In the race to better car mileage, Volkswagen took a big leap ahead of the competition, completing a 48-state trek on just over 100 gallons of diesel fuel.
The 14-day trip, in which hyper-milers Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger employed "every fuel-saving trick in the book" driving the Passat TDI over 8,122 miles, set the Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption for a non-hybrid car.
Gerdes and Winger's average of 77.99 miles per gallon broke the previous record -- also set in a Passat diesel -- of 67.9 miles per gallon in 2009.
"We felt we had a good chance of beating the existing record with the Passat TDI, but to smash it by averaging 77.99 mpg is really impressive and a testament to the potential of Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel vehicles," Gerdes said. "Obviously, we employ some specialized techniques to achieve such figures, but there’s no reason why owners of TDI vehicles shouldn’t be able to achieve great mileage with a few simple pointers."
Gerdes suggests planning 15 to 45 seconds ahead for road impediments or topography, easing off breaks and acceleration, and obeying speed limits.