Remember when you used to say clean vehicles couldn’t take you very far? John and Helen Taylor prove you wrong: after 90 fuel economy and vehicle-related records around the world, they have decided to go for one more. What came out of that is a new record for the longest distance covered on one tank of clean diesel fuel: 1626.1 miles.
The chosen car was a 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE TDI Clean Diesel and the “expedition” took place across nine US states, under real-life conditions: 14 hours of driving in each of the three days, with plenty of luggage (120 pounds) and traffic. The tank that did it all was one based on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, and the car reached 84.1 miles per gallon at 4.65 cents per mile.
To make sure everything was by the book, a state-certified testing station in Houston, Texas calibrated the speedometer and odometer on May 3, while officers checked on mileage, fuel fill-up, and gas tank sealing. The trip finished on May 5, 2012 in Sterling, Virginia, when a Sheriff’s Deputy came again to see the mileage and took off the fuel tank seal. The Taylors appreciated the Passat TDI as “the perfect car” for this initiative because of its interior and low fuel usage.
The 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel inline four-cylinder engine manages 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. With the manual transmission helping, the EPA estimated fuel economy reaches 43 mpg on highway. The engine also comes with a Selective Catalytic Reduction System (SCR) that meets the allowed emission level in all 50 states.
So we tend to agree with the Taylors: they couldn’t have found a better car to serve their purpose, which is great publicity for this Volkswagen Passat SE TDI Clean Diesel.
On the other hand, this may seem like a miracle to the Americans while for the Europeans mileages in the 50-60 range have been common for diesels since the 1980s. However, only recently have they been cleaner and added particulate filters, while the CO2 emissions of diesels is lower than that of gasoline cars.