By Drew Johnson
Monday, Aug 29th, 2011 @ 2:05 pm
 
In a bid to promote its first-ever hybrid, Kia Motors is embarking on an 8,000 mile trip with its 2011 Optima Hybrid sedan to set the Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption in a hybrid car.

Drivers Wayne Gerdes and Chris Bernius, both experienced fuel economy drivers, set off in the Optima Hybrid from Hyundai's plant in West Point, Georgia on August 26. Adhering to Guinness' strict rules, the 2011 Optima Hybrid being used is bone stock.

The duo will cover the planned 8,000 mile trip, which cuts through all 48 of the United States' adjoining states, in just 16 days. The trip is scheduled to conclude on September 10 in South Carolina.

"Fuel economy is becoming increasingly important to car buyers all around the world, and the Kia Optima Hybrid is one of our latest models to address this consumer requirement,"Ł Senior Executive Vice President & COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, said.

He added: "Driving through all 48 adjoining US states is the ultimate "śreal-world' challenge, but the Kia Optima Hybrid gives the drivers the very best chance of setting a new Guinness World Record, as it has been specifically designed to achieve maximum fuel economy in all driving conditions, not just in the city."Ł

The current Guinness Record for lowest fuel consumption in a hybrid car was set in October 2010 with a Toyota Auris Hybrid. The Auris covered 307.58 miles while only burning 4.53 gallons of fuel, netting 67.89mpg.