• Oct 4th 2010 at 4:02PM
  • 39
Gavin Conway, writer for the Sunday Times, buckled into a Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion and embarked on a journey. This trip was not your typical Sunday jaunt, nor was it what we'd call a grocery run. Let's just say that Conway had Guinness World Record visions dancing in his head. Followed by independent representatives who verified the run, Conway and the Passat hit the French roads and never looked back.

Powered by a 1.6-liter common rail TDI engine with stop-start technology and equipped with low-rolling resistance tires, longer gearing and aerodynamics modifications, the Passat BlueMotion is one heck of an example of efficient motoring and Conway's drive put the vehicle's fuel-sipping abilities to the test. Conway hit the French autoroutes to determine just how far the efficient Passat could travel on a single tank, which holds 20.4 gallons of diesel. During his three-day record-setting run, Conway averaged 45 miles per hour and discovered that the BlueMotion's efficiency was simply amazing. After completing the journey, the Volkswagen Passat clocked 1,526.63 miles, setting a Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled by a production passenger car on a single tank of fuel; the 74.8 miles per gallon (U.S.) it got ain't too shabby either. Hit the jump for more on the Passat BlueMotion's record-setting run.

[Source: Volkswagen | Image: Media Inventions Ltd.]



A Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion has set a new Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled by a standard production passenger car on a single tank of fuel.

The attempt, carried out by a team from The Sunday Times, involved driving from Maidstone in Kent to the South of France and back. The Passat BlueMotion finally ran out of fuel close to Calais after completing a distance of 1,526.63 miles.

The route mainly followed French autoroutes, but included some town driving, resulting in an average speed of just over 45 mph.

Gavin Conway, for The Sunday Times, drove the Passat BlueMotion during the three-day record-breaking trip, accompanied by a navigator and video crew. Two AA patrolmen followed the entire attempt in their van to witness the journey independently for the Guinness World Records organisation, which accredited the record.

Powered by a Volkswagen 1.6-litre common rail TDI engine developing 105 PS, the Passat BlueMotion used for the record attempt was a standard production model. In common with the Polo and Golf BlueMotion models, the Passat is fitted with aerodynamic modifications to the bodywork, a lower ride height, Stop/Start, programmed battery charging, longer gearing and low rolling resistance tyres. The result is a vehicle that is completely conventional to drive, service and maintain yet among the most efficient vehicles on the road today.

The Passat BlueMotion's fuel tank was drained before the record breaking journey and filled with 77.25 litres of standard forecourt diesel, resulting in an overall fuel consumption of 89.83 miles per gallon. This substantially exceeds the Passat BlueMotion's official combined figure of 64.2 mpg. The resulting fuel cost for the journey works out at just 6.17p per mile travelled.

In setting the record the Passat BlueMotion travelled a distance equivalent to driving from London to Malaga, without needing to refuel or from New York to Los Angeles with a single stop for diesel.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      tell me again why "We need to get off of petroleum products" again ?

      Is it Peak Oil or CO2 this week ? or air pollution ?

      seems to me that if every "green" group pooled 10% of their annual "donations" they would be able to fund a startup to design and build the "bestest battery in the world" that would make electric vehicles marketable. No way "big oil" could stop them like they have on all the other promising battery technology that has been stifled for the last 50 years.

      then we'd only have to worry about "big electric" ...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. Let's wait until there's no more oil on the face of the earth before we develop any new transport technologies.
      • 4 Years Ago
      does that mean there going to raise gas prices
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they are going to stoop to one-off modifications and super slow hyper-mile drivingwhy not take the mirrors off, use flat hubcaps and have it draft behind a truck.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Diesel has and will always be the work horse of the world. Unforturnately the eviromaniacs, tree huggers, Al Gore and his deciples, and especial the Flower Children of California, will make sure this invention of yester year and today's savior never hits the Golden Pot State. Where Electric is IN and miles per KILOWATT is King. OMG the power is out, anyone have a bicycle!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        We should be running biodiesel from corn or better yet peanuts - the oil of choice of Rudolph Diesel! You would know you were in rush hour - the smell of french fries would dominate!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Type 17,

      Dream on, son. The Euro Passat "clean Diesel" that is not close to clean, is indeed stock in Europe and may be approaching EU 5, V status. Add about $2,000 more pollution control equipment to the 2016 EU 6, VI, version of Euro Stock Passat and it will be legal to sell here, today. There is is nothing in common with the Euro Diesel and the American version.

