In an effort to demonstrate just how economical a conventional diesel engine can be, VW sent a team out from its US headquarters in Herndon, VA, in a Golf TDI. Their mission was to visit all the Lower 48 on as little fuel as possible. Over the course of 16 days, they traveled 8,233.5 miles, burned through 101.43 gallons of fuel, and marked a frankly astonishing average of 81.17 miles per gallon. As a result, the team – made up of hypermiling automotive journalist Wayne Gerdes and electronics engineer Bob Winger – picked up a new Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption achieved in a non-hybrid car across the 48 contiguous states.
The previous record, it's worth noting, had also been set by VW and Gerdes, who piloted a 2013 Passat TDI at just a hair under 80 mpg. But here's the kicker: in raising the diesel economy bar even higher, the team also beat the record for the same achievement in a hybrid vehicle by over six mpg. So the next time someone tries to tell you a hybrid is more efficient than a diesel (at least on the highway), you can point them towards this record.
Golf TDI® beats the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ achievement for "lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. contiguous States for a non-hybrid car" at a stellar 81.17 mpg
Herndon, Va. — Volkswagen of America, Inc., is pleased to announce today that the 2015 Golf TDI® Clean Diesel, part of the family of vehicles that won the 2015 North American Car of the Year, has set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the "lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. contiguous States for a non-hybrid car" with a remarkable 81.17 mpg. Traveling 8,233.5 miles around America in 16 days on $294.98 of Shell® Diesel fuel, the Golf beat the previous mark of 77.99 mpg by more than 3 mpg, and also beat the hybrid vehicle record of 74.34 mpg by more than 6 mpg.
"Covering 8,233.5 miles on just 101.43 gallons of Clean Diesel fuel is a remarkable accomplishment, and solid proof of the efficiency and fuel economy of Volkswagen's TDI® Clean Diesel vehicles," said Michael Horn, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. "Whether on a long road trip, or even in daily commuting, the great mileage and long range of our TDI models is a pure convenience factor that few other vehicles on sale can match. It's a simple formula: Less Stop, More Go!"
The record-setting Golf TDI, sporting Volkswagen of America's 60th anniversary emblem, as well as logos from sponsors Shell®, Goodyear®, LG®, Garmin® and Linear-Logic®, departed from Volkswagen of America's headquarters in Herndon, Va., on Monday, June 22. It returned on Tuesday, July 7, having visited all 48 contiguous states.
Wayne Gerdes, automotive journalist and founder of cleanmpg.com, was the primary driver. His co-driver was Bob Winger, an electronics engineer long involved in energy and conservation projects. Gerdes is an expert hypermiler who has set mileage records in more than 100 vehicles. In 2013, Gerdes set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for "lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car" in a 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI, with an outstanding 77.99 mpg.
"Volkswagen's TDI Clean Diesel engines are just amazing," said Wayne Gerdes. "I don't think people realize the potential mileage you can get from them. In our experience, it is possible to get truly impressive mileage results by using just a few simple fuel-saving techniques."
The 2015 Golf TDI uses Volkswagen's advanced turbocharged and direct-injection Clean Diesel engine to achieve an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. The Golf TDI joins five other models in Volkswagen's TDI lineup that achieve an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or better on the highway.
For the attempt, the Golf TDI used Shell ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, available at nearly 8,000 Shell stations nationwide, and Goodyear Assurance® Fuel Max® tires which feature a fuel-saving tread compound to help increase fuel efficiency and offer confident all-season traction. The record-setting Golf TDI was also equipped with a Linear Logic ScanGauge II to precisely measure fuel economy, G4™ smartphones by LG and a Garmin nüvi® 57 LM GPS navigator to meet GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ tracking requirements.
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, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan and Touareg vehicles through approximately 652 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.