Autoblog's Audi High Mileage Marathon Blogs Ends With A Whimper
It’s nice to know someone reads TTAC. I started this website with zero readers. As in none. On Monday, our new site design was vindicated by a huge jump in traffic: 39,791 unique visitors and 164,285 page views. Of course, we’re still small fry in the Autoblog scheme of things. But we’re on our way. Meanwhile, I like to soothe myself to sleep by dwelling on the entirely subjective idea that this website’s more about quality than quantity. And I’m proud to include Sam Abuelsamid amongst our Best and Brightest. I mean, how else could you explain Sam’s last entry in his high-mileage Audi Q7 TDI junket chronicle, which dwells on, and concludes with, a “don’t try this at home” mea culpa? Regular readers will know that TTAC took him to task on his boastful hypermiling. Specifically, drafting eighteen wheelers. It looks like Audi had a word with our boy. “Audi officials specifically warned us at the start that this event was not about hyper-miling, but when you put several dozen journalists in cars and ask them to see who can get the best mileage … well let’s just say they are a competitive bunch.” Testosterone, eh? And then the backpedaling really begins…
“One of the most controversial techniques associated with hyper-miling is drafting. Getting in behind a large truck letting it take care of moving the air out of the way, can certainly help reduce the loads on the powertrain, especially for a vehicle as large as the Q7. Unfortunately getting very close behind a truck is also dangerous. First there is the issue of visibility or lack thereof. If anything happens up ahead you can’t see it until it’s too late. You are also far more susceptible to damage from rocks thrown up or separating re-tread tires. Following this closely also requires extreme vigilance on the part of the driver. Doing this for any length of time is mentally draining, leading to fatigue and further safety concerns.”
And then Sam backpedals on the backpedaling. “With the Q7 we found another method that actually works almost as well and is far safer. The Q7 TDI is equipped with adaptive cruise control. This system uses a radar sensor behind the grille that monitors the distance from the vehicle ahead… The following distance is adjustable and it turns out that lowering the distance to the minimum still maintains a safe [ED: unspecified] space to the vehicle ahead.” And in conclusion… “The most important aspect however is safety. If you don’t get where you are going in one piece, it really doesn’t matter how little fuel you used.” Awww. Hey Sam, thanks for listening!
R_cardona68 on Nov 09, 2008
In my view, this aspect of Audi achieving higher MPGs is contradictory to the Audi philosophy of nice looking designs but with poorly engineered vehicles that require frequent and expensive maintenance. Is VW dragging Audi down or is Audi doing this all to itself: timing belts, oil sludge, instrument electronics, low gas mileage, poor reliability, etc is more than ample evidence. Add worse than mediocre customer support and you may have all the info you need to stay away from Audi products unless you want to get to know Audi's technicians by their first names. Not worth the money and not wise to buy expensive cars that do not work. My Audi experience has been largely negative even though my car is an eye catcher and I would gladly post my receipts but there not enough room for all that paper work.
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