After a 366km journey at Audi’s press launch for the new A3 Sportback 1.9 TDI e, 18 motoring journalists took part in the drive from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island.

The key to the A3 Sportback 1.9 TDI e’s stellar fuel consumption is extended gear ratios in 3rd and 5th gears, along with weight-saving measures made to the vehicle’s aerodynamics. Other modifications include 205/55, 16″ wheels which are fitted to low rolling-resistance tyres.

A mix of city, highway and country driving was incorporated into the event, including a short stint on a gravel road. According to Audi, 30% of the vehicle’s emissions are down to driver style, while the control car was driven with no thought for fuel efficiency.

The winning team – comprising of Alby Martin and Ken Gratton – recorded an average fuel consumption of 3.5l/100km and emitted just 93g/km of CO2.

Audi A3 Sportback 1.9 TDI e

Day 1

Vehicle

Team

Average fuel consumption
litres/100km

Average CO2
grams/km

NXR 43N

Nick Raman
Samantha Stevens

3.6

95

NXR 43M
CONTROL CAR

Anna Burgdorf

4.3

114

NXR 43P

Kevin Hepworth
Peter Atkinson

3.8

95

NXR 43L

Tim Pomroy
Murray Hubbard

3.8

101

VAG 254

James Stanford Jeremy Spinks

3.8

101

Day 2

Vehicle

Team

Average fuel consumption
litres/100km

Average CO2
grams/km

NXR 43N

Alby Martin
Ken Gratton

3.5

93

NXR 43M

John Cadogan
Ian Porter

3.8

101

NXR 43P CONTROL CAR

Steve Lague
Isaac Bober

4.6

122

NXR 43L

Bob Jennings
Peter McKay

3.6

95

VAG 254

Brent Davison
Ian Crawford

3.8

101




  • http://www.geardiary.com Mitchell Oke

    Damn, those are some insanely low consumption figures!

  • Reckless1

    A Prius munching we’ll go,
    A Prius munching we’ll go,
    hey, ho, the diddly-o,
    A Prius munching we’ll go.

    See ya, Toyota

  • Duck

    ^Good one Reckless1 you crack me up! :)

    Bye, bye Toyota Prius and hello better fuel efficient car with european quality, the Audi A3 Sportback 1.9 TDi e!

    AAAARRRRRRRRR! Hide TP’s coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Captain Mainwaring

    That’s a fantastic result, even for the control car.
    Now tell me – what was the average speed on the open-road sections?
    Next question. Audi is a premium brand with a premium price. Their target market can afford to buy fuel, so what’s the point of all this?

  • Duck

    Theres only about less than 2 grand between the Audi and Prius so why should it matter CM? It would be also for people looking to buy an Audi but a fuel efficient one because they could be an big environmentalist person maybe too?

  • Mmmmm

    The Prius is old hat now. Just like the new Falcon and the VE. People say it makes the VE look outdated, but maybe that is because it was released 2 years later. But this is more than two years with the Prius.
    The Prius sells extremely well in America, the yanks arn’t the smartest, they just brought it to Australia to see how it would go. Just wait, Toyota will pull something out of it’s arse.

  • Camski

    “Everytime I see a Prius on the road, I rev my engine to let them know that i’m hurting the environment.” – inwood (from Club Lexus Forums)

    Don’t worry, I love Toyota, Prius included =)

    Isn’t it funny… The German’s and the Jap’s are now at War with each other.

  • Captain Mainwaring

    Duck, the main issue here is not the price relativity between Audi and Prius but the reality of how slow did they actually have to go to achieve those figures.
    You can’t overcome the laws of physics, and having personally done many fuel economy tests in many different cars (including diesels of similar power and weight to these), I would guess that we’re talking about wombling along flat and pretty much straight roads at no more than about 75km/h.
    Let them tell us that this was not the case.

  • si1982

    Everyone seems to love to hate Prius…

    i saw diesel prices at 177cents at my local servo in melbourne. petrol was listed at 155cents. is a diesel worth the extra 22 cents and also the extra price over a petrol engine?

    i wonder how a diesel hybrid would perform? cost would be of concern tho, but some test figures would be awesome….

  • No Name

    I think you’ll find that Golfschwiens golf has the same engine. The A3 is comparable to the Golf Bluemotion designed to increase fuel economy by body mods. These achieve much greater fuel economy than the so miss named Green Prius.
    Now what shall I buy ugly fuel ineficient Prius or the stylish great interior A3. I’ll put my Toyota blinkers in the bin and getthe A3.. Eat your heart out TP.

