We all know they really wanted to hit that 50 mile per gallon mark, but 49.9 mpg will have to do. That's what Frank Zauft, the most fuel-efficient driver, achieved in the first-ever "Think Blue. World Championship" competition (yes, the period's supposed to be there) that Volkswagen has conducted in the US with the Jetta Hybrid.

The 402-mile rally wound from San Francisco to Santa Monica, covering both city streets and highways. Europe's biggest automaker is pushing its "Think Blue" series of events as a way to increase eco-awareness by promoting everything from more fuel-efficient cars to more energy-efficient factories.

VW first showed off the Jetta Hybrid at the Detroit Auto Show in January and said the car would get a combined 45 miles per gallon while being able to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 9.0 seconds. Volkswagen said in October that the model would go on sale in the US at the end of the year with a sticker price of $24,995. We've put VW's press release on the Think Blue competition below.
Show full PR text
THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN FUEL-EFFICIENT DRIVING: FRANK ZAUFT ACHIEVED 49.9 MPG ON NEW JETTA HYBRID

28/11/12 from Volkswagen

Los Angeles, Calif. - The winner of the first Volkswagen "Think Blue. World Championship." on U.S. soil crossed the finish line in Los Angeles, Calif. today. In a two-day competition, the 18 best inter¬national drivers took fuel-efficient driving to a higher level, achieving a range of 49.9 mpg with the brand new Jetta Hybrid.

The winners from the 2012 national championships from all over the world competed in a one-of-a-kind rally: driving from San Francisco to Santa Monica, their goal was to achieve the lowest fuel consumption and also demonstrate their knowledge of ecological sustainability.

On the 402-mile course through California, the participants experienced the new Jetta Hybrid and its different driving modes: from city streets to the curvy Pacific Coast Highway and freeways. The difficult course challenged everyone's knowledge about fuel-efficient driving, while getting the most out of hybrid technology that combines electric and gas power.

At the L.A. Auto Show, starting Wednesday, November 28th, the winner, Frank Zauft from Germany, will be officially honored and the new Jetta Hybrid will be introduced to the U.S. market.

"This international competition in fuel-efficient driving showed that eco-conscious driving behavior can be really fun," said Marketing Director Jürgen Stackmann. "It conveys perfectly the spirit of 'Think Blue.,' inspiring and enabling everyone to join us in changing everyday driving behavior in a way that is easy and fun."

During the event, the drivers also had to master several tasks relating to ecological sustainability and "Think Blue.". For example, board games challenged the participants to find the most ecological and economical approach to use renewable energy at a factory – just like the concept of the "Think Blue. Factory.", Volkswagen's approach to reduce factory emissions by 25 percent by 2018.

The "Think Blue. World Championship." is an integral part of "Think Blue.", the attitude of Volkswagen towards ecological sustainability. For this Championship, a Carbon Footprint was calculated in co-operation with Climate Partner in order to make the event climate neutral.

The Carbon footprint includes all relevant emission sources, most notably travel, accommodation, catering, logistics and mobility, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions that result from the competition itself. Through explicit selection of sustainable catering and accommodation options, Volkswagen managed to reduce carbon emissions already prior to the event. Volkswagen decided to offset the associated greenhouse gas emissions together with Climate Partner through a Gold Standard certified carbon offset project located in Ceará, Brazil.

About "Think Blue."
With "Think Blue.", Volkswagen is taking on the challenge of reconciling individual mobility and ecologically sustainable behavior. This includes technologies like the eco-efficient models and electric mobility, but also new forms of mobility like car-sharing or the program for a resource-conserving production "Think Blue. Factory.".

Furthermore, "Think Blue." involves customers and everyone being interested with creative ideas in order to achieve a common mind shift towards an ecologically sustainable mobility. "Think Blue." also cooperates with numerous environmental and conservation organizations all around the world.

Pictures and Video material covering Jetta Hybrid and the "Think Blue. World Championship. 2012" are available on Volkswagen's media site: www.volkswagen-media-services.com


Volkswagen Communications
Product Communications
Christian Buhlmann
Phone: +49-152-22995603
Fax: +49-5361-957-87584
E-Mail: christian.buhlmann@volkswagen.de
www.volkswagen-media-services.com
www.volkswagenag.com


