A 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI recently achieved 77.99 mpg during a Guinness World record attempt for the lowest fuel consumption of a non-hybrid car travelling through the lower 48 U.S. states. Not only does the impressive achievement shatter the record for non-hybrid cars, but for hybrid cars as well.
Journalist Wayne Gerdes, a hypermiling expert who did the bulk of the driving, was joined by Bob Winger, an electronics engineer involved in energy conservation, for the record-breaking attempt. Together, they traveled a total of 8122 miles and consumed 104.94 gallons of fuel during the trip, which took a little more than two weeks to complete. The 2013 Passat TDI used was mostly stock and rode on Continental PureContact tires. The duo used a Linear Logic ScanGauge II to help measure fuel economy and the Passat TDI was equipped with a smartphone that allowed Guinness World Records to track info and mileage. A range of hypermiling techniques were used to score the high average number, but the duo says the same result could be achieved by anyone. As long as they’re patient enough to drive the posted speed limit and resist the urge to race to the next light.
“We felt we had a good chance of beating the existing record with the Passat TDI,” Gerdes said. “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.”
And we wouldn’t be surprised if that record stands for a long time — it beats the previous record set by a non-hybrid car by more than 10 mpg. It also beats the hybrid vehicle record by more than 13 mpg. The 2013 Passat TDI (equipped with the six-speed manual) is EPA rated at 43 mpg on the highway, providing a range of almost 800 miles on a single tank. Last year, an Australian couple set a world record for most miles traveled on one tank of fuel (1626 miles), which was also completed in a Passat TDI.