said the driver, Wayne Gerdes: "We felt we had a good chance of beating the existing record with the Passat TDI, but to smash it by averaging 77.99 mpg is really impressive and a testament to the potential of Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel vehicles. 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."
What kind of pointers? He has a few tips for drivers who want to boost their MPG, one of which is to drive the speed limit, advising that mileage can drop drastically over 55mph, decreasing by as much as 30-percent by the 75mph mark. In addition, drivers are advised to be gentle with acceleration and braking, and to pay attention to the driving landscape, doing things like coasting down hills to avoid revving up them.