UK: Super-frugal Volkswagen Lupo 3L TDI enters Guinness world records book – again

By just-auto.com editorial team | 3 December 2003

The Volkswagen Lupo 3L TDI has once again proved itself as what Volkswagen clams is the world's most fuel-efficient production car by setting another record. 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).

Plattner completed his first successful '100 euro eco-tour' in August this year in a Polo TDI, over 1,944 miles through 15 European countries. The average fuel consumption set over this distance was just 3.95 litres per 100 km (71.5 mpg) with fuel costs of 90.89 euros.

The average speed of the first economy run was 51 mph while the average speed of the Lupo 3L TDI was 50 mph. Each eco-tour was accompanied and monitored by independent experts.

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. In 2000, a 'Round the World in 80 days' journey produced 118 mpg, while a Lupo TDI has won outright the RAC/Fleet World MPG Marathon for three years in succession.

Volkswagen says that another place in the Guinness World Records Book is a major endorsement of Volkswagen's PD ('Pumpe Düse' or unit injector) TDI technology. This system, which uses an individual pump and injector for each cylinder, develops much more injection pressure than common rail, leading to greater efficiency. The Lupo 3L TDI (which is available in Europe in left-hand drive form) uses a 1.2-litre TDI PD diesel engine, combined with extensive use of lightweight components and automatic operation of its clutch and five speed gearbox. It is the world's first production car to achieve average consumption of less than three litres per 100 km, which accounts for the '3L' designation in the model's name.