Audi Q5s on a fuel run to Nagpur

While we’re crossing Pune, the traffic doesn’t allow the engines any efficiency, but as we start leaving the city behind, the on-board computer starts showing better figures. The range until the next fuel stop also increases. On paper, the display suggests we might make it to the centre of India without needing any more fossil fuel.

The open road allows us to understand the cars better. The diesels are mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission and the turbo-charged petrol is coupled to an eight-speed torque converter – both of the trannies change ratios pretty seamlessly and the higher number of ratios means the cars will make it through the mother of all fuel-efficiency runs.

About 200km into our journey, our convoy is overtaking trucks and buses one by one on the highway as we approach Nashik. The 3.0-litre TDI feels extremely agile off the mark and induces hooligan-like behaviour. This is the car you want for overtaking that long trailer within the shortest of gaps. The petrol too feels quite quick while doing these overtaking manoeuvres but the 2.0-litre TDI needs some planning and conviction before you overtake.