We've written about the exploits of Helen and John Taylor on several previous occasions. The pair like to get into cars and see how far they can drive between fill-ups. Their most recent adventure took them around Australia in a Peugeot 308 with an average of 75.6 mpg (U.S.). Today, they are setting off from Chantilly, VA on trek intended to carry them through all 48 contiguous states. The 8,000 mile trip is expected to take three weeks and only include 12 (!) refueling stops. They are hoping to beat the current world record for a cross trip of 51.8 mpg. The pair already set a world record driving around the world in 24 tanks of fuel in a VW Golf in 2006 and this time around they will be driving one of the new 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDIs. The trip will take Taylors counter clockwise around the country using the usual array of efficient driving tactics including not idling or speeding and minimizing drag.
COUPLE SETS OUT TO BREAK GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR LOWEST FUEL CONSUMPTION ACROSS THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES
HERNDON, Va.-Two of the world's most fuel-efficient drivers, John and Helen Taylor, will embark today on the "Taylors' Diesel Inspiration" tour-an attempt to break the current world record for lowest fuel consumption on a drive across the 48 contiguous United States. To help meet this goal, the Taylors will be behind the wheel of an all-new, 50-state-compliant clean diesel Volkswagen Jetta TDI employing simple "FuelStretch" fuel-saving driving tips they developed with Shell.
The Taylors are an Australian husband and wife team who set a Guinness World Record for driving around the globe on 24 tanks of fuel behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf in 2006, and as always, Guinness World Records rules and regulations will be strictly adhered to on this challenge. Approximately 12 official check-in and refueling stops across the country are included throughout the duration of the drive, which is slated to conclude September 26 in W. Va. The current world record for the lowest fuel consumption on a nationwide drive is 51.8 miles per gallon.
"It will be a great challenge and adventure to drive through the 48 U.S. mainland states," said Helen Taylor. "We want to educate the American public that by choosing the right car, using the right fuel and adopting fuel-saving driving techniques, everyone in the U.S. can save money, fuel and reduce carbon emissions."
Kicking off their more than 8,000-mile drive at a Shell station in Chantilly, Va. followed by a "flag-off" ceremony at the Volkswagen of America, Inc. headquarters in nearby Herndon, Va., the Taylors are setting out on this challenge in their vehicle of choice-Volkswagen's all-new clean diesel Jetta TDI-powered by the fuel of their choice-Shell Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel.
"We're thrilled that the Taylors have chosen our all-new clean diesel Jetta TDI in their attempt at setting a new Guinness World Record for lowest fuel consumption," said Stefan Jacoby, CEO/President, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "We believe our Jetta TDIs truly offer a no- compromise alternative fuel driving experience that provides our customers the best of both worlds-excellent fuel efficiency combined with a dynamic driving experience. We're excited to see the tremendous fuel efficiency that the Taylors will get as they set a new world record. We wish the Taylors the best of luck and a safe journey," added Jacoby. It's just good clean diesel fun.
Volkswagen has more than 30 years of experience selling diesel passenger cars in the United States, and they're the first manufacturer to market with an affordable 50-state compliant clean diesel passenger vehicle that meets the strictest emission standards of California and the world.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the Jetta TDI at an economical 29 miles per gallon city and 40 miles per gallon highway. Volkswagen went a step further to evaluate the real-world fuel economy of the Jetta TDI.
Leading third-party certifier, AMCI, tested the Jetta TDI and found it performed 24 percent better in real world conditions, achieving 38 miles per gallon in the city and 44 miles per gallon on the highway.* Using fuel-saving driving techniques and vehicle maintenance tips from Shell, the Taylors hope to push their fuel efficiency even further.
The couple will drive on a counter-clockwise route including stops in Va., Vt., Ohio, Iowa, S.D., Mont., Nev., Calif., Colo., Okla., Ill., La. and W. Va. Some of the fuel-maximizing tactics the Taylors will employ on the road include actions such as avoiding idling and higher speeds, minimizing vehicle drag and performing regular vehicle maintenance.
"With everyone focused on stretching their fuel dollars, the Taylors' world record-breaking attempt will demonstrate to American drivers that a little modification to vehicle maintenance and driving habits can help maximize fuel economy," said Jens Mueller-Belau, U.S. Retail Fuels Marketing, Shell Oil Products U.S. "Like the Taylors, we have a passion for fuel economy, and we're glad both Shell fuel and "FuelStretch" tips will power this exciting event."
The Taylors have made a 26-year career out of driving economically and conducting workshops globally on fuel-efficient driving techniques. Along the way, they have collected 36 world fuel economy world records from drives around the globe in Australia, Asia, South Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Via their Web site, the Taylors will be sharing their personal experiences on the road. For more information and regular reports from the road, visit www.fuelacademy.com. For a complete list of fuel-saving driving tips, visit http://www.shell.com/us/fuelstretch.
Link to Webcast of Volkswagen headquarters kick-off event: http://easylink.playstream.com/winlive/netcaster1.wvx
Link to information on the Taylors' 2006 Guinness World Record for Fuel Efficiency:
*29 city / 40 highway EPA estimates; 38 city / 44 highway real-world fuel economy based on AMCI testing. Actual mileage may vary. For more information on Volkswagen, go to www.vw.com.