Honda Civic Tourer Sets New World Record For Fuel Efficiency
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!”
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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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