Helen and John Taylor have reached the one-third mark of their nationwide trek to demonstrate how much impact driving behavior can have on fuel efficiency, and it's working. The Australian couple are well on their way to setting a new world record. After 2,753 miles and eight days of driving they are averaging 58.78 mpg (U.S.) in a new VW Jetta TDI. The Jetta is completely stock including the OEM tires and transmission. That nearly 59 mpg average is well above the 30/41 mpg EPA ratings for the Jetta TDI and includes time spent in bumper to bumper traffic in places like New York City.
The Taylors also prefer to be called fuel stretchers rather than hyper-milers. Unlike hyper-milers, they don't use tactics like drafting
behind trucks or rolling through stop signs to avoid acceleration. Instead they focus on vehicle maintenance, tire pressure, avoiding idling and watching their speed. Judging by their performance so far, it's working. We'll be seeing the Taylors in California next week when they stop by during a media drive for the Jetta TDI. If you have any questions you'd like to ask the Taylors, leave them in the comments here.
FUEL EFFICIENT COUPLE EN ROUTE TO BREAK GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR LOWEST FUEL CONSUMPTION
The Taylor's are almost a third of the way toward breaking Guinness World Record
HERNDON, Va. – Two of the world's most fuel efficient drivers, John and Helen Taylor, are a third of the way through their attempt to break the current world record for lowest fuel consumption across the 48 contiguous United States. Today they will be driving into their ninth day, passing through the northern states of the Great Plains, including South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana. To help them along the way, they are driving the all-new, 50-state-compliant clean diesel Volkswagen Jetta TDI, fueled by Shell's best diesel fuel.
"The vehicle seating is extremely comfortable and the power point in the car enables lots of work en route to be done while preserving power," said Helen Taylor. "The car is efficiently driving its way to a fuel economy world record."
The current Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption on a nationwide drive is 51.58 miles per gallon. As of end of day, Wednesday, Sept. 10, the Taylor's have driven more than 2,753 miles through more than 24 states averaging about 58.78 US miles per gallon.
"It has been quite an adventure thus far, the world is getting smaller -- on day four we met a girl originally from our small town in Australia now residing in Ohio!" said John Taylor. "We are optimistic we should be able to break the current world record if we stay on course and keep our fuel-efficient driving tips in mind."
People are encouraged to e-mail the Taylors along the way at: firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions they may have about the tour, the vehicle or about fuel economy tips and join their "Fan" page on Facebook.com. As of yesterday, 805 people have e-mailed the Taylors. The most common question asked was if the Taylors would do a fuel economy clinic for them.
Approximately 12 official check-in and refueling stops across the country are included throughout the duration of the drive, which is slated to conclude Sept. 26 in W. Va. The couple will drive on a counter-clockwise route and plan to pass through these cities: Chantilly, Va.; Rutland, V.T.; Toledo, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Spearfish, S.D.; Missoula, Mont.; Winnemucca, Nev.; Santa Monica, Calif.; Durango, Colo.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mount Vernon, Ill.; Ponchatoula, La.; and, Beckley, W. Va. Some of the Shell FuelStretch tactics the Taylors will employ on the road include: avoiding idling and higher speeds, minimizing vehicle drag and performing regular vehicle maintenance.
The Taylors have made a 26-year career out of driving economically and conducting workshops globally on fuel-efficient driving techniques. They have collected 82 world fuel economy and vehicle-related records from drives around the globe in Australia, Asia, South Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Volkswagen of America, Inc. recently announced Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as standard equipment on all its 2009 vehicles. As a result, Volkswagen is one of the only original equipment manufacturers to offer an electronic stability control system on their entire product line – ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) deadline requiring vehicles in the 2012 model year to include stability control systems. Volkswagen's ESP technology works in conjunction with anti-lock brakes and helps reduce loss of control and rollovers to avoid crashes. NHTSA predicts nearly 10,000 lives could be saved each year if automakers included stability systems as standard equipment.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Va. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, GLI, Passat, Passat Wagon, Eos, Tiguan and Touareg through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at vw.com