We can say that on average, our readers (you) drive a lot. One of the biggest reasons to own a diesel is because we haul lots of things, lots of different places. As such, we are big proponents to oversized fuel tanks and reserve fuel tanks. A few of us at the company that have oversized tanks regularly get 600 to 750 miles to the tank.
When we heard there was a company planning on making a cross country trip from Florida to California on one tank of fuel, we had to find out more and just how big of a tank that was. The more we learned the more interesting this journey became. The vehicle used to drive across the country was going to be a diesel race car.
Yes, diesel race car. The crew at CLP Motorsports has a Superlite SLC race car powered by a Volkswagen TDI. The engine is actually out of the teams LMP2 race car. Normally, this engine is setup to be quite a beast but for this journey, they detuned it to 220 horsepower and 340 lb.-ft. of torque (not bad for a 1.9-liter).
This epic journey started June 21st in the small town of Atlantic Beach which is just east of Jacksonville, Florida. Over the next few days the crew (Tanner Foust, Pat O’Keefe, Luke Lonberger, and Michael Von Disterlo) will be trekking to Santa Monica, California via mostly the I-10 interstate. According to Mapquest, the trip is roughly 2,450 miles.
Now the big question, how big is the fuel tank? Well, the fuel tank is 48.6 gallons. Now for all you mathematicians out there, you have probably already figured out that means they need to get roughly 50.4 miles to the gallon if they run completely out of fuel. Odds are they will probably have a few gallons left in the tank, which means they need to average 53.3 mpg.
Before all of the emissions equipment that went onto the engines, Volkswagen used to advertise some of their vehicles achieving 49 to 50 mpg. Given this vehicle is quite aerodynamic, tuned for maximum efficiency, and weights 2,100 lbs (minus the driver and fuel) we see a definite possibility for achieving this MPG.
On top of that, CLP has teamed up with NEXBTL. NEXBTL is a 100-percent renewable diesel that claims increased economy. They claim as much as five percent increased economy.
Below is the official release that was put out on the 15th. If you want to know more, check out their Facebook page where they have been posting tons of updates.
CLP Motorsports LLC, the Bay Area’s premier performance shop, and Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel, announced today it has joined forces and invited four-time X Games gold medal winner, three-time U.S. Rallycross champion and two-time Formula Drift champion, Tanner Foust, to complete a drive from the Atlantic Coast of Florida to the Pacific Coast of California on just a one tank of NEXBTL renewable diesel.
Americans have a long tradition of taking cross-country road trips –Kaisa Hietala, Neste
“What a great opportunity to be able to partner with Neste on this project so that we can help bring awareness to the public about what an amazing fuel their 100% bio-based NEXBTL renewable diesel is,” said CLP Motorsports Owner Pat O’Keefe.
O’Keefe came up with the Across USA concept after beginning distribution of NEXBTL in the California market in 2013. After seeing his fleet customers’ response to the high quality fuel, he wanted to actively bring awareness to the consumer market about this new, alternative fuel with a chemical structure identical to traditional diesel but made from renewable resources.
“Growing up in our family fuel distribution business, I’ve always been interested in fuel and racing. When a new fuel, particularly a clean burning fuel with engine boosting properties hits the market it immediately peaks my interest,” O’Keefe said. “I had the idea to partner my motorsports company with Neste fueling a street legal Superlite Coupe (SLC) Racecar using one tank of renewable diesel and driving it across the USA. Surely bringing the attention this fuel deserves.”
The journey starts out on June 21 and will take the team along Interstate 10, the fourth-longest transcontinental highway in the U.S. The over 2,400-mile long trip will go through eight US states, starting in Atlantic Beach, Florida, and ending on the Pacific Coast of Santa Monica, California, on June 26. Every mile being run on NEXBTL renewable diesel.
The Across the USA drive will team up with racecar and stunt driver Tanner Foust and CLP’s team of motorsports enthusiasts. Foust is a four-time X Games gold medal winner, three-time U.S. Rallycross champion and two-time Formula Drift and Global RallyCross champion. Joining Foust on the drive will be Pat O’Keefe, Vice President of Golden Gate Petroleum and owner of CLP Motorsports; Luke Lonberger, CLP Motorsports General Manager and experienced motorsports driver; and Michael von Disterlo, CLP Motorsports’ Lead Mechanic.
In support of the trip, CLP engineered and developed a SLC racecar with a custom Volkswagen 1.9-liter TDI diesel engine. The SLC has been built with the necessary aerodynamics for maximum efficiency at speed and enhanced with a monocoque chassis and fiberglass body. The result was a car that maintains all of its power and handling of a racecar, yet, is still street legal.
“I could not be more proud of the CLP Motorsports crew for working tirelessly through tremendous adversity getting the SLC ready for this epic journey.” said O’Keefe.
The car will be utilizing Neste’s NEXBTL renewable diesel, a premium low-carbon fuel made out of 100% renewable and sustainable raw materials. It is a clean and powerful renewable diesel, reducing emissions while increasing the car’s performance. NEXBTL renewable diesel meets the petroleum diesel specification (ASTM D975) for use in all diesel engines.
Golden Gate Petroleum, CLP Motorsports’ sister company, became one of the first US distributors for NEXBTL in early 2013, and has seen tremendous success with its customer base. Golden Gate Petroleum will be launching a next-generation fuel retail brand later this summer called NEXGEN Fuel, featuring the NEXBTL renewable diesel brand.