  • Mmmmm

    Europe -> Australia
    Get it? They’re different…in most aspects…
    The A3 = An ugly oudated shape…
    The Prius = WTF?
    I would absolutely HATE to drive a 1.9L diesel on open roads. They sound like bloody trucks. And yes, I have driven one. (Not the Audi, the Golf)
    And as I said, your comparing old technology with the new…

  • No Name

    Mmmmm – you sound rather diesel uneducated. You carry on driving the guzzling petrol so you’re paying more tax than me thats fine. In fact I appreciate it the more tax you pay, the less I have to. Congratulations on your wise choice.
    Trucks indeed what a total spud.

  • crazychook

    Surely they didn’t add the distance of the ferry trip onto their fuel consumptions!

  • si1982

    VW Polo Diesel Bluemotion that’s available in UK had a test report on real world fuel consumption figures by Fifth Gear (Motoring Program) and it only got an avg of 40mpg…. no where near the claimed 70mpg….check it out its on Youtube.

    my 1.5L Petrol car thats 10yrs old give me 41mpg!

    Thats hardly cutting edge…

    i dont know wat this would deliver in real world being heavier than a polo!

  • MD

    How much is a Prius in the USA? About AUD$26K. How much is it in Oz? I rest my case…

    “the yanks arn’t the smartest, they just brought it to Australia to see how it would go.”

    Aussies aren’t smart either, paying AUD$55K for a Commie SS-V. Do you think Americans would pay such ridiculous money for such a car? Nope, they only pay AUD$35K. Don’t silly Aussies see they’re subsidising their American brothers and sisters? Nope, they’ll keep buying Holden because they think “Holden means a great deal to Australia”.

    BTW great effort by Audi.

  • Camski

    MD, you’re right.

    For AU$55K (in the US) you could probably squeeze in an IS-F, M3 or C63 AMG.

    Price differences for cars are so large that cars we see as a rip off or expensive here, are everyday cars for people of the USA.

  • Cameron

    I agree with the captain.
    Can we please be informed what the conditions of the test were? What speeds were maintained in what speed zones, was the terrain flat, undulating or (unlikely) mountainous? was the acceleration between/in zones what most people regard as “normal”. Or was it a case of mileage competition between the journos, as seems indicated by the test results listed? Many people would love to buy this car if it is as good as it sounds. Unfortunately many people are sceptical and want to know what the real-world figures are.

    In the words of “Acmed, the dead terrorist” (Jeff Dunham, “Jeff…fafa Dunnnnnn…..hammmmmm”):
    “Do you really own a Prius? that’s not a car, its a lunchbox! Did you know that if you drive down the highway and put your had out the window, the vehicle will turn!?!?”

  • Cameron

    *”….HAND out the window………”

  • Cameron

    Mmmmmmmmmm did you have a truck behind you?
    I too have driven TDI golfs on freeways and clearly remember NOT being able to hear the motor.

  • reality

    A couple of details from carpoint – average speed of 64 kph on country roads in SA.

  • Captain Mainwaring

    Now we get to the truth of it. Average speed 64. If these cars had been driven at 100 or so to keep up with normal traffic the average would have been 85-90 and the consumption would be about 5.0L/100, maybe 4.7 at best.
    The best consumption I have ever achieved at 100km/h cruising speeds on relatively flat roads is 3.3L/100 in a Honda Insight and 3.6L/100 in a VW Polo BlueMotion. These are real figures, not contrived by an artificially low cruising speed, but the cars in question are optimised for fuel economy to the exclusion of just about everything else.
    The most economical speed for any car on a flat road is the lowest speed that it will comfortably pull the highest available gear ratio, and this exercise proves it once again.
    Then again, a car would probably be even more economical if you just trickled along at idle speed in second gear, foot completely off the accelerator. Even though that’s completely ridiculous, somebody will probably try it one day and publish the result as some sort of a record.

  • Fenno

    Aye-aye! the Captain has nailed it on the head. What’s the bet also that no aircon was used. Who drives throught the outback with the air off? (besides roo-shooters)

  • http://www.ausringers.com/ Liam

    Just because the average speed was 64km/h doesn’t mean the cars were not driven at highway speeds, does it?

  • Paul Maric

    Captain Mainwaring:

    Sorry to dash your corruption theory, but the average speed indicated – 64km/h – is a mix of country, city and highway driving.

