Day two of the mileage marathon saw a significantly longer drive than the first day, combined with less traffic. Since the route was predominantly highway cruising, the diesels were truly in their element even going through the mountains of western Pennsylvania. Virtually everyone's mileage numbers went up during the run to Cleveland and judging by some of the comments on my post at Autoblog, a number of readers actually spotted our caravan on the road, particularly as we were leaving the D.C. area. Amongst the Q7s the top number jumped to 33.1 mpg while my partner and I stretched our example up to 30.2 mpg.
In the A4 group, my friend Lou Ann Hammond saw a significant jump that surprisingly might be partly attributable to her guest co-driver. On Monday Lou Ann had the highest average speed at 51 mph but the second lowest mileage in the A4 group at 34.6 mpg. Tuesday, they brought in a ringer with Audi ALMS driver Emmanuelle Pirro. Pirro explained that in endurance racing, it's critical to get the greatest number of laps between fuel stops to minimize the amount of time sitting still in the pits. With Pirro aboard, the A4's average speed climbed to 53 mph, but the mileage climbed to 41.3 mpg! The smoothness that comes from years of experience hustling cars around tracks like Le Mans and Road Atlanta clearly paid off. Driving solo, Todd Kaho got his A4 up 44.2 mpg. Among the Q5s, numbers ranged from 29.5 to 35.9 mpg while the McLeod/McCluggage team squeezed their A3 out to 50.6 mpg.
Leg 1 ends in Chicago where most of current crew will rotate out to be replaced by the next group that will head to Denver.
Our travel and lodging for this media event was provided by the manufacturer.