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      skierpage
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Jetta Hybrid won't beat the 51/48 mpg of the Prius, and will probably have comparable mpg to the 47/47 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which is $3k more expensive, bigger, faster, and probably nicer to drive, though the Jetta Hybrid lets you shfit gears. The Jetta Hybrid will have a huge bump in city mpg compared with the 34/42 Jetta TDI, so it's better than... itself. Where's the Jetta plug-in hybrid? Automotive News reported in September: The first plug-in hybrid headed to the United States is a Jetta sedan -- it goes on sale in the fourth quarter. In 2013, Porsche gets plug-in hybrid versions of the Panamera sedan and 918 Spyder. Both models will come to the United States. In 2014, plug-in hybrid or electric versions of the VW Passat and Golf, the Audi Q3 and Q7 crossovers and the Porsche Cayenne SUV will debut, according to Winterkorn. The electric Golf and Cayenne are coming to the United States. The others haven't been confirmed. Later, the Audi A6 and A8 sedans will get plug-in hybrid technology, Winterkorn said. He didn't give a timetable for the Audis. Rupert Stadler, CEO of Audi AG, said both cars will be sold in the United States.
        danwat1234
        • 2 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        The Ford Fusion Hybrid and the C-max only gets about 40MPG real world average. It is being investigated by the EPA
      Andrew Richard Rose
      • 2 Years Ago
      I regularly drive a 2004 Mercedes E270 diesel between northern Italy and Brussels , Belgium a distance of 850 km which includes the climb over the Alps . The car makes the journey averaging 5.2l/100 km or 45.23 mpg (US) running in the main at 120km/hour ( 75 miles per hour ) Is this "Jetta" remarkable or is this further greenwash from the ICE car companies trying to convince us that they are all doing their very best to make cars more efficient ?
        danwat1234
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew Richard Rose
        Diesel and Atkinson cycle gas engines are about equal in efficiency. So, the diesel engine still has the advantage that diesel fuel contains about 11% more energy than a gallon of gasoline
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Diseasel
      winc06
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car has already been written about a little in the car mags. It is a turbo which requires premium fuel. So it is hard to see how it has an advantage over the TDI. Maybe the City fuel consumption which they have been keeping a secret so far? The base price car is a special order item. The one in the showroom you can actually buy is considerably more expensive, though nicer equipped. It probably has nice driving dynamics and the combining of a hybrid with a turbo is interesting. My five year old gasoline engine Civic gets 40mpg easily, running speed limit on a freeway. I suspect that that could be pushed up considerably by a good hyper miler. I suspect that the owner reports on fueleconomy.org for this Jetta will not look so good.
        Donny Hoover
        • 2 Years Ago
        @winc06
        It will stack up the same way that other hybrids do against the TDI's. TDI's are honestly not that good in the city so, if you're doing mostly city driving, a hybrid will serve you better. On the other hand, even a Pruis can't match what TDI's can get on the highway. What would be really awesome is to improve on the TDI's already great figures with a hybrid system but that would likely be very cost prohibitive.
          Chris M
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          Actually, hybrids like the Prius really shine on highway mileage, Prius drivers can tell you that they often get their best mileage on the freeway. It's the TDI that has trouble matching Prius fuel economy on the highway (and of course falls way behind in city driving). Plug-in hybrids kicks fuel economy up to a whole new level. Another area where the Prius wins over the TDI is in low emissions. Diesels are notoriously polluting, even when equipped with particulate filters and "AdBlue".
          fastalan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          There are just too many things a Prius can't match up to TDI, including driving dynamic, handling, comfort, highway FE at real highway speed. Neither can Lexus hybrids match up to the overall performance and value offered from BMW and Merc diesels. If your goal is to save fuel, then you shouldn't be driving any kind of cars with internal combustion engine. However, if you run a taxi company minizing fuel cost, Prius still a better choice then this hybrid Jetta.
          EVdriver
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          "On the other hand, even a Prius can't match what TDI's can get on the highway." Absolutely wrong! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySR0flj6QnQ Obsolete, carcinogenic TDI has been severly beaten by Prius in ALL driving conditions.
          4EvsHybrids
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          VW should be commended for their feeble attempt to get away from Stinky Diesels and their air polluting Carcinogenic Byproducts. Unfortunately, my 2011 Prius regularly gets 60 MPG at 80 MPH on Regular Gas (87 octane) without the Hyper mile techniques VW is using with Premium Gas. Hyper Mile Techniques on the Prius yields > 90 MPG + consistently according to Prius Chat. Unfortunately Audi (Owned By VW) is introducing more Stinky Diesel models.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yawn. There are dudes with aero modded geo metros & Toyota Tercels getting >70mpg on the highway without much effort.. Priuses getting 60mpg with some careful footing at lower speeds. Think heard that the old 2000's Golf could do >45mpg highway! Wake me when the XL1 is released, i'm not impressed at all!
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Or you can drive a prius like a normal person and get 50mpg.
        kEiThZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        But you'd have to drive Prius....and not all of us want that.
      Thomas
      • 2 Years Ago
      I used to get 50mpg in my 2000 Jetta TDI, so what's the hybrid doing for us?
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Thomas
        How many airbags, and how thick was the frame?
          2 wheeled menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Honestly i'd prefer a narrower and more aerodynamic car ( lower frontal area ) that didn't have 10 airbags in it, to an expensive heavy car like the ones being put out now.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Thomas
        What it's doing is giving you the same distance with turbo, horsepower and no more black smoke spewing out the back!
        Tweaker
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Thomas
        Sure you did. How much in the city?
      EVdriver
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a pathetic result from an obsolete car manufacturer.
        untitledfolder
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVdriver
        VW is "obsolete"? I don't love them, but thats a fantasy... They're a titan in the industry...
        kEiThZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVdriver
        45 mpg is pathetic? How so? I'm glad it's not a soulless, beige econobox like the Prius.
      kEiThZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      My next car if they ever actually get it to a showroom. Seriously, I am waiting to buy this thing.
      Mbukukanyau
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is not a Rally. Seriously. Everyone who is serious about a Rally should drive fast.. Check out WRC.
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      And I could get 40mpg with my 1995 Saturn. So instead of using 10 gallons, I would use 8. For the round trip @$4/gal I would save $16... It would still cost $64 for gas + environmental problems. Not very green. And I'm glad that they haven't made the 80mpg-100mpg car they could make since that might impact the EV market. Or we could be working on making the Tesla or Leaf cheaper and lighter (or available to rent), and it could be done at 100 kWh each way or 200 kWh round trip (250W/mi or 4mi per kW). Add in a quick charger halfway between SF and LA. 200 kW can be made in a bunch of different ways with few environmental issues.
        kEiThZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        Would your '95 Saturn meet today's crash standards?
      Brody
      • 2 Years Ago
      VW finally getting on board with electrification in a serous way.
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