Frank Zauft Achieves 49.9 MPG In New Jetta Hybrid

Driven on Californian roads in a fuel efficiency contest, the new Jetta Hybrid returned a fuel consumption just shy of 50 mpg.

The winner of the first Volkswagen “Think Blue. World Championship.” on U.S. soil crossed the finish line in Los Angeles Nov. 28, the same day the new Jetta Hybrid is being launched at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

In a two-day competition, 18 of the best international drivers pushed their fuel-efficient driving skills, achieving a range that reached 49.9 mpg for German Frank Zauft and his wife, Ramona.

According to VW, the winners from 2012 national championships from all over the world competed in a one-of-a-kind rally: driving from San Francisco to Santa Monica, they targeted to achieve the lowest fuel consumption and also demonstrate their knowledge of ecological sustainability.

On the 402 mile course through California, the participants experienced the new Jetta Hybrid and its different driving modes: from city streets to the curvy Pacific Coast Highway and freeways.

VW planned the difficult course to challenge everyone’s knowledge about fuel-efficient driving, while trying to get the most out of hybrid technology that combines electric and gas power.

“This international competition in fuel-efficient driving showed that eco-conscious driving behavior can be really fun” said Marketing Director of Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen brand, Jürgen Stackmann: “It conveys perfectly the spirit of ‘Think Blue.’, inspiring and enabling everyone to join us in changing everyday driving behavior in a way that is easy and fun.”

During the event, the drivers also had to master several tasks relating to ecological sustainability and “Think Blue.” For example, board games challenged the participants to find the most ecological and economical approach to use renewable energy at a factory – just like the concept of the “Think Blue. Factory.” the approach of Volkswagen brand to reduce factory emissions by 25 percent by 2018.