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Kia Optima Makes World-Record Road Trip (Video)

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On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 3:23PM | By: Chris Weiss

Kia Optima Makes World-Record Road Trip (Video)

Last year, Kia Motors set out to earn itself a world record. As you might anticipate, the Korean automaker was ill-equipped to take a stab at any type of speed record, but with its 2011 Optima Hybrid, it made a record-breaking road trip across the continental United States. A new commercial highlights the feat.

The specific goal that Kia went for was the lowest fuel consumption for a car. It didn't quite stake an unqualified claim for lowest fuel consumption for a hybrid - a Toyota Auris Hybrid averaged better in 2010, but it set a record of its own: "lowest fuel consumption in a hybrid gasoline vehicle, while driving through all 48 adjoining U.S. states."

During two weeks between late August and early September, Kia drivers Wayne Gerdes and Chris Bernius averaged 64.55 mpg while traveling nearly 8,000 miles across all of the lower 48 states. While they stopped roughly every 535 miles, it wasn't to fuel up - the Optima Hybrid required about 6 fuel ups and averaged more than 1,400 miles between gas stops.

While Kia completed the tour and was recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records last September, it began featuring the accomplishment in a new ad last week. In a 30-second spot, Kia explains its record and has a little fun with it.

Before you rush out to test drive an Optima Hybrid, you should note that the 64 mpg figure is more than 60 percent better than the Optima Hybrid's official fuel economy rating. The EPA gives the sedan a 37 mpg combined figure - nothing to sneeze at, but well short of that 64 mpg. When you're going for a world record in low fuel consumption, you tend to use some serious mpg-boosting strategies that the average driver doesn't employ.

If you're wondering, the aforementioned Toyota Auris Hybrid owns a record titled "Lowest fuel consumption driving around a city, hybrid car." Toyota Germany drove the car for 24 hours on a predefined course around Cologne in 2010. It racked up 307.58 miles and 67.89 mpg.


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