Archive for January, 2014

NAIAS Road Trip: Day 2

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Sorry for the delay in posting this, but with NAIAS underway all morning, a full recount of the final leg of our road trip up here was not possible.

With that being said, how did we do? Did we fail like last year, stopping in Toledo for fuel due to poor conditions and a questionable route, or did we make it through to absolute victory?

Coming off day 1, hopes were high. The Cayenne was averaging 32+ miles per gallon all day long, and the projected range had us in Detroit with a little room to spare.

The morning of day 2 was very chilly, and we came outside to discover our Cayenne was covered with a thin sheet of ice (see logo). After scraping the windows we set off, hoping that the cold wouldn’t adve

rsely effect the vehicle’s performance.

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Unfortunately for us, that turned out to be the case. As the day began, our MPG figure began to drop, with the Cayenne averaging a mere 29 MPG for the first several hours. (This is the advertised MPG, so not a knock on Porsche) Our overall average for the trip started to decrease too, reaching as low as 31 MPG. With these decreases, we saw the range start diminishing faster than the miles were passing, lending us a cause for concern.

Then, miraculously, both the car and the weather warmed up. MPG figures again started climbing and the estimated range ticked over the remaining miles left on the trip. At around 3:00pm local time, we arrived at our hotel with an incredible 767 miles traveled, with the car indicating it still had 25 miles left in the tank.

The final fuel shot!

The final fuel shot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s even more impressive: the average speed. Most people assume to maximize the mileage out of a vehicle means to drive it 55MPH in the slow lane, while drafting behind large semi trailers. The Porsche Cayenne Diesel required no such dangerous maneuvers and we drove it exactly how we would had we not been trying to complete this task. This is a true testament to the quality of the vehicle and it’s efficiency.

Now, for the auto show!

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NAIAS 2014 Road Trip: Day 1

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

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It’s 4:11 pm and we have arrived in Springfield, IL as the first leg of our road trip from KC to Detroit for the 2014 North American International Auto Show concludes. While tomorrow begins all the news from Detroit on new models, industry updates, and more, let’s chat about MPG.

MPG isn’t the most exciting thing to talk about, as it reminds us of our constant focus on how a commodity can affect our daily lives, but in this case I argue otherwise. I spent most of my day focused on MPG and it was incredible!

As you may know, in addition to covering NAIAS in ways no other auto dealer ever would, we are trying to make the 762 mile trip on a single tank of fuel! Our vehicle of choice? A 5,000+lb Porsche SUV. The Cayenne may not make sense initially, but this is the Diesel model, a 29 MPG fuel sipper with an absolutely gargantuan 26.4 gallon fuel tank! The math works out to an estimated 765 miles of range for the vehicle, assuming you can keep the vehicle at the 29 MPG highway level, which is easier said than done, considering you need to do things like accelerate, stop for brakes, etc., all things that can bring this number down.

Either way, we set off this morning to see if it would be possible. For the last 4 hours I watched something of a technical miracle. Once out of the fuel station and onto the highway, the fuel computer read 29mpg just once, as the car accelerated to highways speeds. Worse, you ask? Quite the opposite in fact. For the first 310 miles of the route, this Porsche averaged an astonishing 32.7 MPG, a number normally reserved for small economy cars, not high performance SUVs.

Does that mean we are going to make it? Well, it sure is looking like it. We have 500 miles of range left according to the car, and only 475 miles left to our hotel in Detroit. The weather looks clear, but one can never predict traffic and other circumstances. Considering we were 20 miles short in the same challenge last year, we remain cautiously optimistic.

Tune in tomorrow to see the epic conclusion!

Day 1 Fuel

 

 

Back to The Motor City

Monday, January 6th, 2014

As I write this it is currently 7 degrees outside with a -15 degree windchill, making for an even more unseasonable January than usual. Alas, January is a time where such weather is to be expected and such temperatures are all but guaranteed.

When asked where you would go for a weekend should the option come around, what would you answer? Jamaica? Hawaii? Florida? I very doubt that you would say “Detroit”, but it 5 days, that’s just where I will be headed.

Yes, it’s January, which means it is time for yet another North American International Auto Show in the Motor City. Once a year in January, the world’s automotive press converge on the former manufacturing capital of America to talk cars in The Cobo Center, a gigantic convention hall just block from the General Motor’s Renaissance Center.

In previous years, NAIAS has been about the domestics, launching clever “Imported From Detroit” tag lines from Chrysler, new Trucks, and most recently, the new C7 Corvette from Chevrolet. This year looks to be quite different, with significant vehicle launches and sightings for luxury brands.

The Porsche 911 is easily the world’s most iconic sports car, which just happens to be 50 years old. While the 991 body style of this new 911 arrived over a year ago, Porsche blesses us with variants on a regular basis, with cabriolets and Carerra4s coming out over the past year. This year, Detroit marks the world debut of a very celebrated version of the 911: The 911 Targa. That coupled with promising hopes that a GT3 and Turbo both be on the show floor makes for a very exciting variety of new 911s that have not been together in public before this auto show.

Speaking of Porsche, you may recall that last year we took a Porsche Cayenne Diesel to NAIAS, in a gallant attempt to make it to Detroit in a single tank of fuel. On paper, the 28 MPG and 27+ gallons of Diesel allowed would have put us within sniffing distance of The Motor City. Unfortunately, due to poor weather and a couple of wrong turns, we were forced to get fuel approximately 25 miles south of Detroit, falling less than a gallon short of reaching out goal. This year we try again, and armed with a better route plan and a hopefully better forecast, we will see if the feat is possible.

Other notable Porsche vehicles rumored to be at the show are 918 Spyder, the near-million dollar hybrid-electric super car that has shocked the world with its 850+ horsepower figures and an astonishing 50+MPG economy figure. A special edition Cayenne, dubbed the Platinum edition, and the all-new Panamera E-Hybrid promise to round out a very exciting lineup from Porsche.

In addition to Porsche, NAIAS promises more vehicle launches for out other brands, with Mercedes-Benz debuting the all-C-Class. The C-Class represents the bread and butter of the Mercedes-Benz lineup and is rumored to be quite a bit larger than the previous generation, to give a more noticeable difference between the sedan and it’s new younger sibling, the all-new CLA. Interior refinements and styling all make this new C a vehicle that Mercedes-Benz dealers are quite looking forward to.

Jaguar comes to the party with some vehicles that have already been released, yet we have not seen in person. Most notably, the F-Type coupe comes as a hard-top Variant of the hit roadster. Photos circulating of this car show a gorgeous vehicle that takes Jaguar from the old time to the prime time in terms of styling. While it isn’t confirmed it sounds like we may also see the new Jaguar C-X17 SUV concept, which should be a pretty close preview to the upcoming Jaguar production sedan coming in 2015.

We are looking forward to all of these vehicles and more as we begin our journey back to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show. Follow along on our blog, Facebook page, or via Twitter. Make sure to let us know if there is anything you want us to take photos of or if you have questions you would like answered by the product.

Wish us luck!