Audi Cross-Country Rally Touts Diesel Economy

by Rick Harrell on October 27, 2008

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Fuel-conscious drivers started to see their beloved Diesel passenger vehicles disappear from new car lots from about 2004 to 2007. This wasn’t because of rapid sales due to rising fuel prices, but instead “Tier II” emission regulations were being phased in quicker than car makers could engineer them. Since then, auto manufacturers have been scrambling to meet these new regs and design the engines to operate in our varied climates and conditions.

To mount a strong comeback to the market, Audi tested their latest Diesel drivetrains by setting off on a journey to from New York to LA with their newly tuned, “Clean Diesel” TDI turbodiesel engines, using Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel fuel. Twenty-three vehicles were driven in various driving conditions across the United States. The course ranged from the busy streets of Chicago, to the open highway and 11,000-foot mountain passes — this was to ensure variability in driving conditions for accuracy. To go one step further, the International Motorsport Association, or IMSA, sanctioned and provided oversight for the test (the group is most notably known for governing the American Le Mans racing series). 184 drivers from around the world motored their way across the Country and converged on Los Angeles this past Sunday. The fuel economy results were then revealed.

Four different models were tested: the Q7 Luxury SUV 3.0L, Q5 “Performance” Luxury SUV 3.0L, A4 3.0L Luxury Sport Sedan, and the A3 Sportback 5-door with the 2.0L TDI engine and “S-Tronic” automatic gearbox.

The Results:

  • Q7: 30 MPG combined over 954 miles at an average speed of 50 MPH
  • Q5: 33 MPG / 946 miles / 47 MPH
  • A4: 38 MPG / 980 miles / 47 MPH
  • A3: 40 MPG / 954 miles / 47 MPH

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