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30 Nov 2008 | Text by Andy Hum, Photos by Marcus Dejakaisaya | Category: Car Ownership Advice
Even though petrol prices have been heading south recently, times are getting tougher and we can never be too sure if, one day a barrel of oil might cost as much as Sarah Palin's wardrobe.
John (not the one from Duran Duran) and Helen Taylor could look like any other happily married couple. But they're famous. He doesn't walk around with an electric guitar and with muscles bulging out of a half-torn t-shirt and Helen herself doesn't adorn herself with branded goods from all over Europe. In fact, if there's anything that their names should identify with, it would be setting many standards in the Guinness World of Records.
Their names are familiar with the printers of the World of Records book and if you have never heard what they have to say about saving fuel, now's the time to pay attention.
After all, these are the same people who drove a not-so-frugal 3.0-litre V6 Lexus RX300 from Singapore to Penang and back down to Kuala Lumpur - a total distance of 1,025.8 kilometres. And that's on a single tank of fuel. That trip, they averaged an impossible 6.88 litres per 100 km travelled.
Gently squeezing the accelerator pedal on a 1.6-litre Volkswagen Golf, they've also managed to traverse across four continents (and across 25 countries), covering a span of 29,717 km and just using 4.5 l/100 km. Also, a grand nine out of ten World Records which they had set took place when they were travelling on Michelin tyres.
So, armed with Volkswagen's latest seven-speed Golf TSI (and this is a real seven-speed gearbox, not some rubbish CVT-wannabe-manual), a good set of Michelin Energy XM1 tyres, John and Helen told us to stop being a bunch of wussies, get out and drive economically like any eco-respecting person should.
Just for the record, though, they were talking to a bunch of motoring journalists. They have very little concept of what "fuel economy" means. Fuel guzzling, yes. Saving fuel? "Why would you need to save that? Have the Saudis run out of oil?"
Obviously, being one of them, I had absolute no idea what the sweet couple were rambling on about and when they told us that we should target a fuel consumption level of about 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres in the Golf, I had thought they must have put the decimal in the wrong place. 77 l/100 km would be easily attainable, but 7.7 litres? This was something new.
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