• Oct 5, 2010
What's the most you've ever gotten out of a single tank of gas? 400 miles? Maybe 600 miles if you're under diesel power? Volkswagen wanted to put its Passat BlueMotion to the test and see just how many miles it can cover on one tank. A team from the UK's Sunday Times set off from Kent, England with a full tank of diesel – then drove to the south of France and back.

Averaging just over 45 miles per hour, the team watched as 1,527 miles came and went. The 1.6-liter TDI-equipped VW Passat BlueMotion used was a standard production model which features a lower standard ride height, Stop/Start tech, longer gearing and low rolling resistance tires. As two witnesses drove behind them to verify the attempt for the Guinness Book of World Records, the Passat rolled along to the tune of nearly 90 miles per gallon – much higher than the 64.2 mpg rating the vehicle carries.

[Source: Volkswagen]

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03/10/10 from Volkswagen
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
      This is a remarkable feat, but the truth of the matter is that all mainstream diesel family cars can achieve similar fuel economy in these kinds of controlled conditions. A Mondeo, 3-series or Insignia diesel would likely make it to the Riviera and back by the same token on a tank ... or at least close to.

      The most impressive diesel run for my money was Jeremy Clarkson's run from London to Edinburgh and back in an Audi A8 with the 4.2 litre twin-turbodiesel V8 back in 2004/5. It managed the 820 mile run on one tank, achieving an average of 40mpg (imperial).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Now THAT is an engine that I think needs to be in the US. It's quiet, smooth, clean, and oh- has enough torque to tow your house. I think american buyers in that segment would like filling up 1/2 the time as well...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I get around 500 miles to a tank in my car, and I fill it up with about 12.7 gallons of gas and go do it again. I drive an Elantra with the 5-speed. It has a 14 gallon tank.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't believe it went that far without breaking down.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Actually, a little more research shows that an Insight got 2300 miles on an overfilled tank at 13.5 gallons. Also the Prius has beaten the snot out of this.

      This is no record, it is a load of crap. Shame on you VW and shame on you Guinness.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I loved my 2000 TDI Jetta: Washington, D.C. to Chicago and/or Washington to Jacksonville, FL, on a single tank... multiple times and under varying loads. The range was a bit above 700 miles per vented tank.

      Seriously, I've never understood why this isn't the hallmark of Volkswagen's advertising, especially in this economy. VW wipes the floor with both the American and Japanese cars for gas mileage. Add to that their diesels can easily use biodiesel and they've got a green and economical advertising concept that couldn't be more perfect for the current economic and political environment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder how or if they calculate the chunnel into the mix? Going to google maps and looking at the route from Kent to Perpignan (most likely "large city") in the south of France shows routes between 766 and 811 miles INCLUDING the 36.4 miles (x2) of the train. Not calling BS just wondering if the chunnel's 72 miles are included.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, they wouldn't be. Seriously, use some common. It shouldn't even be questioned.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why do people write about mpg and how far something can go and not include the fuel tank size? At least it was included in the press release (in Liters anyway).

      I hate that on commercials too... "Go 8 billion miles on a single tank!" Fine but if the tank holds 4 billion gallons, that's not too great, is it?
      • 4 Years Ago
      What about the fact that 1527 miles at 45 miles per hour means this thing took nearly 34 hours to do? I guess this must have been done over several days, stopping along the way?
      • 4 Years Ago

      I own a 2006 TDI Jetta. I live in Alberta and at 120 kmh highway traveling I always get 900 km per tank. And I do not drain my tank. Usually if I am only doing highway miles I get 60 miles to the gallon when I carefully do the conversion.
      Yes, it is the toughest car to use the clutch. It truely is the worst clutch I have ever used. ( and I have driven truck, backhoe, bull dozer and F 2000 race cars), but I put up with it for the torque on hills and great mileage.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I managed to do about 750 miles in my dad's Renault Clio diesel (13 gallon tank), with my dad, me and a boot full of luggage on board. Average speed was 40. That's about 68 mpg.

      The US should really understand the power of diesel.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I happened to have rented that very same 1.6 Bluemotion Passat (but in Wagon) for a weekend in London a couple of months ago. We were 5 in and didn't really try hard to get good economy but I managed 60+mpg UK driving at normal speed ... amazing, but shame that it had only 5speed ... last month I rented a 4 cyl Ford Escape for 2 weeks in Canada, and I would have been happy to get half of that lol
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why can't we have diesels here in the great USA (sic) that gets high MPGs? For years Europe has had many cars from the same companies that sell here that average well over 50 mpg, while we think anything sold here that gets over 25-30 mpg is doing great. Cars from WV and Ford routinely average over 50 mpg and even BMW's new 5 series with their smallest diesel engine averages about 55 mpg. But those cars will never see American soil! Thanks Washington!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your comments make some good arguments.

        I've driven the diesels over in Europe and didn't mind them one bit.

        When I got back to the states - I drove a TDI Jetta (I really was interested in a TDI GTD but they only had a jetta to test drive).

        It was the first car I stalled in probably 10 years. I've driven probably about 25 stick shift cars in 10 years (including valet parking). I even drove a Kia Minivan in Europe that was Diesel and I mistakenly started in 3rd gear with 5 people and luggage and didn't stall.

        I couldn't believe this diesel stalled on me. I had no idea what I did wrong.. I STILL to this day can't figure out why I stalled? I gave it gas just like every other car.. and the car felt like crap. Once the turbo hit at like 2000rpms it felt nice and torquey.. but under 2k the thing wants to stall.

        At least in a gas car I can hum along at 1700-1800 rpms and doesn't feel like it bogged down. I understand diesel has more torque down low.. but the VW diesels just don't feel right to me.

        I'm an amierican and I vote with my wallet. I can't honestly spend a $2000 premium for diesel knowing it feels crappier just to get 15% more fuel than a DI gas engine when I have to pay 10% more for fuel and $2000 more for the diesel tech. PLUS the Urea treatments.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You need to be mindful of whether those measurements are using the English or Imperial gallon. The UK Imperial gallon is quite a bit larger; 3.79 liters vs 4.55 liters. However, I agree that the engine choices in the US are not geared towards economy. Even the higher power turbo and twin-turbo engines that also get good mileage in Europe are rarely seen outside high-end automakers in the states.
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