June 24th, 2013 by Steve Cypher

A 2013 Volkswagen Passat beats the previous record held by a Jetta TDI and set nearly four years ago

Squeezing the last drop

There are fuel efficient drivers and then there are hypermilers. Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger, it should be noted, belong in the latter group – along with husband and wife team of John and Helen Taylor.

The Taylors, you see, formerly held the record for driving through all 48 contiguous states set back in September of 2009 in a Volkswagen Jetta. That journey – 9,505 miles in 19 days while averaging 67.9 miles per gallon – broke the record they set the year before of 58.8 miles per gallon, also in a Jetta. The Taylors also hold the Canadian record, set in a Passat.

But just like the Old West, there’s always another gunslinger on the horizon waiting for the chance to see who is, in this instance, the most efficient on the draw.

77.99 mpg

In this case, it turned out to be blogger Wayne Gerdes from CleanMPG.com and engineer Bob Winger.

Gerdes and Winger began their 48-state trek on June 7th in a 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission (with an MSRP, in case you’re wondering, of $27,255 including floor mats, destination and handling according to the CleanMPG web site).

Starting in Herndon, Virginia, the duo headed southwest in a clockwise route which was, in and of itself, a model of efficiency. Within 16 days, the pair was back in Herndon with a record drive that was witnessed by officials of the Guinness World Record Organization.

“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.”

images courtesy of Volkswagen USA and CleanMPG.com

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