I have been driving my new Cascadia Evolution" I" for three weeks now so I thought it was time to give you an update. For those of you who may not be familiar with the (I) feature, this stands for Integrated Detroit Power Train. The engine, transmission and axle’s all come from one manufacturer. This allows Detroit to match each component together for maximum efficiency.
My goal for this truck was to average above 10 mpg from the start. The deck of cards seemingly has been stacked against this truck from obtaining this goal. I have been in holiday traffic, bad storms, high winds, mountains, heavier weight loads and demonstration rides.
The first three fill-ups for this truck were 9.849, 8.913 and 9.04 mpg. These figures are from the fuel pump and not the ECM. The first fill-up at 9.849 was close to a double digit run however demonstration rides held this figure from being in the double digits. The next two figures didn’t stand a chance at being above 10 mpg. The freight weights for these fill-ups were in excess of 42,000 lbs. at all times. The 8.913 included July 5th traffic congestion as everyone was on their way home from their celebrations from the fourth. Torrential rainfall to the point of flooding was another factor which made the conditions less than optimal for great fuel efficiency. The 9.04 was pretty far from my goal and yet after analyzing the conditions, I realized that this was a really good number. This tankful began in Meridian, Mississippi and ended in North Baltimore, Ohio. The path lead me through Atlanta to Charlotte and up through the West Virginia Mountains. I had stops in Brighton, Michigan, Muskegon, reloaded in Redford and continued to my fueling location in North Baltimore, Ohio. This run is not my ordinary route as I usually travel from Charlotte, NC to Laredo, TX. Years ago, on this same basic route, my goal was to break into the 8 mpg range. This was just a few years ago. I used to transport furniture one way and engines on the way back. The furniture loads were generally less than 10,000 lbs. and the engine loads were in excess of 42,000 lbs. I was able to break into the low 8’s but here I am just a few years later breaking into the 9’s.
I’m operating with the new Detroit DD15 400 Downsped engine. It amazes me how the 400 horsepower and 1750 lb. /ft. pulls mountains at rpm’s below 1,000. No shuttering or shaking only solid pulling. When I first began driving, you couldn’t imagine operating an engine at this low of an rpm and actually have it perform. I reported on the specs of this engine in an earlier blog titled “Less is More.”
The other feature of interest in regards to fuel economy on the new truck is the intelligent power train management (IPM) This system uses GPS to read the terrain over a mile ahead to manage momentum in the most efficient manner. I have been very impressed with the decisions that the IPM has made and it mimics what I would do myself to attain great fuel mileage. In fact, there are a few things that it taught me in regards to optimizing momentum management. Click above where I have highlighted for more information on this engine as well as the IPM feature.