A two-driver team just qualified for a Guinness World Record for completing 8,387 miles across 24 European countries at an average “100.31 mpg” which converted from UK to U.S. mileage is 83.52 mpg.
The UK colleagues, members of Honda’s European R&D team but amateur drivers did it in a stock diesel-powered Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC – a station wagon to Americans, or as they call them there, an estate wagon.
Officially, the record is for “Lowest Fuel Consumption – all 24 contiguous EU countries” and in doing the drive, Fergal McGrath and Julian Warren pulled off an average 932 miles on each 13.2-gallon tank of fuel.
Honda’s diesel is rated for 74.3 mpg in the UK (61.9 U.S. mpg) so this run managed to exceed that by 25 percent.
The journey began Monday, June 1 in Aalst, Belgium and McGrath and Warren navigated the continent in a clockwise direction, returning to their starting point on Thursday June 25.
Honda of UK said the drive, while a team effort and closely controlled, was something other careful drivers could conceivably do, and was not the result of all sorts of tricks to get the result.
“They simply used some very logical methods including careful and sensible route planning, driving smoothly and consistently without harsh acceleration or braking, anticipating the road conditions ahead, carrying no unnecessary weight, and ensuring that the car was correctly maintained at all times,” said Honda. “Driving speed was always within the law and keeping up with traffic conditions.”
And, they used but £459 worth of fuel, said Honda of the epic tour intended to “further demonstrate the impressive real-world fuel economy of the Tourer.”
“It was tough, but we really enjoyed it, and setting this new Guiness World Records title has made all of the hard work worthwhile,” said McGrath. “This was a huge team effort so I’d like to thank everyone involved for all of their commitment and support. After spending so much time behind the wheel Julian and I are just happy to be back behind our desks for a while!”
Other details to the trip included strict guidelines by Guiness requiring the Civic to enter each of the 24 countries, and as proof, the team members had to compile evidence including a fuel/mileage logbook, GPS readings, video and photographs and independent witness signatures.
The record car was also fitted with a tracking device, provided by fleet telematics and stolen vehicle recovery expert, TRACKER.
Guinness rules also stipulated the Civic Tourer be in every respect a standard model to replicate “real world” conditions.
Independent witnesses verified this at the beginning and end of the journey.
Refueling was done at regular stations where the tank was topped off each time. Tires were filled to recommended pressure and wheel alignment was set to factory specification as well.
Honda of course does not sell this car or any diesels in the U.S. The vehicle’s 1.6-liter turbodiesel is rated at 118 horsepower, 221 pounds-feet torque and a manual gearbox is available.
Zero to 62 mpg is 10.5 seconds, top speed is 121 mph, and the vehicle looks like it would beat any diesel sold in the U.S. for fuel economy.
It has 22 cubic feet of storage space, and competitors include the Ford Mondeo, Ford Focus Estate, and estate version of the Volkswagen Golf.
Do you think a federalized car like this would sell well here?