Volkswagen Sets Single-Tank World Record in Passat BlueMotion

With an AA van behind them carrying two witnesses and tools for when the inevitable tank-ran-dry moment occurred, a crew from UK’s The Sunday Times rolled into the record books last week when they piloted a Passat BlueMotion for 1527 miles on one tank of fuel. The team set out from Kent, in South East England, and drove to the South of France and back. While they didn’t actually make it all the way back to Kent, they made it just outside of Calais, where the Eurostar chunnel train could’ve taken them back into England, making the trip nearly complete.

Traveling 1526.63 miles on 20.4 U.S. gallons of fuel works out to just under 75 mpg. This was all achieved in a standard production Passat BlueMotion, which, like the Golfs and Polos that wear the same badge, features reworked body panels, stop/start technology, a lower ride height, and low rolling resistance tires to help the car eek every last bit of mileage out of each gallon. The three-day trip included stretches both on motorways and through towns, averaging a speed of 45 mph, and is the equivalent of driving from New York to Los Angeles while only needing to stop for fuel once.

Full press release below:

A Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion has set a new Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled by a standard production passenger car on a single tank of fuel.

The attempt, carried out by a team from The Sunday Times, involved driving from Maidstone in Kent to the South of France and back. The Passat BlueMotion finally ran out of fuel close to Calais after completing a distance of 1,526.63 miles.

The route mainly followed French autoroutes, but included some town driving, resulting in an average speed of just over 45 mph.

Gavin Conway, for The Sunday Times, drove the Passat BlueMotion during the three-day record-breaking trip, accompanied by a navigator and video crew. Two AA patrolmen followed the entire attempt in their van to witness the journey independently for the Guinness World Records organisation, which accredited the record.

Powered by a Volkswagen 1.6-litre common rail TDI engine developing 105 PS, the Passat BlueMotion used for the record attempt was a standard production model. In common with the Polo and Golf BlueMotion models, the Passat is fitted with aerodynamic modifications to the bodywork, a lower ride height, Stop/Start, programmed battery charging, longer gearing and low rolling resistance tyres. The result is a vehicle that is completely conventional to drive, service and maintain yet among the most efficient vehicles on the road today.

The Passat BlueMotion’s fuel tank was drained before the record breaking journey and filled with 77.25 litres of standard forecourt diesel, resulting in an overall fuel consumption of 89.83 miles per gallon. This substantially exceeds the Passat BlueMotion’s official combined figure of 64.2 mpg. The resulting fuel cost for the journey works out at just 6.17p per mile travelled.

In setting the record the Passat BlueMotion travelled a distance equivalent to driving from London to Malaga, without needing to refuel or from New York to Los Angeles with a single stop for diesel.

For more discussion on this story, click on the link to our discussion forums at the left.