Recently, two-man driver team consisting of Wayne Gerdes (a blogger) and Bob Winger (an engineer) completed a record breaking roadtrip in a Volkswagen Passat TDI. The road trip, which hits all of the 48 continental U.S. states, is a favorite among those in the automotive industry for attempting to break current fuel consumption records for a given vehicle.
Volkswagen announced the men completed the 8,122 mile (13,071) in just 16 days and with record low fuel consumption, observed and verified by officials of the Guinness World Record Organization. The Volkswagen Passat TDI that completed the journey was produced in the United States at the company’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. It returned with an average fuel consumption of 78 miles per gallon or 3.02 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers; this obliterated the previous record of 67.9 miles per gallon.
“We felt we had a good chance of beating the existing record with a series production 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 vehicles. It shows how much the fuel consumption depends on the driver.”
The Volkswagen Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine that Volkswagen’s Passat TDI is equipped with offers an official EPA regulated and tested fuel economy of 43 miles per gallon when paired with a six-speed manual transmission. This translates to 5.5 Liters of fuel consumed per 100 kilometers.
A careful driving technique was clearly the key to demolishing the EPA’s fuel economy highway rating for this vehicle.
In May of 2012, John and Helen Taylor achieved a similar result after driving a stock Passat TDI from Houston, Texas to Sterling, VA. Over the 1,626.1 mile journey, they averaged 84.1 miles per gallon – even better than Wayne and Bob!