Here's the thing: it takes a lot of practice to drive like a true hypermiler. The 2013 VW Passat TDI Clean Diesel with a manual transmission, for example, has an EPA estimated 31 city/43 highway mile per gallon rating. Hypermiler Wayne Gerdes thinks the car is good for at least 68 mpg.

Gerdes, who runs CleanMPG and holds over 100 mileage records, and co-pilot Bob Winger (who we're familiar with from our Ford F-150 drive a few years ago) set out Friday in the new Passat from Herndon, VA. The goal is to visit all 48 contiguous states and set a new world record for fuel economy in a non-hybrid car. That record is currently held by Helen and John Taylor from Australia, who took a 2009 VW Jetta TDI through the lower 48 in 2009 and managed 67.90 US mpg. Gerdes and Winger have 8,000 miles to try and best the Aussies in the newer Passat. You can follow Gerdes on Twitter for all the updates from the road or get the official word from VW on Twitter or Facebook.

VW is quite clear that what Gerdes and Winger manage to accomplish won't be applicable to everyday driving. The press release, available below, says, "Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition." You don't say.
Show full PR text
VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT TDI® CLEAN DIESEL ATTEMPTS TO SET WORLD RECORD FOR FUEL ECONOMY AROUND THE LOWER 48 U.S. STATES

Volkswagen of America bids to beat the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the "lowest fuel consumption-48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car"

Herndon, VA - Volkswagen of America announced today that it will challenge the existing GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the "lowest fuel consumption-48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car." Two drivers will pilot a 2013 Passat TDI® Clean Diesel, leaving from and returning to Volkswagen's Herndon, Va. headquarters. This 8,000-mile, 48 contiguous state drive entails traveling west along a southerly route and circling back via a northerly one for approximately two weeks. The drivers will stop at various points along the way and will share their experiences through Volkswagen's social media channels: @VW, #VWTDI, and www.facebook.com/VW.

The 2013 Passat TDI uses Volkswagen's advanced turbocharged and direct-injection Clean Diesel engine to achieve EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 43 miles per gallon when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. This enables the Passat TDI to go up to 795 highway miles before needing to refuel.

Wayne Gerdes, founder of cleanmpg.com-an online community dedicated to raising fuel economy and lowering emissions-will be the primary driver. Automotive journalist Gerdes has made a career out of hypermiling and has set mileage records in more than 100 vehicles, as well as achieving the record for lowest fuel consumption in the lower 48 U.S. states with a hybrid vehicle. He will be accompanied by Bob Winger, an electronics engineer long involved in energy and conservation projects. "It's going to be a great adventure and I'm confident we can improve upon the current record of 67.9 mpg in the fuel-efficient Passat TDI," Gerdes said.

The Passat TDI Clean Diesel departed from Volkswagen of America's headquarters on Friday, June 7th, at 12:00 p.m. Herndon Mayor Lisa C. Merkel officiated at the opening ceremony to certify that Guinness World Records guidelines were followed correctly.

David Geanacopoulos, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and General Counsel of Volkswagen Group of America, said: "This is a fun and exciting way for Volkswagen to demonstrate the efficiency advantages of diesel technology. The Passat TDI is a remarkable car and we think it has a good chance to beat the existing world record. We are also very proud that the Passat TDI is one of seven vehicles in the current Volkswagen lineup that have an EPA fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or better on the highway."

Clean Diesel engines are just one part of Volkswagen's approach to sustainable mobility, encapsulated by the Think Blue.® philosophy. Volkswagen employs a wide range of powertrains-diesel, electric, hybrid, and intelligently downsized turbocharged gasoline engines-in its quest to be among the most eco-conscious automakers in the world. That approach extends to the factories in which the cars are built and the processes by which they are made.

For the attempt, the Passat TDI will use Shell ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, available at nearly 8,000 Shell stations nationwide, and Continental PureContact® with EcoPlus® Technology tires, which have Tg-F polymers to help reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel efficiency. The record-seeking Passat TDI has been equipped with a Linear Logic ScanGauge II to precisely measure fuel economy and a Droid® RAZR MAXX™ HD by Motorola® smartphone to provide Guinness World Records tracking requirements and long-lasting connectivity.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA'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. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg, and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.

Notes:
This press release and images are available at media.vw.com. Follow us @VWNews: #VWTDI, #VWThinkBlue.

