Here's the thing: it takes a lot of practice to drive like a true hypermiler. The 2013 VW Passat TDI Clean Diesel with a manual transmission, for example, has an EPA estimated 31 city/43 highway mile per gallon rating. Hypermiler Wayne Gerdes thinks the car is good for at least 68 mpg.

Gerdes, who runs CleanMPG and holds over 100 mileage records, and co-pilot Bob Winger (who we're familiar with from our Ford F-150 drive a few years ago) set out Friday in the new Passat from Herndon, VA. The goal is to visit all 48 contiguous states and set a new world record for fuel economy in a non-hybrid car. That record is currently held by Helen and John Taylor from Australia, who took a 2009 VW Jetta TDI through the lower 48 in 2009 and managed 67.90 US mpg. Gerdes and Winger have 8,000 miles to try and best the Aussies in the newer Passat. You can follow Gerdes on Twitter for all the updates from the road or get the official word from VW on Twitter or Facebook.

VW is quite clear that what Gerdes and Winger manage to accomplish won't be applicable to everyday driving. The press release, available below, says, "Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition." You don't say.
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VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT TDI® CLEAN DIESEL ATTEMPTS TO SET WORLD RECORD FOR FUEL ECONOMY AROUND THE LOWER 48 U.S. STATES

Volkswagen of America bids to beat the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the "lowest fuel consumption-48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car"

Herndon, VA - Volkswagen of America announced today that it will challenge the existing GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the "lowest fuel consumption-48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car." Two drivers will pilot a 2013 Passat TDI® Clean Diesel, leaving from and returning to Volkswagen's Herndon, Va. headquarters. This 8,000-mile, 48 contiguous state drive entails traveling west along a southerly route and circling back via a northerly one for approximately two weeks. The drivers will stop at various points along the way and will share their experiences through Volkswagen's social media channels: @VW, #VWTDI, and www.facebook.com/VW.

The 2013 Passat TDI uses Volkswagen's advanced turbocharged and direct-injection Clean Diesel engine to achieve EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 43 miles per gallon when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. This enables the Passat TDI to go up to 795 highway miles before needing to refuel.

Wayne Gerdes, founder of cleanmpg.com-an online community dedicated to raising fuel economy and lowering emissions-will be the primary driver. Automotive journalist Gerdes has made a career out of hypermiling and has set mileage records in more than 100 vehicles, as well as achieving the record for lowest fuel consumption in the lower 48 U.S. states with a hybrid vehicle. He will be accompanied by Bob Winger, an electronics engineer long involved in energy and conservation projects. "It's going to be a great adventure and I'm confident we can improve upon the current record of 67.9 mpg in the fuel-efficient Passat TDI," Gerdes said.

The Passat TDI Clean Diesel departed from Volkswagen of America's headquarters on Friday, June 7th, at 12:00 p.m. Herndon Mayor Lisa C. Merkel officiated at the opening ceremony to certify that Guinness World Records guidelines were followed correctly.

David Geanacopoulos, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and General Counsel of Volkswagen Group of America, said: "This is a fun and exciting way for Volkswagen to demonstrate the efficiency advantages of diesel technology. The Passat TDI is a remarkable car and we think it has a good chance to beat the existing world record. We are also very proud that the Passat TDI is one of seven vehicles in the current Volkswagen lineup that have an EPA fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or better on the highway."

Clean Diesel engines are just one part of Volkswagen's approach to sustainable mobility, encapsulated by the Think Blue.® philosophy. Volkswagen employs a wide range of powertrains-diesel, electric, hybrid, and intelligently downsized turbocharged gasoline engines-in its quest to be among the most eco-conscious automakers in the world. That approach extends to the factories in which the cars are built and the processes by which they are made.

For the attempt, the Passat TDI will use Shell ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, available at nearly 8,000 Shell stations nationwide, and Continental PureContact® with EcoPlus® Technology tires, which have Tg-F polymers to help reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel efficiency. The record-seeking Passat TDI has been equipped with a Linear Logic ScanGauge II to precisely measure fuel economy and a Droid® RAZR MAXX™ HD by Motorola® smartphone to provide Guinness World Records tracking requirements and long-lasting connectivity.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg, and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.

Notes:
This press release and images are available at media.vw.com. Follow us @VWNews: #VWTDI, #VWThinkBlue.

"TDI", "VW", "Volkswagen", all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. "Continental", "EcoPlus", and "PureContact" are trademarks of Continental Reifen Deutschland GmbH. "Droid" is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. "GUINNESS WORLDS RECORDS" is a trademark of Guinness World Records Ltd. "MAXX" is a trademark and "Motorola" is a registered trademark of Motorola Trademark Holdings LLC.

2013 Passat TDI Clean Diesel (manual transmission) EPA estimates: 31 city/43 highway mpg. Range based on 43 mpg highway EPA estimate and an 18.5-gallon fuel tank. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.