The world’s largest automakers continue to push the fuel consumption envelope with the continued development of fuel-lean hybrids.
The winner of the first Volkswagen "Think Blue World Championship" on U.S. soil crossed the finish line in Los Angeles, California following a two-day competition in which 18 of the best international drivers took fuel-efficient driving to a higher level, achieving a range of 49.9 mpg (4.7L/100km) with the new Jetta Hybrid.
The winners from the 2012 national championships from all over the world competed in a one-of-a-kind rally: driving from San Francisco to Santa Monica, their goal was to achieve the lowest fuel consumption and also demonstrate their knowledge of ecological sustainability.
On the 402-mile course through California, the participants experienced the new Jetta Hybrid and its different driving modes: from city streets to the curvy Pacific Coast Highway and freeways. The difficult course challenged everyone's knowledge about fuel-efficient driving, while getting the most out of hybrid technology that combines electric and gas power.
The new Jetta Hybrid was introduced to the U.S. market at the L.A. Auto Show in November.
"This international competition in fuel-efficient driving showed that eco-conscious driving behavior can be really fun," said Marketing Director Jürgen Stackmann. "It conveys perfectly the spirit of 'Think Blue,' inspiring and enabling everyone to join us in changing everyday driving behavior in a way that is easy and fun."
During the event, the drivers also had to master several tasks relating to ecological sustainability. For example, board games challenged the participants to find the most ecological and economical approach to use renewable energy at a factory -- just like Volkswagen's approach to reduce factory emissions by 25 percent by 2018.
For this Championship, a Carbon Footprint was calculated in co-operation with Climate Partner in order to make the event climate neutral. The Carbon footprint includes all relevant emission sources, most notably travel, accommodation, catering, logistics and mobility, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions that result from the competition itself. Through explicit selection of sustainable catering and accommodation options, Volkswagen managed to reduce carbon emissions prior to the event. Volkswagen decided to offset the associated greenhouse gas emissions together with Climate Partner through a Gold Standard certified carbon offset project located in Ceará, Brazil.