"TDI", "VW", "Volkswagen", all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. "Continental", "EcoPlus", and "PureContact" are trademarks of Continental Reifen Deutschland GmbH. "Droid" is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. "GUINNESS WORLDS RECORDS" is a trademark of Guinness World Records Ltd. "MAXX" is a trademark and "Motorola" is a registered trademark of Motorola Trademark Holdings LLC.

2013 Passat TDI Clean Diesel (manual transmission) EPA estimates: 31 city/43 highway mpg. Range based on 43 mpg highway EPA estimate and an 18.5-gallon fuel tank. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      Tysto
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hypermilers, ugh. "Let's drive thousands of miles to prove how good we are at saving fuel!"
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      sure this conventionally heavy car with poor aerodynamics running on fossil fuel is green.. ABG should know better than to uncritically relay the nazi lie 'clean diesel'.
      Andrew Richard Rose
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is no such thing as " Clean Diesel "
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Like most people, at first I found the antic's of hyper-milers, mildly amusing . But, in reality these people provide little more than a freak-show. I fail to understand the practical benefits of these activities, ether to the environment or to any imaginary fuel savings. (especially in a diesel) . If using less gasoline/diesel is the objective, then simply buy an EV, hybrid or EREV. If saving on petrol cost is the object, then use public transport, or just don't travel. Driving 8,000 miles to relive the greatest experience of your life when you were appointed a school hall monitor, is pretty sad ! If this is your particular hobby, that's great, but stop moralising , and annoying fellow motorists.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Worst. Roadtrip. Ever.
      EVnerdGene
      • 1 Year Ago
      Clean DIEsel is an oxymoron. When it is cleaner than a gasoline or natural gas powered vehicles; then you can make the claim.
        wxman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Please define "clean" and please elaborate on why clean diesel (oh, sorry, clean DIEsel) doesn't meet that definition.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          Are you talkin' to me? Are you talkin' to ME? I said cleaner than gasoline or NG powered vehicles. Check out ULEVs SULEVs. DIEsels will never be as clean; especially when you consider they empty their filters and traps when no one is looking. NG is cleaner than both.
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          So you're criteria is the SULEV vs. ULEV farce? What about the far higher evaporative VOC emissions of the fuel gasoline? SULEV and ULEV doesn't account for that. And I already showed you that regeneration of DPF results in PN emissions that are about the same as the minimum of what gassers emit all the time. In the VW Passat TDI, DPF regen occurs only a tiny fraction of the time for a few minutes (http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47780&page=9). I'm not convinced NG is any "cleaner" either. Here are the results of the CARB certs for the EXACT same urban bus engine from Cummins (8.9 liter), one CNG, one diesel... 2013 UB CNG vs. diesel FTP emissions... NMHC - 0.01 g/bhp-hr (Diesel); 0.06 g/bhp-hr (CNG) NOx - 0.13 g/bhp-hr (D); 0.13 g/bhp-hr (CNG) CO - 0.1 g/bhp-hr (D); 9.8 g/bhp-hr (CNG) PM - 0.000 g/bhp-hr (D); 0.002 g/bhp-hr (CNG) CNG isn't any "cleaner" than diesel in any emission category. Furthermore, CNG buses have been shown to emit very high particle numbers while accelerating (an order-of-magnitude higher than an UNFILTERED diesel bus - http://eprints.qut.edu.au/38667/), and CNG PM has been shown to be far more mutagenic than diesel per unit mass (http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/seminars/kado/kado.pdf - slide #25).
        EVnerdGene
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3iwTi6y6c4
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          "...Just imagine the sensors installed showing running low, and then won't let you start the car after 20 attempts after its empty???..." You get a 1000 mile warning before no start. "...Hey why don't I just piss in it ? Or fill it with water, or beer, or anti-freeze, or windshield washer fluid...." Because it has to be 32.5% urea solution or it will not start. "...Sensor would have to be pretty smart/accurate/precise/ to detect you're trying to fool it..." Guess they are. "...Then drive thru Louisiana and pick-up some locally brewed high-sulphur DIEsel..." Nope. All pump diesel is ULSD. It's ILLEGAL to use non-ULDS in ANY on-highway diesel engine, not just the clean diesels. "...I'm really doubting any modern DIEsel emission system can make it much past 50k without major f-up $$$. Get the extended warranty...." Mine's already past 50K. No problems to date. "...Butt please stay in the right lane when you're regen-ing so I can easily pass...." I'll try again... "...The particle number emission from DPF-equipped