Published July 13, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
A leisurely drive from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean; Halifax to Vancouver. A total of 6,340 kilometers (3,939 miles) across Canada … And a new Canadian fuel efficiency record was set.
The question before leaving: Could eight average Canadians make the journey on just six tanks of fuel?
John and Helen Taylor and a team of eight drivers completed the trip with an average fuel consumption of just 5.59 L/100 km (42.07 mpg). This resulted in a range of 1,352 km (840 miles) per tank, meaning a grand total of just 4.69 tankfuls.
The car was a 2012 Volkswagen Passat equipped with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. This Passat is equipped from the factory with an 18.5 gallon fuel tank. According to the team, no modifications were made to the vehicle other than a thorough pre-trip mechanical inspection.
John and Helen Taylor, who recently completed a world-record-setting drive of over 2,600 km on one tank in a factory-stock 2012 Passat TDI Clean Diesel, would serve as the mentors to the drivers on this trip, as well as for the many people they met along the way.
Their plan was to share their fuel-saving driving techniques and showcase how a few simple changes to one's driving habits can make a big difference. The Taylors would ride in the Passat's passenger seat next to one of the drivers, with the other team members following closely in two Volkswagen Touareg support vehicles.
Setting out from Halifax, the team encountered all driving conditions that a normal Canadian family would on their own summer vacation: sun, wind, rain, and traffic jams were all part of the adventure.
Only Shell Bronze gasoline was used throughout the journey, as Shell was a sponsor of the event and this remains the company's top-selling blend.