Attempting to set the Guinness World Record for the highest fuel economy by a non-hybrid car driven across the continental U.S., the Volkswagen Passat TDI Clean Diesel passed through Chicago today and made a point to visit the Chicago Automobile Trade Association’s (CATA) headquarters. Drivers Wayne Gerdes, founder of Cleanmpg.com – dedicated to raising fuel economy and lowering emissions – and Bob Winger, an electronics engineer long involved in energy and conservation projects, shared an update with the CATA along with a few anecdotal tales from the road
The drivers remain confident that the TDI Clean Diesel can set the Guinness World Record. Throughout the past 14 days, the TDI has trekked its way throughout the majority of the continental U.S., currently achieving 76 mpg. With just under three days to go, the mark to beat is 67.9 mpg. The vehicle averages approximately 500 miles per day – adhering to the established speed limits – and can last roughly 1,200-1,300 miles before refueling.
Gerdes and Winger also shared personal, momentous highlights from the road. They relayed entertaining encounters with gas station attendants, as each refueling stop requires an attendant’s signature on a seal that is then placed over the gas tank until the next fuel stop. This ensures the drivers abide by the Guinness World Record guidelines. Additionally, they encountered a flat tire but noted it didn’t put them behind schedule as a spare change allowed them to get back on the road in less than 20 minutes.
With one goal in sight, Gerdes shared a final observation, "There isn’t a more fuel-efficient vehicle in North America for highway driving, regardless of EPA, than the Volkswagen Passat TDI Clean Diesel."
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