Two motorists are now embarked in a 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records this week as they aim to set a new record for lowest fuel consumption (in a gasoline hybrid car) while driving through all 48 adjoining states of America..

Taking on the epic 8,000 mile (nearly 1300 kilometers) fuel economy driving challenge will be experienced fuel economy driver Wayne Gerdes and his colleague and friend Chris Bernius, who will be completing the journey in a factory-standard Kia Optima Hybrid four-door sedan.

The record attempt departed last August 26 from Kia Motors' manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, and drives around the U.S. in a clockwise direction before finishing in South Carolina on September 10.

Kia fans wishing to track the drivers' progress will be able to receive live updates via Kia's Twitter feed (@Kia_Motors) and a specially-developed Facebook app on Kia's Worldwide page: Currently, the team has already clocked in 2,818 miles (4,535 km) with an average economy of 68.2 mpg (28.99 km/l).

The 2.4-liter Optima Hybrid uses a parallel gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain developed by Kia that delivers a unique blend of performance - acceleration to 100 km/h in 9.2 seconds, a top speed of 195 km/h.