Volkswagen of America announced that it will challenge the existing Guinness World Records achievement for the “lowest fuel consumption-48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car.”
Two drivers will pilot a 2013 Passat TDI clean diesel, leaving from and returning to Volkswagen’s Herndon, Va. headquarters.
This 8,000-mile, 48 contiguous state drive entails traveling west along a southerly route and circling back via a northerly one for approximately two weeks.
The drivers will stop at various points along the way and will share their experiences through the following social media channels: @VW, #VWTDI, and www.facebook.com/VW.
The 2013 Passat TDI uses Volkswagen’s turbocharged and direct-injection clean diesel engine to achieve EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 43 miles per gallon when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.
According to Volkswagen, this enables the Passat TDI to go up to 795 highway miles before needing to refuel.
Wayne Gerdes, founder of cleanmpg.com, will be the primary driver. Automotive journalist Gerdes has made a career out of hypermiling and has set mileage records in more than 100 vehicles, as well as achieving the record for lowest fuel consumption in the lower 48 U.S. states with a hybrid vehicle.
He will be accompanied by Bob Winger, an electronics engineer long involved in energy and conservation projects.
“It’s going to be a great adventure and I’m confident we can improve upon the current record of 67.9 mpg in the fuel-efficient Passat TDI,” Gerdes said.
The Passat TDI Clean Diesel departed from Volkswagen of America’s headquarters on Friday, June 7, at 12:00 p.m. Herndon Mayor Lisa C. Merkel officiated at the opening ceremony to certify that Guinness World Records guidelines were followed correctly.
“This is a fun and exciting way for Volkswagen to demonstrate the efficiency advantages of diesel technology,” said David Geanacopoulos, executive vice president for Public Affairs and General Counsel of Volkswagen Group of America. “The Passat TDI is a remarkable car and we think it has a good chance to beat the existing world record. We are also very proud that the Passat TDI is one of seven vehicles in the current Volkswagen lineup that have an EPA fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or better on the highway.”
Clean diesel engines are just one part of Volkswagen’s approach to sustainable mobility, encapsulated by what it terms the Think Blue philosophy. Volkswagen said it employs a wide range of powertrains – diesel, electric, hybrid, and downsized turbocharged gasoline engines – in its quest to be among the most eco-conscious automakers in the world.
That approach extends to the factories in which the cars are built and the processes by which they are made.
For the attempt, the Passat TDI will use Shell ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, available at nearly 8,000 Shell stations nationwide, and Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology tires, which have Tg-F polymers to help reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel efficiency.
The record-seeking Passat TDI has been equipped with a Linear Logic ScanGauge II to precisely measure fuel economy and a Droid RAZR MAXX HD by Motorola smartphone to provide Guinness World Records tracking requirements and connectivity.