Apparently not happy with collecting over 40 world driving fuel economy records, the husband and wife team of John and Helen Taylor – also known as “the world’s most fuel efficient couple” – have been back on the road to claim the world record for the longest distance traveled on a single tank of fuel. The record 1,626.1 mile (2,616.95 km) journey was achieved in a stock 2012 Volkswagen Passat powered by a 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel inline four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission.
The Taylors’ three-day trip started from Houston, Texas, on May 3, and took them through nine states before the tank of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel ran dry in Sterling, Virginia, on May 5. Over the three-day journey, they averaged 84.1 miles per gallon (2.79 L/100 km), and outdid the previous record of 1,526.6 miles (2,456.82 km) on a single tank of diesel achieved by a VW Passat 1.6 BlueMotion diesel in Europe.
In an effort to conduct the world record attempt under real world driving conditions, the couple packed 120 lbs (54.4 kg) of luggage and drove during daylight hours. They also took turns driving and traveled a maximum of 14 hours per day.
The Passat’s speedometer and odometer were calibrated by a state certified testing station in Houston, with law enforcement officers on hand to validate mileage, fuel fill-up, and gas tank sealing before the Taylor’s set out. Upon reaching Sterling, Virginia Sheriff’s Deputy verified the car’s mileage before removing the fuel tank seal.
A list of John and Helen’s latest driving records, along with tips to maximize fuel economy, can be seen on their Eco2Driving website.