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Diesel Golf Sets MPG Record

April 6, 2006

A British couple averaged 53.7 miles per gallon in a round-the-world journey in their standard-issue Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI, the London Times reports, breaking the world record for fuel efficiency. John and Helen Taylor drove 18,500 miles and used just 24 tanks (1,303 litres) of fuel. The Taylors crossed 25 countries on four continents. They started in London, on July 17, and travelled to France, across Europe into Asia, down to Australia and New Zealand, over to the US and Canada and then back to Europe last week. Their car was transported by ferry or cargo plane when needed. They were accompanied by two Passat support cars, with an independent witness, video cameras, a journalist and two mechanics. They also had GPS technology, satellite phones and Internet access. They faced a tropical storm and a cyclone in Australia, rough terrain in Pakistan and India, and freezing weather in eastern Europe, and spent around 14 hours a day on the road, the Times reports.The Taylors now plan to run fuel-efficiency workshops. Their tips include using higher gears, avoiding over-revving, driving smoothly and avoiding over-quick acceleration or sudden braking where possible, reducing weight carried (they carried just 82kg of luggage), removing roof racks and other features which hamper aerodynamics, check air filters, reducing use of air conditioning, avoiding high speeds, and keeping tires at the correct pressure.
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