Volkswagen has captured a Guinness World Record using the 2015 Gold TDI Clean Diesel to achieve an amazing 81.17 mpg. The automaker successfully drove the hatchback around the Lower 48 States in a journey of 8,233.5 miles. It took only 16 days and under $300 of diesel fuel to accomplish. It was the lower fuel consumption for a non-hybrid vehicle doing the loop, beating out the previous record of 77.99 mpg.
Also impressive is the fact that Volkswagen surpassed the hybrid vehicle record, which stands at 74.34 mpg.
The car started off on the record journey from VW’s America headquarters in Herndon, Virginia and crossed into all 48 states before wrapping up the trip in Herndon. Wayne Gerdes was the one who drove the Gold TDI Clean Diesel. He’s an automotive journalist, plus founded the website cleanmpg.com. Gerdes is well-versed in hypermiling, having set records in over 100 vehicles. In fact, he actually broke his old Guinness World Record, which he set in 2013 using a Volkswagen Passat TDI. Helping out was Bob Winger, who is an electronics engineer.
The EPA estimates fuel economy for the 2015 VW Gold TDI Clean Diesel to be 45 mpg on the highway, with the six-speed manual transmission. To squeeze out such good fuel economy, Gerdes had some help beyond his expert hypermiling abilities. The car was powered by ultra-low-sulfur diesel, which was supplied by Shell. It rode on Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires, which also boost efficiency. Onboard was a Linear Logic ScanGauge II for precise fuel economy tracking. Other electronics included a Garmin nuvi 57 LM GPS navigator and LG G4 smartphones, which were required for Guinness tracking purposes.
Despite the modifications and using a proficient hypermiling expert, Volkswagen’s achievement is impressive, showing that diesel engines are far from irrelevant in today’s automotive landscape.