vehicles are in the range 10^8-10^10 /km..." (Karlsson, "Measurement of Emissions from Four Diesel Fuelled Passenger Cars Meeting Euro 4 Emission Standards." AVL MTC Motortestcenter AB, Sweden, October 2005, http://www20.vv.se/fud-resultat/Publikationer_000001_000100/Publikation_000076/MTC5505_Slutraport.pdf - Page 19) PN during DPF regeneration = 1.39 X 10^11 particles/km (Page 19) "...The Particle Number emissions reinforce the effectiveness of the DPF on all of the test cycles. For all test cycles the uncorrected Particle Numbers for the two diesel vehicles without filters were in the range of 4.5X10^13 to 13X10^13 per km. Those for the gasoline vehicle were some 2 orders of magnitude lower; in the range 1.2X10^11 to 4.6X10^11 per km and those for the diesel vehicle with DPF at least one order of magnitude lower still at 1X10^9 to 9.9X10^9 per km...." (Page 6) Bosteels, et al., "'Regulated’ and ‘Non-regulated’ Emissions from Modern European Passenger Cars." SAE International 2006-01-1516, 2006, http://www.aecc.eu/content/pdf/SAE%202006-01-1516.pdf You're producing more particles moseying down the road than I am during a brief regen. And remember the diesel vehicles serving as air filters during non-regen?... "...the emissions coming out of this bus are right now 1/60th of what's in the outdoor air that we're breathing right now..." Dr. Bruce Hill, Clean Air Task Force, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm3i6YQOKKc - 3:32 - 3:58 mark.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          And what about the extra fuel (oil) you have to pump thru the engine to regen ? Rich mixture crapping even more soot into the air during regen. Come on. Adding Rube Goldberg filters and traps onto the engine is like putting a ribbon on a pigs ear and calling it elegant. As DIEsels get cleaner, efficiency goes down, costs go up, maintenance costs increase. What's the use? Gas -powered vehicles are getting more efficient and at the same time cleaner - every year. If they had a particulate problem like DIEsels, they'd need filters and traps like the filthy DIEsels.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          "As far as the "Rube Goldberg" comment, what do you consider 3-way catalysts on gassers to be?" On DIEsels ? Yes. SCR - carrying gallons of pig piss with you to inject into the exhaust so the SCR functions seems very Rube Goldbergish to me. Did you read about the wrongful death lawsuit - about the ambulance that wouldn't start because it ran out of urea ? idea for a new movie: Rube Goldberg meets the Peter Principle.
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          "...A final oxidation catalyst is often installed after the SCR catalyst to destroy any remaining ammonia. This is sometimes called an ammonia slip catalyst...." http://www.discoverdef.com/def-overview/selective-catalytic-reduction/
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          "ammonia slip catalyst...." Damn, are trying to feed me ammunition to make my point about DIEsels being Rube Goldberg chatter-boxes ? Yet more exhaust after-treatment ? Tin cans that will take brutal pressures and rich burns to clean themselves while puking? Oh yeah, that sounds like early replacement items. Now, just about the urea injection: Just imagine the sensors installed showing running low, and then won't let you start the car after 20 attempts after its empty??? Hey why don't I just piss in it ? Or fill it with water, or beer, or anti-freeze, or windshield washer fluid. Sensor would have to be pretty smart/accurate/precise/ to detect you're trying to fool it (which morons will). I dunno, I'm an engineer, but not a chemical engineer - butt I've read they have to be that smart ---wrong fluid and k-rapp! SCR is toast or crud. Then drive thru Louisiana and pick-up some locally brewed high-sulphur DIEsel, and your entire emission system is screwed (yes, trucks in Louisiana are still using this swamp-crud). I'm really doubting any modern DIEsel emission system can make it much past 50k without major f-up $$$. Get the extended warranty. Go for it. I'll stick with my AT-PZEV that feels like it has a little turbo. Butt please stay in the right lane when you're regen-ing so I can easily pass. Nuff said.
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm3i6YQOKKc
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          DIEsels are programmed to only regen when at speed. You wouldn't want it taking a crap in the middle of an intersection would you ?
