The team of husband and wife, John and Helen Taylor, are now regarded as “the world’s most fuel efficient couple”, having covered a distance of 1,626.1 miles (2,616.95 kms) on a single fill of the tank. Breaking the previous record, the couple was driving in a showroom-fresh Volkswagen Passat running on the stock 2.0L TDI Diesel motor with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The couple took off on the 3rd of May, starting their journey in Houston, Texas, driving across 9 states, until the ultra-low sulfur fuel tank juiced out on 5th May. Along the journey, the VW Passat recorded 84.1 miles per gallon (35.84 kmpl), thrashing the previous world record of 1,526.6 miles (2,456.82 km). This trick was also pulled-off by another VW – the Passat 1.6-litre BlueMotion diesel in Europe.
In order to validate the attempt and immitate real world driving circumstances, the Taylor’s loaded 120 lbs (54.4 kg) of stuff while driving through daylight hours. The couples drove fourteen hrs a day while taking turns.
As a part of the record attempt, the car’s speedometer and odometer were calibrated by a state certified testing station in Houston, with law enforcement officers present to authenticate fuel-economy, gas fill-up, and tank sealing before the couple set out. Towards the end of the journey in Sterling, Virginia, the Sheriff’s Deputy confirmed the Passat’s average prior to cutting the gas tank seal.