    This means that there was a great deal of driving under 100km/h to push the average down to 64km/h which makes this an even great feat as stop-start traffic will exhibit the greatest fuel use.

    If the average speed was indeed closet to 100km/h, it would indicate a majority of highway driving – which wouldn’t make this anywhere near as interesting.

  • Captain Mainwaring

    Attention Paul Maric, what the Hell are you trying to say?
    Your assumptions are complete crap, because what you’re suggesting is that the city driving that lowered the average speed actually improved the fuel economy. This is utter bullshit, as traffic lights and stop-start driving use a lot more fuel than cruising at 100km/h. I think you need to go back to the pub, have five more pints, then come up with something that makes a bit more sense. But I won’t be holding my breath.

  • Mmmmm

    From what I can read, Captain Mainwaring – your the one who should make a bit more sense.

  • Paul Maric

    Captain Mainwaring:

    Do yourself a favour and reread what I wrote, it will help you look a whole lot less daft.

    I suggested that stop-start city driving would in fact lower the average speed when driven in combination with highway driving.

    City driving would also exhibit the greater level of fuel use in comparison to highway driving.

  • Captain Mainwaring

    What I meant to say was that if a lot of stop-start city driving was the reason for the average speed being only 64, then the fuel consumption achieved would be impossible. I stand by my contention that they would have only been doing about 75 on the open road. If you do 100 on the highway, even with a reasonable mix of city and town driving included, your average speed will be over 80.

  • Reckless1

    The Captain is found wanting with his stupid tirade against the Audi.

    They are not cheating anyone, but when they drive the A3 e the way Camrys are driven, they can return 3.5l/100

    When they are driven without particular attention to economy, the cars return 4.5l/100 IN THE SAME DRIVE.

    If you read the article properly, and apply some basic comprehension skills, you can deduce that. Shame you blot your copy book with insane ramblings.

  • Captain Mainwaring

    Nothing against Audis, in fact I love most of them, but fuel consumption needs to be measured under realistic and comparable conditions. Obviously not everyone subscribes to that.
    But that’s life, dreams are free.

  • Paul Maric

    Captain Mainwaring:

    Yes, except they did measure the fuel economy under “realistic and comparable conditions.”

    If you apply the simple mathematics to it, you would realise that it was in fact absolutely realistic and quite an impressive feat.

    But, as you say. That’s life, dreams are free.

  • http://realcars realcars

    This vehicle makes current hybrid tech look antiquated indeed. Bigger,more powerful,more stylish and a better drive than a Pirus no doubt.

    This vehicle is for the true environmentalist.

  • No Name

    Captain – your missing the point of the challenge to get max fuel economy. I see what you saying but the trial was to achieve the maximum they could. Stop ranting pointlessly old bean.

  • Cameron

    The write-up certainly gave me the impression that it was a competition to see who could return the best figures.
    There is no doubt it is efficient and can return good figures, but to what degree do you have to “feather” the throttle to achieve it. The control car may not have been driven with “efficiency” in mind, but if its travelling in convoy I can’t see that it would have been driven with any zest.
    Sorry, but the jury is still out in my mind.
    That said – I’m extremely happy to see development of these vehicles with an efficiency focus.

    Diesel-hybrid is the new buzzword. Tomorrow is exciting, just get the technology to market!

  • alec

    For anyone who doesn’t believe the statement regarding average speed, you might just be very surprised when you check the trip computer of a car so equipped.
    In normal 60km/h roads, mixed with stop start traffic & some intersections, the average speek I usually get is about 30-35km/h
    However,
    Once I mix some freeway driving in with that, I get surprise surprise about 65-70km/h.
    Sounds like they were tested real world to me.

  • alec

    Dont forget, best economy is achieved differently in each car but is essentially a combination of distance travelled vs fuel used. The faster you go, the further you travel. Due to gearing of modern cars allowing engine rpm to be kept low at higher speeds and the diesels ability to produce good torque at low rpm also, the audi would be at its optimum at ‘higher’ (more freeway like) speeds

  • Golfschwein

    Okay, I’m here, I’m here!

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, my Golf has the 1.9 engine you apparently despised, but it is among the very best cars I have driven on the open road. There’s plenty of overtaking oomph.

    Noise? Not as quiet as the Aurion I’ve been a passenger in all weekend, but well enough suppressed at freeway speeds. Around town is when the diesel noise is a constant companion.

  • No Name

    Aurion Golfie – what the blody hells going on

  • Golfschwein

    He’s just turned 60, No name. Target market bullseye.