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!
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