HONDA will test the real-world fuel economy of its super-efficient 1.6 i-Dtec engine to the ultimate test in a 13,000-kilometer drive across all 24 contiguous European Union (EU) countries, with the aim of setting a new Guinness World Records title for fuel efficiency.
On June 1, 2015, two members of Honda’s European Research and Development (R&D) team boarded a Honda Civic Tourer and set out on an epic journey from Aalst, Belgium. Heading toward The Netherlands and Germany, their trip will see them navigate the continent in a clockwise direction, with the aim of returning to their starting point some 25 days later on June 25. By that time, they would have covered the planned 13,614 kms.
The Guinness World Records title attempt comes on the back of several independent tests which have proven Honda’s 1.6 i-Dtec engine consistently out-performs its quoted fuel efficiency in real-world driving conditions. Keen to once again underline this performance and in the challenging spirit for which the brand is famous for, Honda aims to set a benchmark with a Guinness World Records title never before attempted in Europe.
Under the rules of the Guinness World Records title attempt, the same two drivers must be in the car for every kilometer of the journey. Fergal McGrath and Julian Warren, 18-year colleagues at Honda’s European manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK stepped forward to drive the car. The pair volunteered to take up the challenge and will be charged with driving an average of 592 kms, taking around 7.5 hours each day.
“We are very much looking forward to the record attempt, and while we’re excited we’re both a little nervous about the scale of the task that awaits us. A huge amount of planning has gone into taking on this challenge and we look forward to what we hope will be a successful result when we return to Brussels on June 25th. But we’ve got more than 170 hours behind the wheel to contend with first!” McGrath said.
The official Guinness World Records title aimed for is “Lowest fuel consumption – all 24 contiguous EU countries,” measured in liters per 100 kms and miles per gallon calculated over the entire journey. If successful, the new record will apply to all cars, including hybrid and electric models. EU is the European Union.
Based on strict and rigorous guidelines, the record attempt requires the car to enter each of the 24 countries specified, collecting a range of evidence including a fuel/mileage logbook, GPS readings, video, photographs and independent witness signatures as proof and evidence.
To ensure accurate monitoring of the route, journey time and distance driven, the record car has been fitted with a tracking device. The unit will provide a superior level of journey information in real time to ensure Honda can supply robust and reliable automated data-evidence to meet the requirements stipulated by the Guinness World Records. Supporters can also follow the progression of the two drivers live by visiting http://www.tracker.co.uk/realfuelchallenge.
The car that attempts the record must be a standard model in every respect, with no modifications to give an advantage. This will be judged by an independent witness at the beginning and end of the record attempt. The car can only travel by road, therefore the route does not extend to the UK, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta that make up the remainder of the 28 EU countries. To ensure no unfair advantage by reducing weight, the tank of the car must be filled to the maximum at each fuel stop.
The 24 countries covered by the route are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.