      Incidentally at that level it will be a tail-end Charlie, barely getting under the legal limit, for American emissions limits in effect for the past 20 years, and fully effective in 2007. But hurry up. CARB is already proposing a new regulation that would cut the legal limit for your Euro Passat to literally NOTHING. The equivalent to the Leaf EV. That rule will be adopted in a few months, with an effective date not yet known, but I bet it is earlier than 2016 for EU's antiquated before adopted , EU 6, VI.


      It is hard to believe that in early 1950 after demobilizing, from WWII, the Federal government took 2.5% of the national wealth. Today it is greater than 45% for all government , and 26% for the Feds, alone. We built the Interstate system and started on the way to the moon, then. Now we are scrapping the Space Shuttle, with no replacements, by order of the Obamunist himself. And the Interstate system probably couldn't be built, trying to approve the Environmental Impact Statements.

      Thank you, the government has got to the point it demands red tape and paperwork, and then never reads it like the EIS for the Gulf Oil Platform that has parts addressing the reindeer impact plagiarized from an Arctic EIS

      Yes indeed Thomas Jefferson was correct. "That government governs best, which governs least". It is almost as good as his turn of phrase, "We hold these truths to be self-evident... "
      • 4 Years Ago
      A huge factor in this automobile's efficiency is the direct injection (DI) fuel system. Bosch pioneered DI well-over ten years ago, at this point it should be a requirement for every Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) sold in America.

      Belts & chains are the next parasitic. The water pump, power steering pump and A/C can all be electrically driven. BMW drives their valve train electrically eliminating camshafts & mechanical throttle butterfly. The starter and alternator can be combined on the fly wheel, (a so-called mildbrid) providing instant stop/start functionality. Finally raising the system voltage to 42 volts, lightens & raises the efficiency of every electrical component (including the wiring harness itself) in the system.

      42 volts is the limit at which the system poses no shock hazard, yet allows the appliances to run at lower current for the same wattage rating. Operating at hundreds (and even thousands) of volts is clearly much more efficient, but the hazards exponentially out-weigh the benefits.

      Simple design changes can make current offerings up to 30% more efficient, using existing technologies, and these changes can be incorporated piecemeal, as not to disrupt production.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Like others have stated.. that's nice! but let us know when a car that will do that normally is available for sale. ( a pretty tall order )
        • 4 Years Ago
        It will never be for sale and yet it's already for sale. How is this? Because the driver is the largest influence of mpg, and all you have to do is look around when you're driving, people generally don't seem too concerned about mpg.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey; i'm no stranger to hypermiling. :)

        But the reality is that in ordinary driving, even Wayne Gerdes himself can't pull off numbers like this. Too much stop and go. Too many hills. It is absolutely the best case scenario - nothing like real world driving.

        Whereas some cars will return good fuel economy no matter how you drive them. These cars tend to be underpowered. Go figure.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where can I buy one!
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Kevin 2:32PM (10/05/2010)

      I agree. Let's wait until there's no more oil on the face of the earth before we develop any new transport technologies."

      You're right. No one is working on any new technology at all.

      I have a better idea. Why doesn't the government "draft" us into making green cars! The government could determine which job suits us best, then give us FREE training and a guaranteed green job for life! Someone get me Chavez on the line so we can figure out how to start the green job revolution!
        • 4 Years Ago
        government that governs least, governs best. The more you grow government the less freedom you have to do what is best for you and yours. The government used to comprise the best and brightest of us who wanted to serve their country . - that all ended after man landed on the moon. Today government is made up of mostly folks who cannot compete in the private sector so they take a Government job (This too shall end - badly)
      • 4 Years Ago
      For the record, The Passat BlueMotion shown above IS a stock car, widely available throughout Europe - the differences/modifications mentioned are as compared with a standard Passat.
      • 4 Years Ago
      TDI Ftw

      Electric cars will have this range in about 100 years.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah I REALLY need that kind of range...I live 500 miles from work and the closest supermarket to me is 150 miles away.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Noz must live in Texas..
      • 4 Years Ago
      They failed to mention----these tests were conducted at the top of Signal Hill in San Francisco.
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