On friday morning, I bought my first car with an automatic transmission. I’m probably one of the most fanatic E85 drivers in the country and I’ve been on a constant quest to get the fuel consumption down and promoting the fuel to other drivers.
So buying a car with an automatic transmission I was prepared for some very high fuel consumption, having heard horror stories of extreme consumption with such cars. Well, today was the big test. There is a storm in Sweden right now so to make sure that I would be able to depart from Stockholm Arlanda Airport tomorrow morning, the operations office at the airline I work asked if I would be able to drive up rather than a plane or train, which would probably be seriously delayed or in worst case canceled due to the storm that is hammering down on the west coast of Sweden during sunday afternoon.
Loving the road like I do, I jumped at the chance! The total distance from my home outside Växjö is about 490 km, with about 90% of the route having a speed limit of about 110 km/h, about 30% being at 120 km/h.
Yesterday I did some basic maintenance on the car which I always do on cars I just bought, by replacing the oil, oil-filter, spark-plugs and air filter. This usually does good for the fuel consumption.
Anyway I drove about 50 or so km and then decided to refuel and start the big test. I filled up the tank with E85, the previous 2 tanks were also E85 so I’m sure there was no normal gasoline in it to spoil the figures. I started to drive the first 30% of the route fully automatic with the cruise-control at 110 km/h, at that stage the country side becomes very bumpy with some pretty long ups and downs and every time the road got a bit steeper the car shifted to fourth gear even though the RPM was above 2000. So I went to Manual mode and put it in fifth gear, driving almost the entire route like that.
After about 80 km after the re-fueling I checked the fuel consumption and I was extremely surprised. I was expecting something like 10,1 liters per 100 km which is fairly good for a car with manual transmission in those speeds. The actual fuel consumption was 9,2 liters / 100 km.
At this stage the speed increased to 120 km/h, the traffic was pretty fair but it was also raining constantly with a very strong cross-wind. The tires mounted on the car are Continental ContactSport 3, 225×50 mounted on 17-inch rims.
Getting closer to Stockholm, the average speed dropped due to the increase in traffic, the average speed for the last 60 km was about 80 km/h. Arriving on-time at Arlanda, I proceeded to the first service station which is located right next to the cargo terminals at the airport.
Checking the trip-computer I was expecting a big increase do the mixed traffic situation with a lot of de- and acceleration and some city driving around the airport as well. But, it was a pleasure to see the results:
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