Honda has announced that a Civic wagon just set a new Guinness World Record for fuel efficiency, averaging over 100 mpg in a 25-day tour that covered some 8,387 miles across all 24 contiguous European Union countries.

To give you an idea just how far 8,387 miles is, it’s roughly equivalent to driving from Anchorage, Alaska, to New York City – twice. Despite the huge distance, the Honda required only nine stops for refueling, averaging 932 miles per tank. Total fuel cost for this epic road trip? Just £459 ($708.15).

The official record title is “Lowest fuel consumption – all 24 contiguous EU countries (all cars),” and is measured in liters per 100 km (or mpg) as calculated over the entire journey. 

Behind the wheel were two members from Honda’s European Research & Development team, Fergal McGrath and Julian Warren. The duo began their journey on June 1st in Aalst, Belgium, and set out in a clockwise direction, eventually returning to their starting location on Thursday, June 25th. 

McGrath commented that it was a tough endeavor, but he and his partner were happy with the result, adding, “After spending so much time behind the wheel Julian and I are just happy to be back behind our desks for a while!”

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

The rules surrounding the record stipulate that the same two drivers must be in the car for the entire journey. The car must enter each of the 24 countries and collect supporting evidence such as entries in a mileage logbook and GPS data, as well as video, photos and independent witness signatures for verification. The car was also fitted with a tracking device similar to those used to find stolen vehicles.

However, the rest of the car was unmodified in any way. Under the Guinness rules, the car must replicate “real world” standards, including fill-ups at regular gas stations with a full tank to ensure no weight advantage, tires inflated to the recommended pressure, and wheel alignment set to factory specs. The car used was a Honda Civic Tourer with a 1.6 i-DTEC engine, which has a quoted efficiency of 74.3 mpg, making the record run 33 percent more efficient than expected.

Is hypermiling becoming as brag-worthy as horsepower figures and lap times?

Both McGrath and Warren are amateur drivers based out of the U.K. with 18 years of experience in Honda R&D, which means they weren’t exactly highly trained hot shoes with perfect, buttery-smooth inputs. To achieve the record, the team put in roughly 380 miles per day over the course of 7.5-hour stints. 

To help up the average, McGrath and Warren adopted simple hypermiling techniques, such as careful route planning, constant throttle application without drastic acceleration or braking, anticipation of upcoming road conditions, no unnecessary weight, and up-to-date maintenance. 

Other manufacturers are also getting in on the hypermiling records. Audi, for example, recently announced that an A6 TDI Ultra also managed to set a new Guinness World Record by visiting 14 different countries on a single tank of gas, averaging 75.9 mpg and covering 1,158 miles with less than 20 gallons of fuel. 

Which makes me wonder – is hypermiling becoming as brag-worthy as horsepower figures and lap times? Will low rolling-resistance tires see the same support as gummy racing compounds? Will slow and steady truly win the race?

For some folks, there’s no doubt that’s already the case. With high running costs being a strong factor in current auto purchases, records like these are desirable for those manufacturers that wish to sell to the masses. Methods for finding those few extra mpg have spawned the same kind of zealous following as those looking for tenths on a racetrack. 

But don’t worry – there are still innumerable speed lovers out there with a heavy right foot and no consideration to saving fuel, and that ain’t changing anytime soon.

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Press Release

Honda sets new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for fuel efficiency, averaging 100.31 miles per gallon in 8,387 mile drive across 24 EU countries

Honda Civic Tourer Sets New World Record For Fuel Efficiency High Resolution Exterior
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Honda has set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for ‘Lowest fuel consumption – all 24 contiguous EU countries (all cars)’, recording an average 100.31 miles per gallon over 8,387 miles, in a 25 day drive across all 24 EU contiguous countries.

Behind the wheel of a Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC for the entire journey were two members of Honda’s European Research & Development (R&D) team, Fergal McGrath and Julian Warren, who took on the challenge to further demonstrate the impressive real-world fuel economy of the Tourer.

The remarkable distance travelled is similar to the team driving to Australia from their home in the UK, stopping just nine times to refuel. The car achieved an incredible average 932 miles on each tank of fuel, at a total fuel cost for the whole journey of just £459*.

The team set out on their epic road trip from Aalst, Belgium, on Monday June 1st, navigating the continent in a clockwise direction. They returned to their start point on Thursday June 25th, recording the incredible fuel economy figures which exceed the Tourer’s quoted efficiency of 74.3mpg by more than 25%.

Fergal McGrath comments: “It was tough, but we really enjoyed it, and setting this new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title has made all of the hard work worthwhile. This was a huge team effort so I’d like to thank everyone involved for all of their commitment and support. After spending so much time behind the wheel Julian and I are just happy to be back behind our desks for a while!”

The official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title is ‘Lowest Fuel Consumption – all 24 contiguous EU countries’, measured in litres per 100km and miles per gallon calculated over the entire journey.

Under the rules the same two drivers must be in the car for the whole journey, giving Fergal and Julian, Honda R&D colleagues of some 18 years and based in the UK, the challenge of driving an average of approximately 380 miles, taking around 7.5 hours, each day.

Honda Civic Tourer Sets New World Record For Fuel Efficiency High Resolution Exterior
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Based on strict and rigorous guidelines, the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt required the car to enter each of the 24 countries specified, collecting a range of evidence including a fuel/mileage logbook, GPS readings, video and photographs and independent witness signatures to prove that it has done so. To ensure accurate monitoring of the route, journey time and distance driven, the record car was fitted with a tracking device, provided by fleet telematics and stolen vehicle recovery expert, TRACKER (part of the Tantalum Corporation).

Under the rules of the record title attempt the car must be a standard model in every respect, with no modifications to create an advantage, to replicate ‘real world’ conditions. This was judged by independent witnesses at the beginning and end of the attempt. Fuelling was carried out at regular filling stations, with the tank filled to the maximum at each stop to ensure no weight advantage. Additionally, tyres were inflated to the recommended pressures and the wheel alignment set to factory specification to represent the experience of the regular customer.

The team, both amateur drivers, were also keen to show that through adopting some simple but very effective driving techniques, anybody could achieve such remarkable fuel economy. They simply used some very logical methods including careful and sensible route planning, driving smoothly and consistently without harsh acceleration or braking, anticipating the road conditions ahead, carrying no unnecessary weight, and ensuring that the car was correctly maintained at all times. Driving speed was always within the law and keeping up with traffic conditions.

Leon Brannan, Head of Cars for Honda (UK) comments: "This is an incredible achievement and the team should all be very proud of the efforts that they have put in to set this new GUINNESS WORLD RECORD. Driving the equivalent distance from their home in the UK to Australia in just 25 days is a huge challenge very few would take on. The fuel economy figures are remarkable – particularly when you consider that this is not a small car, but an estate with class-leading load space and vast practicality.”

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