Watch out, Wayne Gerdes, there's a new hypermiling crew in town.

John and Helen Taylor – Volkswagen calls them "mileage experts" and "the world's most fuel-efficient couple" – recently drove a stock 2012 Passat TDI SE all the way from Houston, Texas to Sterling, Virginia without refueling. That's 1,626.1 miles from just 19.3 gallons. Bad with numbers? VW has done the math for you: it's 84.1 miles per gallon (we came up with 84.2, but who's counting?).

The three-day trip happened earlier this month, and it turns out that the Taylors are not new to the high mileage game. They have previously set the "48 Contiguous U.S. States Fuel Economy Guinness World Record." Still, the new Passat TDI record is impressive and it mimics some of the ways that Gerdes runs his hypermiling trips. As you can see in the gallery, the gas tank was filled to the brim with gas (see here) and there was a LOT of documentation going on during the trip. These sorts of things are important, since the Taylors often run workshops on driving efficiently and have, over the years, "collected more than 90 world fuel economy and vehicle-related records from drives around the globe." They run the website Fuel Academy.
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Mileage experts John and Helen Taylor complete 1626-mile drive in Chattanooga-built Volkswagen Passat TDI®-without stopping for fuel!
  • Record set using a stock 2012 Passat TDI SE with six-speed manual transmission
  • Average of 84.1 miles per gallon during three-day trip
  • Shows mileage benefits of VW Clean Diesel technology
Herndon, VA (May 7, 2012) – The world's most fuel efficient couple has done it again. John and Helen Taylor were determined to break the record for the farthest distance traveled

on a single tank of fuel. They decided to attempt the record in the U.S. with a stock 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE TDI Clean Diesel vehicle equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. The previous record for the most miles covered on a single tank of diesel was 1526.6 miles, achieved with a VW Passat 1.6 BlueMotion® diesel in Europe.

The result? A new record of 1626.1 miles, achieved on one tank of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel under real world driving conditions. That's an incredible 99.5 miles better than the old mark. Over the course of three days and driving through nine states, the couple averaged 84.1 miles per gallon, spending only 4.65 cents per mile. The three-day drive commenced on May 3, 2012 in Houston, TX and ended on May 5, 2012 in Sterling, Virginia. To make the drive as realistic as possible, the couple included 120 pounds of luggage and drove during daylight hours to experience normal traffic situations. Additionally, the couple took turns driving and didn't travel more than 14 hours per day.

"We're excited to have broken the record for the longest distance driven on one-tank of fuel," said John Taylor. "The Passat TDI was the perfect car for the trip. It offers plenty of interior and cargo space, yet is frugal enough to help us achieve this record."

The Passat's 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel inline four-cylinder engine produces 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque and with a manual transmission delivers an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 43 mpg on the highway. The TDI engine is equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction System (SCR) that fulfills emissions requirements in all 50 states. The Passat-built at the world's only LEED Platinum certified automotive factory in Chattanooga, TN-was named Motor Trend's 2012 Car of the Year.

"The Passat was engineered and designed to be a comfortable yet fun to drive alternative in the midsize segment. The TDI Clean Diesel version unites driving dynamics and fuel efficiency that isn't found in the competitive set," said Rainer Michel, Vice President of Product Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "We're honored that the Taylors chose the 2012 Passat TDI as the vehicle to set this outstanding distance record. Their record shows just how economical the Passat TDI can be in the right hands."

Prior to the drive, the speedometer and odometer were calibrated by a state certified testing station in Houston, Texas. Law enforcement officers from the city of Houston, Texas oversaw validation of mileage, fuel fill-up, and gas tank sealing at the beginning of the drive. A Loudoun County, Virginia Sheriff's Deputy verified completion of the drive and mileage prior to removing the fuel tank seal.

The Taylors have made a career out of driving efficiently and conducting workshops globally on fuel-efficient driving techniques. They have collected more than 90 world fuel economy and vehicle-related records from drives around the globe. The couple also provides fuel efficient tips on their website,

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at or to learn more.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      How could they achieve this when you state they filled the tank with "gas"; any diesel engine wouldn't make it a few miles with "gas" in the tank. Fuel, yes, gas, no.
      • 3 Years Ago
      To Ron Cohen: We've known about the benefits of using aluminum for many decades. But, the big gains are with a material called a graviton matrix. It's a material made so that the particle that causes gravity and inertia passes right through as the atoms are arranged with optimal spaces between them. The best test I've gotten so far with this material is a half ounce of it supporting a twelve pound weight, or 384 times its own weight. I have this piece sitting right here on the desk. It's worth about 100 billion dollars....Alfred-
        • 3 Years Ago
        I always get a kick out of your posts Alfred. They are easily recognizable just by the style of the wording....Anyhow, I have to get back to tweaking the alignment of the supercooled magnets of the ion magnetic pulse drive. They keep mis-behavin' up around .08 C. Oooh, me poor bairns.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I heard on CarTalk that filling the car to the very tip-top was a no no. I believe they said there is a hose that comes off the filler neck that goes to a carbon cartridge to help catch the fumes. They said getting gasoline in this tube could cause damage to the carbon cartridge and kill it over time.
        • 3 Years Ago
        As T O stated, different fuels have different systems. Because diesel have virtually no VOC emissions, there is no need for a carbon cartridge. Other than letting any foam dissipate, and leaving a little room for expansion from temperature increases, you can fill a diesel tank much higher than a gas tank. Since they were hitting the road immediately after fueling, it really wasn't necessary to leave room for temperature expansion.
        T O
        • 3 Years Ago
        You're failing to account for the fact that it is a diesel, not gasoline. Diesels can be topped fact, in my Jetta TDI, if I stop pumping when the pump auto stops me, I'll have missed the opportunity to put in an additional 2-3 gallons of diesel, because diesel is known to foam up, and that can trigger the pump to kill off early.
        • 3 Years Ago
        True, it's just one of the reasons some gas stations will have notices against "topping off." But I would guess this was a one-time thing for the record, not something they'd encourage doing all the time.
          • 3 Years Ago
          Actually that is precisely what hypermilers do encourage all the time.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had an 04 Jetta TDI for 5 years and what you saved in fuel costs you more than spent on maintenance and repairs. Everytime it went into the shop you needed to take out a mortgage on the service and repairs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      why are they putting gas in a diesel engine...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did they get a cash prize? Driving in a way that would get me 80+MPG in a car designed to get less than half that would have me pulling my hair out.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hate getting behind "hypermilers". Takes them 2-3 miles before they make the speed limit.
      • 3 Years Ago
      first rule---never put the pedal to the metal
      Nels Paulson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well a diesel is more efficient than regular. Manual instead of automatic. if you aren't afraid of driving slow and what some people might call a little sporatic by coasting, and driving at peak efficiency (probably around 55 on the high way). no AC, heat, radio, or any unnessesary electronics powered by the car. I can see it happening. Then... Day light probably saved them gas milage and they weren't using the most populated area in the country so real life was still a little off from what most people experience. And a number of other things that people can't do for practical perposes that they did.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had a 1987 Ford Escort that had the converter removed and it got exactly 50 MPG on 100% gas.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, how did they do it? What are the tips and tricks that everyone can use to reduce fuel used?
      • 3 Years Ago
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