In a simple sentence: They are awesome.
Eleven other journalists and I set out with an ambitious goal on Saturday morning: To drive from LA to NY in 48 hours in 3 different Audi TDIs while achieving EPA estimated highway fuel economy.
It may not seem like a big deal, until you think about it. We were driving through mountains and rain, and still wanted to drive fast enough to make it from coast to coast in 2 days.
Really, what we wanted to prove is that real people could drive these cars in a real situation and still get better fuel economy than the EPA says you should.
And we did.
After 46 hours and 9 minutes, we ended up at our final destination in New York City, and all the in-dash gauges said we had achieved our goal. But we went the extra mile (pun intended) and did our own calculations.
So, how good did we really do?
- The Q5 beat fuel economy by 24.6% with 38.623 mpg and an average speed of 61.9 mph.
- The A7 beat fuel economy by 12.25% with 42.653 mpg and an average speed of 62.175 mph.
- The A6 beat fuel economy by 14.63% with 43.561 mpg and an average speed of 62.44 mph.
We might have driven a little more cautiously than usual. And we might have employed a few hypermiling tricks. But, for the most part, we drove the speed limit -- and in some instances a little faster than the speed limit. Just like real people.
So, to do as well as we did ... I think that's pretty awesome.
While it was a long 48 hours, it was interesting, informative and even a little fun. Below are some photos from the trek.