Volkswagen has announced the company's Passat TDI has set a new world record for the category of "lowest fuel consumption-48 US states for a non-hybrid car." Drivers Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger managed an impressive 77.99 miles per gallon over 8,122 miles, trouncing the previous record of 67.9 mpg. The duo also sailed past the hybrid record of 64.5 mpg, another record set by Gerdes. As the founder of CleanMPG.com, Gerdes spends his time squeezing the best fuel economy possible out of passenger cars and trucks, and he's personally set records in over 100 vehicles.

For this particular world record, Gerdes and Winger visited all 48 contiguous states in 17 days, and Guinness World Records has certified the endeavor. You can read the full press release below for more information, including a few tips to pull the best fuel economy possible out of your personal vehicle.
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VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT TDI® CLEAN DIESEL SETS WORLD RECORD FOR FUEL ECONOMY AROUND THE LOWER 48 U.S. STATES - AT 77.99 MPG!

Volkswagen of America beats the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the lowest fuel consumption-48 U.S. States

Herndon, Va., June 24, 2013 - Volkswagen of America announced today that it has set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the "lowest fuel consumption-48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car" category with a stellar 77.99 mpg - more than 10 mpg better than the previous mark of 67.9 mpg. The achievement also beats the hybrid vehicle record of 64.6 mpg by more than 13 mpg.

The Passat TDI Clean Diesel departed from Volkswagen of America's headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, on Friday, June 7th, at 12:00pm and arrived back on June 24th, having covered 8122 miles and visited all 48 states. The car, along with drivers Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger, were greeted in Herndon by Volkswagen employees as well as Virginia State Delegates Tom Rust and Jim LeMunyon.

Delegate Tom Rust said: "Breaking a world record is a huge accomplishment, and I'm especially pleased that Volkswagen of America-a Herndon, Virginia-based company-is doing its part to make its products more environmentally compatible and less dependent on foreign oil by using cutting-edge diesel technology. Congratulations!"

Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., said: "To cover 8122 miles on just 104.94 gallons of fuel is nothing short of astonishing and shows just how economical our TDI Clean Diesel vehicles can be. Even for everyday drivers, the mileage benefits of our TDI engines are significant: Volkswagen has no fewer than six TDI Clean Diesel models that achieve an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or better on the highway."

Wayne Gerdes, founder of cleanmpg.com was 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 at 64.6 mpg. His co-driver was Bob Winger, an electronics engineer long involved in energy and conservation projects.

"We felt we had a good chance of beating the existing record with the Passat TDI," Gerdes said, "but to smash it by averaging 77.99 mpg is really impressive and a testament to the potential of Volkswagen's TDI Clean Diesel vehicles. Obviously, we employ some specialized techniques to achieve such figures, but there's no reason why owners of TDI vehicles shouldn't be able to achieve great mileage with a few simple pointers." Gerdes suggests:
• Plan in advance: look for impediments or topography 15 to 45 seconds ahead, rather than reacting to where you're currently driving. Use downhill momentum to help crest an uphill section.
• Allow the rabbits to win the race to the stoplights. Heavy braking and acceleration consume fuel at a far greater rate than coasting between intersections.
• Obey speed limits: The difference in fuel economy between 55 mph and 75 mph can be as much as 30 percent or even higher in some cars.
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.

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 used 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-setting Passat TDI was 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.

