Mileage Marathon confirms efficiency of Audi models

Mileage Marathon confirms efficiency of Audi models

22.10.2008: Mileage Marathon confirms efficiency of Audi models

* Test fleet reaches Los Angeles after 7,865 kilometers (4,887 miles)

* Audi Q5’s average fuel consumption is 6.1 liters per 100 kilometers (38.56 US mpg), A4 records 5.3 l/100 km (44.38 US mpg)

* Audi Q7 – powerful model with ultra low emission system

The Audi Mileage Marathon, now completed, has provided convincing evidence of the efficiency of TDI engine technology. The fuel consumption of all 23 models in this 7,865-kilometer (4,887-mile) test was excellent. The best Audi A4 3.0 TDI quattro, for example, had an average fuel consumption of 5.3 liters per 100 kilometers (44.38 US mpg); the new Audi Q5 3.0 TDI performance SUV finished the test with a convincing 6.1 l/100 km (38.56 US mpg). In its first tough road test since it was announced, the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI with ultra low emission system performed outstandingly well: the world’s cleanest diesel scored a best average fuel consumption of 7.1 l/100 km (33.13 US mpg). The lowest consumption of all the cars taking part was the 4.7 l/100 km (50.04 US mpg) achieved by the Audi A3 2.0 TDI.

The 23 Audi models crossed the Mileage Marathon’s finishing line on Sunday in Santa Monica, near Los Angeles, after crossing the American continent from the east to the west coast. Since the start in New York, 184 drivers from 15 countries had taken the wheel in these cars, as they completed the total distance of 7,865 kilometers (4,887 miles) in 13 daily stages. The actual driving time for all these vehicles averaged 93 hours.

Participants were brought into close proximity with the sheer size and varied scenery of the USA. They encountered the vast open spaces of Illinois and Tennessee, the awe-inspiring natural splendor of Death Valley and Yosemite National Park, and of course the country’s great cities such as New York, Chicago and Las Vegas.

Fuel consumption based on typical road conditions

The route was a realistic combination of typical road and traffic situations. Long sections of highway alternated with stages on regular out-of-town roads. Stop-and-go driving in major cities was included as well as lengthy uphill and downhill gradients, for instance over 3,300-meter (10,826.77 ft) Rocky Mountain passes or in the Sierra Nevada.

As the route shows, the Mileage Marathon was not conceived as an extreme economy run, but as a practical test closely related to typical day-to-day conditions. Nor were the Audi models from the lower end of engine-output scale: many of them featured a combination of powerful three-liter V6 TDI engine, automatic transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive.

The extremely low fuel consumption figures recorded by the Marathon vehicles once again confirmed the remarkable efficiency of Audi’s TDI technology. Outstandingly good results across the field of entrants and from all the four Audi model lines taking part in the test – the Audi Q7, Audi Q5, Audi A4 and Audi A3 – began to be recorded on the very first stages, and were confirmed on each successive day. Measurement of the cars’ fuel consumption figures was supervised by an independent body, the US International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).

TDI technology – clean and ideal for future needs

The Mileage Marathon was the first tough practical test for the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI with ultra low emission system. This exhaust emission control system reduced oxides of nitrogen by up to 90 percent, and therefore complies with the toughest emission limits so far enforced anywhere in the world – California’s ULEV II BIN 5. It even outperforms the Euro 6 limits that are not scheduled for introduction until 2014. The three-liter V6 TDI is the world’s cleanest diesel and clear proof that TDI technology is the reliable approach for the future.

Each stage of the Mileage Marathon provided further evidence of the efficiency of this technology. The best entrants’ fuel consumption was in the region of 7.1 liters per 100 kilometers (33.13 US mpg), and other teams too recorded figures between 7.4 and 7.7 l/100 km (31.78 and 30.55 US mpg). These are most impressive results for an SUV with up to seven seats, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and outstanding power output (165 kW/225 hp) and maximum torque (550 Nm (405.66 lb-ft)). Series production of the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI with ultra low emission system will start before the end of this year, and its market launch is planned for 2009 in both the USA and Europe.

Supreme technologies from the modular efficiency system

The new Audi Q5 "performance SUV" surprised Mileage Marathon participants not only by the way it performed on the road with its 176 kW (240 hp) 3.0 TDI engine, and by the dynamic agility of its precision suspension layout. Its fuel consumption figures, with 6.1 liters per 100 kilometers (38.56 US mpg) as the best value, were even more remarkable. Another key to this apart from TDI engine technology is the outstandingly high efficiency of the S tronic 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The Audi A4 too is not only the sportiest midsize sedan but also convincing in its efficiency. Top fuel consumption values of 5.3 liters per 100 kilometers (44.38 US mpg) in the Mileage Marathon illustrate the economy potential of the technologies in Audi’s modular efficiency module.

They include energy recuperation when the brakes are applied, a regulated cooling circuit and demand-based control of the pumps. Yet all features blend successfully with a high level of sportiness and dynamism: the A4 has a power output of 176 kW (240 hp) and a maximum torque of 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft).

The lowest fuel consumption of all was achieved, logically enough, by the compact Audi A3 2.0 TDI. The version with 6-speed S tronic transmission regularly finished a Marathon stage with a consumption of under five liters per 100 kilometers (47.04 US mpg). Its best results were in the region of 4.7 l/100 km (50.05 US mpg).

Varied scenery and routes

These were all excellent values, although Audi did not spare the cars that took part in the Mileage Marathon. On the fourth stage, for instance, both the vehicles and their drivers faced extreme geographical and climatic conditions. From the arid Death Valley west of Las Vegas, where the temperature was still as high as 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit) at this time of year, the route led up within a few hours to the heights of the Sierra Nevada, where the Marathon cavalcade encountered snow. After admiring the grandiose natural spectacle of Yosemite National Park, the Marathon descended to Monterey on the Pacific coast and then to Santa Monica near Los Angeles.

On the previous stage from Denver to Las Vegas, the participants had already been able to admire the sheer variety of this vast country’s scenery. There was snow by the roadside as they crossed the Rocky Mountains, and icy surfaces on mountain passes up to 3,300 meters (10,826.77 ft) meant a slight delay in the schedule. On the following day the route passed through Monument Valley and past the Grand Canyon. As the cars approached Las Vegas, the temperature rose again to more than 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

It all began on October 6 in New York. The first stages of this long-distance practical test were along the east coast as far as Washington, then inland to Chicago. After this came daily stages as long as 870 kilometers (541 miles) southward through endless farmland, with stopovers in Memphis and Dallas, Texas. The drivers from 15 countries who took turns at the wheel came from the USA, Australia, Mexico, Peru, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

AUDI AG sold a total of 964,151 cars in 2007 and thus achieved its twelfth consecutive record year. With revenue of € 33,617 million and profit before tax of € 2,915 million, the company attained its best figures ever. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Györ (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). At the end of 2007, production of the Audi A6 started in Aurangabad, India. The company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide.

AUDI AG’s wholly owned subsidiaries include Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, and quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi employs about 57,000 people worldwide, including 45,000 in Germany. The brand with the four rings invests more than € 2 billion each year in order to sustain the company’s technological lead embodied in its "Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan. Audi plans to significantly increase the number of models in its portfolio by 2015 to 40.


- Josef Schloßmacher- Photo Audi


22.10.2008 / MaP

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