Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s second-largest automaker, said Friday that its Optima hybrid mid-size car will try to set a new Guinness World Record for the best mileage car by driving through the United States.
The Guinness challenge started with an Optima sedan leaving its production plant in West Point, Georgia, on Friday (local time) and driving through all 48 U.S. states with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii up till Sept. 10.
Driver Wayne Gerdes will try to set a new Guinness World Record for the best mileage car by driving Kia Optima hybrid through the United States. (Kia)
The car and its two drivers are expected to travel 12,800 kilometers during the test, and use the so-called hypermiling drive technique to get the best possible mileage.
“The goal will be for the car to reach a fuel economy of better than 22.4 kilometers per liter of fuel that was reached by the Volkswagen Jetta with a 2.0 liter diesel engine in 2009,” Kia said.
The target is higher than the average 21 kilometers on a liter of fuel that the car has been rated for by the manufacturer, but lower than the 28.6 kilometers reached by the winner of the “eco-driver contest” held in South Korea in July.
Kia said it is using the challenge to highlight the excellent fuel economy of the Optima that could boost consumer awareness and sales.
Auto market watchers said that with the rise in gasoline and diesel prices, many consumers are becoming more interested in buying cars with excellent fuel economy.
The Optima hybrid, called the K5 hybrid in the South Korean market, first reached U.S. consumers in June and received good reviews. The carmaker said the entire challenge will be reported live through its official Facebook page and blog (www.kia-buzz.com).