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          SI is NOT getting "cleaner" every year since more and more manufacturers are going to direct injection (GDI), and SI getting more efficient is highly debatable (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/03/2013-ford-fusion-review/index.htm#ecoboost, http://www.caranddriver.com/features/engine-displacement-downsizing, http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130610/OEM06/306109977/turbos-mpg-or-muscle#axzz2VvPcCO00). GDI in Europe will be getting an order-of-magnitude leeway starting in 2014 on particle number emission standards that diesel has had to meet since 2011. Even in the U.S., GDI will likely need particle filters when LEV III and Tier 3 are fully implemented (http://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/ld_ca.php#leviii). For the Passat TDI mileage test, the regen used more fuel, but it only resulted in a 0.5 mpg hit for that segment (http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47780&page=9, post #89). There's not THAT much more fuel dumped into the exhaust. There are many conditions under which the DPF passively regenerates. All you need is for the exhaust gas temperature to exceed 350 degrees C. The extra fuel is injected pre-DPF, so any particles that are generated are just captured and immediately burned in the DPF. As far as the "Rube Goldberg" comment, what do you consider 3-way catalysts on gassers to be? Time to declare victory on diesel emissions, don't you think?
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          You didn't answer my question. Why do you consider after-treatment on a diesel to be "Rube Goldbergish" but after-treatment on a gasser to not be? Just because you have to add urea to some diesels. You have to add fuel to all cars. Is that "Rube Goldbergish"? There's no excuse for running out of urea. There's plenty of warning when the tank gets low.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          "There's no excuse for running out of urea" Yeah, there's no excuse for running with low tire pressure also, but we all have to pay more for pressure monitoring systems added to our cars because of all the lazy morons on the road with us (and they vote). So throwing urea into the exhaust to help trap the soot doesn't sound like Rube Goldberg ? Then rich burn to clean-out the traps? Very high temps in a tin can? How long will that last? Probably not 100k miles. SCR contaminated by contaminants in the DIEsel fuel, poisoned by traces of sulphur. Sure we'll have to have cleaner DIEsel soon - and it will costya $$$ (part of the reason DIEsel costs more in Europe). Rich fuel mixture during regen throwing unburnt fuel out the exhaust along with unburnt soot - thanks ! Ammonia slip - passing un-reacted ammonia out the exhaust - thanks ! Sounds Rube Goldberg to me - big time. And all for what? So DIEsel fanboys can feel the torque, and make manly DIEsel sounds, and screw everyone behind me. Thanks Rube ! Ammonia slip
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          By the way, gasoline is finally going to be required to be ultra-low sulfur (like diesel fuel has been since 2006), and it's going to add somewhere between $0.01 - $0.09 per gallon... http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/03/29/epa-sulfur-gas-new-rule/2032735/ Furthermore, EPA is estimating that it will cost about $200 more for gassers to comply with Tier 3 than light-duty diesels and they are notorious for their low estimates.
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRfknAoVfNM
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Active DPF regeneration burns the accumulated soot into CO2 and H2O (http://www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/documents/420f10027.pdf). You make it sound like it accumulates the particles and then dumps them out of the exhaust en masse at some point while going 40+ mpg. That's NOT how it works. In the subject CleanMPG test, the DPF first regenerated at around 1900 miles (https://twitter.com/cleanmpg (June 11, 2013)) and lasted for three miles (http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47780&page=11 (Post #108)). So for 0.16% of the time, the TDI is emitting as many particles as the minimum of what gassers are continuously emitting. Otherwise, the particle emissions are less than ambient (did you notice what the CATF scientist said at 3:32 - 3:58 of the second youtube video I posted? - "...the emissions coming out of this bus are right now 1/60th of what's in the outdoor air that we're breathing right now..." Dr. Bruce Hill, CATF). It's serving as an air filter, and a very effective one at that!
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here's the thing: it takes a lot of OCD to drive like a true hypermiler.* ( fixed that for you.)
      • 1 Year Ago
      I own this exact same car... I am a sales rep and drive 80,000 miles per year and have to pay for my own car and own fuel. So I bought a passat TDI. I don't give a CRAP about emissions or how "clean" my car is! I care about saving money! I have put 50,000 miles on my passat so far and my lifetime average is 61.2 mpg. And yes that is accurate. I am anal about how much money I spend. I have every single receipt with mileage written on it from ALL fill ups. I generally get 1,000+ miles per tank. I have also had several 100+ mile trips that I averaged 70+ Mpgs. My best trip so far was 105 miles at 74.1 mpg! Hypermiling techniques have saved me $4-500 per month in fuel costs. So this car + Hypermiling = $6,000 a year in savings for me... Thank you VW
        • 1 Year Ago
        I own the car as well, how do i get this kind of milage? I have topped 58 once, but on average i only get about 50 mpg
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