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
  • 81 Comments
      Roscoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Persistently using the latest in hypermiling techniques, along with the low resistance tires, this record doesn't particularly surprise me. My 2010 Golf TDI routinely got 50 mpg on the highway, and that involved no hypermiling whatsoever, stock tires, often loaded with passengers and/or cargo, and semi-regular use of the A/C during the summer. So, yeah, 78 mpg sounds totally feasible given the Passat's equipment and the drivers' driving style. Even though I'd never go to those lengths to squeeze more miles from an already-efficient 50 mpg, that's still an impressive record that shows off just how good the TDIs really are. All without having to pee in your trunk...
        montoym
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Roscoe
        For the record, the Passat TDI does use Urea, hence why it achieves better mileage than the Golf, Beetle etc. which do not. But, you bring up and interesting idea. Install a urinal in the car, and you can refill your urea tank and take full advantage of the huge range that such mileage gives you ;-P
      Fritz Adam
      • 1 Year Ago
      These guys are pros, they take for granted crutches like limiting yourself to 2,000 RPM as much as possible. Doing that alone will make your gas pedal foot very sensitive to changes in speed and induce you to coast and use brakes as sparingly as possible - and this is half the battle. I also use cruise control whenever possible. :-)
      Jetta Wagen GTD
      • 1 Year Ago
      I own a 2013 Jetta Wagen as well, its a 6spd manual and has never gotten anything below 40mpg. The most impressive part about it is in bumper to bumper traffic with the AC on and very smart driving, little use of brakes you get solid 40mpgs. Normal, what I call non smart driving averages a good 43-45mpg. Keeping it at 68 on the freeway easily gets up in the higher 40s to lower 50s depending on traffic and amount of passing you do. Hightest I have averaged so far is 60.7mpg, so its not surprising at all that the guys with the passat averaged such high mpgs. My fuel tank average since the last oil change which was over 3000miles ago is 44.9mpg.
        zoom_zoom_zoom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jetta Wagen GTD
        Interesting, I had the Golf TDi, and I only averaged low 30s, even upper 20s in bumper to bumper with AC on.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Snark
        • 1 Year Ago
        I have found that, as a general rule, people who refer to others as sheep know just enough to be contemptuous, condescending boors, and just too little to actually be considered knowledgeable.
        William
        • 1 Year Ago
        I went cross country in my 2011 VW Golf TDI, a trip that included some mountainous highways in Colorado. I got 54.5 mpg with conservative but not obsessive driving. My understanding is that the next-gen will get even better mpg. Not that I'm religious in the global warming sense but my understanding is that my diesel put out less greenhouse gas than does a hybrid. Comments in this regard welcomed.
        Roscoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        Quickly, grab a hold of the string before that balloon you call a head floats away.
      MJC
      • 1 Year Ago
      TDI FTW. Again. And it does it without a battery pack full of heavy metals.
        Snark
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MJC
        Oh, cool, another low-information poster.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Snark
          [blocked]
          MJC
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Snark
          Au contraire...with respect to your reasons to buy a hybrid, I counter with the main reasons to buy a TDI...TORQUE! It's actually a fun car to drive, not a penalty box like a Prius, which handles like a marshmallow and can't get out of its own way.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Snark
          [blocked]
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Snark
          Wow. Modern Li-Ions do not use heavy metals. And torque you brag? EVs beat diesels in torque. Ever hear of a diesel-electric locomotive? They are train engines that use diesel engines to generate electricity and then use the electricity to power electric motors because the electric motors have more torque. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel-electric_transmission Try again.
          GR
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Snark
          Just to add what Spec said: I have a friend who worked for a start-up Li-ion company in Japan. One project the company was working on was converting a commercial truck to an EV. They replaced the diesel engine with an electric motor. My friend told me they could drive the truck without using the clutch pedal and from a full stop to moving in 5th gear. How? Electric motors offer 100% torque even from 0. There is no powerband for torque like a combustion engine. What would normally stall a truck with an engine was no issue for an electric motor and its torque.
      MotownHeavyMetal
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a scam to sell more VWs to hipsters and other LID (low information drivers.) They added fuel from various stashes en route.
        denverdave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotownHeavyMetal
        Motown ………you sir, are hilarious.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotownHeavyMetal
        [blocked]
          FIDTRO
          • 1 Year Ago
          What? Who ever said that VW was anything like Hyundai/Kia?
      johnnythemoney
      • 1 Year Ago
      I bet he was drafting behind each and every vehicle he could. Next pointless record please.
        Michael Harley
        • 1 Year Ago
        @johnnythemoney
        Drafting is illegal, so it would void the record attempt. So is speeding (they cannot do 100 mph downhill and coast up the next hill...) - Mike
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Michael Harley
          [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Dom
        • 1 Year Ago
        You need to read thoroughly before you post: "The achievement also beats the hybrid vehicle record of 64.6 mpg by more than 13 mpg."
        Lachmund
        • 1 Year Ago
        except they aren't
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Lachmund
          [blocked]
      VDuB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nothing wrong with that bubba. I wouldn't be caught dead in a POS chevy or any other American rust bucket. Das auto for you. VW FTW.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @VDuB
        Poor little Dubsubsub - US OEM vehicles are not rustbuckets - but you clearly don't even have a clue about that, now do you?? VW's, on the other hand, have a well deserved reputation for being too expensive to maintain once outside of warranty and have been known for being among the worst vehicles in the US to own long term!
        GR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @VDuB
        Are you kidding? VWs are worse than domestics. Domestics have improved. Korean cars have improved. European cars have remained the same in reliability and they were among the worst. THEN factor in Euros are more expensive to fix and maintain. VW FTW my ass. I have two in the family so I am not just hating blindly. As for rust, it's nearly entirely dependent on two factors: the climate of the region you live in and whether salt is used on the roads in winter. Car make has least to do with it, dummy.
      bubba_roe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Of course youd still have to be caught driving a VW.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      "lowest fuel consumption for a non-hybrid car" If you can't beat them, create a new category - in this case it's "non-hybrid car"
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      Autoblog, thanks for not posting this under Autoblog Green.
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