Guinness Book of World Records (1998) - Fuel Economy: United States Drive
I found this interesting article:
Jay Lowe and Ted Jacobs drove 7299.3 miles, visiting all 48 of the contiguous states and using 163.64 gallons of gasoline, in a 1-liter, 3 cylinder, 5 speed 1992 Chevrolet Geo Metro, April 29-May 4 1997.
By the way, Guiness computed the fuel economy to be 44.178 miles per gallon.
Lowe and Jacobs spent close to six months researching their route, calling truckers and State Farm agents in other states to ascertain the best roads to use in each area. Next they devised a route that ensured they would miss rush hour in each city, cutting down on the time spent idling in traffic. "Each gallon of gas meant everything to us," said Lowe, who computed tail winds into their timing for at least 60 percent of the trip. "Not only were we trying to break the world record, we were trying to keep the next guy from breaking ours."
Finding the perfect car to achieve their goal was not easy. The two 6-foot men completed their first cross-country tour in a roomy van. This time, they had to become fuel efficient, so they targeted a manual 5-speed Geo Metro as their dream-mobile. They arranged for a rental from an agency, but three weeks before the scheduled start, they learned that the car had an automatic transmission.
Fate, though, smiled upon the pair. Six days before their scheduled departure, a still careless Lowe spotted a five-speed Metro parked right in front of their office. He ran up from store to store, yelling for the owner, and found her in the local hair salon. He told the young woman their predicament; intrigued, she agreed to lend them the car.
During the 6-day trip, the car never stopped for more than 5 minutes at a time. The men used the bathroom for gas breaks, grabbing whatever food they could find from the convenience marts at the stations.
That would be rediculously easy to break for most of us (with the right car). I dare say many of us could do it with our currently vehicle. Unfortunately for them, a car like mine is much better on the highway than a metro, even though the metro will spank me in town.
I wonder what the record is now? I looked at the 2000 edition (already over 7 years old!) and found nothing in terms of longterm FE. I did find a record by Stuart Bladon who drove a Citroen AX 14DTR 112 miles, 18 yards on one gallon of fuel while driving on a superhighway in United Kingdom.
44 mpg ain't ****. With a 500 pound weight reduction, drag coefficient reduction by 50%, LRR tires, synthetic tranny oil, and optimized last gear ratio, our cars would be doing that with no horsepower or displacement reduction, no fancy new types of engine technology, and no driving style changes.
You know what would impress me? Hypermiling a Loremo AG.
"The Lupo 3L TDI is no stranger to the record books. In 2001, a Japanese economy driver, Dr Miyano, used it to set a new world record for the most frugal circumnavigation of Britain in a standard diesel production car, with an average fuel economy figure of 119.48 mpg [99.5 MPG US]. In 2000, a ‘Round the World in 80 days’ journey produced 118 mpg [98.2 MPG US], while a Lupo TDI has won outright the RAC/Fleet World MPG Marathon for three years in succession."
"Gerhard Plattner, an Austrian journalist and economy driving expert, has, for the second time this year , entered the Guinness World Records™ Book in a Volkswagen. Earlier this month Plattner covered a distance of 2,910 miles through 20 European countries in a standard Lupo 3L TDI. He achieved his aim of completing this journey – which started in Oslo, Norway and finished in The Hague in The Netherlands – with just 100 euros worth of fuel. In fact, all he required was 90.94 euros, which corresponds to an average consumption of 2.78 litres per 100 km (101.6 mpg) [84.6 MPG US]."