A man named Craig Henderson recently achieved the remarkable feat of driving from the Canadian border to the Mexican border on just one tank of gas. Using a prototype car called the Avion, which he developed with a partner in 1984 and has been continually making better ever since, he drove from Blaine, Washington to Chulla Vista, Mexico without refueling, consuming 12.4 gallons of diesel fuel over the course of the 1,384 mile trip, giving him a Guinness record-shattering border-to-border 119.1 MPG. (The previous record of 103 MPG had actually been set by the same car in 1986.)
Jalopnik fills us in on the specs that made it possible:
The car is built with two things in mind: weight and aerodynamics. To achieve a featherweight 1500-lb target, it uses an aluminum monocoque frame with steel front/rear crash and suspension subframes. To the frame a slippery wind tunnel-shaped body made of carbon fiber, kevlar and fiberglass is riveted and bonded in place, yielding a very stiff structure. An 800-cc diesel engine is transversely mounted behind the driver and the rear wheels are powered through a five-speed gearbox.
With such light weight and low-resistance aerodynamics, the car only requires 3-4 horsepower to keep a 55 mph pace, perfect for the tiny diesel to chug along just sipping fuel. Henderson recently got sponsorship from Goodyear and tossed on a set of their low rolling resistance “Fuel Max” tires and has been seeing 115 mpg averages. As a promotional stunt, he decided to set off from the US/Canadian border at Blaine, Washinton and drive all the way to the Mexican border without filling up. Border-to-border on one tank.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org