• Oct 18, 2007
While Japanese automakers have the hybrid lead, the front-runners in diesel are companies of German descent. Mercedes is bringing home the bacon with BLUETEC, BMW is slapping twin turbochargers onto a 3.0-liter diesel, and Volkswagen will implement BlueMotion into five different VWs. Audi intends to join the oil-burning club here in the States with the introduction of the 3.0 TDI, which is good for 240 HP and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. With all that twist, tires should scream from rubber-stripping takeoffs, but even aggressive driving won't translate at the pump as bad as their gasoline counterparts. Audi expects a 35-percent fuel economy bump vs. similar gasoline powerplants.

The 3.0 TDI has an ultra-low emission system in the exhaust tract, which kills NOX gas by means of a carbonic acid diamide solution, helping the diesel to meet the LEV II Bin 5 classification. That means each of the 50 states will accept the 3.0 TDI as a salable vehicle. It's hard not to get excited about an engine that takes off like it's shot out of a canon and also gets up to 40 MPG on the highway. Expect the new Audi diesel to arrive first in the Q7, and later in the A4.

Audi's press release is after the jump.

[Source: Audi]

PRESS RELEASE

Audi launches TDI initiative in the USA

* Cleanest diesel engine in the world to go into production in 2008
* TDI engines achieve a major reduction in fuel consumption
* New drive technologies for even greater efficiency

Audi is launching its TDI initiative on the North American market. As early as next year, Audi will be putting the cleanest diesel engine in the world into production in the USA virtually in parallel to its launch in Europe: the 3.0 TDI with ultra-low emission system will initially be available for the Audi Q7, and later for the new Audi A4 too. Audi has been expanding steadily in the USA for many years now, and sees the market as holding high potential for its cutting-edge TDI engines. The low-sulphur fuel required for the engines' operation was introduced throughout the country a year ago, paving the way for the initiative to begin.

The TDI engine is the most successful efficiency technology in existence; Audi first introduced it into series production 18 years ago and has been progressively extending its lead over rival technologies ever since. "The TDI units burn up to 35 percent less fuel than the average of petrol engines typically used in the USA. This means that the TDI can assume an important role in the rapid reduction of CO2 emissions," comments Ralph Weyler, Board Member for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. At the "German TecDay", an information event organised jointly by Volkswagen, Bosch and the Association of the German Automotive Industry in San Francisco, California, Weyler emphasised: "No other drive system can beat the TDI's combination of high power and low fuel consumption."

According to calculations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States could save 1.4 million barrels of crude oil every day if just one third of all passenger cars and light-duty commercial vehicles were equipped with up-to-date diesel engines.

Leading market research firms such as J. D. Power predict that diesel engines will have a 12 to 15 percent share of the US market in 2015, which represents a substantial jump compared to the current share of sales of around four percent.

The new Audi 3.0 TDI with ultra-low emission system develops an output of 176 kW (240 bhp) and 550 Nm of torque, making it both powerful and efficient. New technologies optimise the combustion process in the V6: the common-rail injection system builds up 2000 bar of pressure, while sensors monitor the combustion chambers. One crucial innovation is the ultra-low emission system in the exhaust tract, which largely eliminates nitrogen oxides by means of a carbonic acid diamide solution. With this system on board, the 3.0 TDI fulfils the toughest emission standard in the world – the LEV II Bin 5 classification, which is operative in the US states of California, New York, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont. The high-tech diesel from Audi also already complies with the emissions limits that are due to come into force in Europe from 2014.

Audi is tackling the issue of efficiency with all its resources – with new technologies, new engines and new drive concepts. A host of other forward-looking solutions are available besides the cleanest diesel engine in the world. These include the groundbreaking, ultra-efficient FSI engines with petrol direct injection, as well as technology modules for Intelligent Energy Management (IEM), such as a start/stop system and a micro-hybrid. In view of the fact that the fuels themselves have a key role to play in the reduction of CO2 emissions, Audi is also focusing its attention on the second generation of biofuels which use the entire plant rather than just its fruits.

Whatever new development it is working on, the brand with the four rings stays true to one clearly defined precept: Audi seeks to heighten the efficiency of all its new models, whilst at the same time further enhancing their sporty profile and the driving pleasure they offer.


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  • 20 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here is a suggestion to meet emissions standards. Just tell everyone that it requires biodiesel but don't ding people's warranty for using regular diesel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unless diesel is cheaper, this is all relative. Around me, diesel is $3.10/gal. Where unleaded reg is $2.55 and premium $2.85. Unless there is a SIGNIFICANT price saving in economy with the diesel fuel, and stations have more than one pump, I doubt there will be a big hoorah.
      I do wish they ramp up the model here. I've wanted a turbo-diesel in a truck, but can't justify the $7000 increase (trans and eng combo). But to have a diesel Golf or A3..that would be nice as long as it gets +35-40MPG.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I recently test drove athe A5 V6 TDI, its Awsome. It gave back my lost hopes in the brand...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm confused. Is this system similar to the uric acid injection deal? Is there a requirement to add solution to the engine as in the u-inj? How about the newest filter "afterburner" stuff on the new Fords and the like? (Which is a certainly to cause major problems in the future!!) Does this engine require a like system?? Well???
      Philometalist
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cool! Nice to see a an effort to sell more diesel vehicles in the US. Most people eat up the whole Hybrid hype while totally unaware that the diesel engine invented in 1892 is still far superior to any other type of production engine available today in terms of both efficiency and cleanliness of operation. Hybryds aren't the bridges to a cleaner-greener future,
      BIO-DIESELS ARE!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think diesel will be big in the near future, but it'll be interesting to see if 'the modern diesel' gains acceptance in a trickle-down fashion. F1 style shifters started in Ferrari's, so of course people in regular cars want them too. IF, if... diesels sell like crazy to Audi and M-Benz people, then Honda will have no problem with an Accord diesel and VW's Rabbit/Jetta diesels will be an even bigger deal. http://www.goodcarbadcar.net just profiled a few BMW diesels that would thrill our souls... at different price points.

      http://goodcarbadcar.blogspot.com/2007/10/diesels-dressed-to-impress.html
      • 7 Years Ago
      So, rented one for a month, back in July (Europcar had a deal with Audi, so I had the car before the local dealers had their demos..:)
      Drove 6500miles all over West Europe including Germany.

      The car is very different from the old front heavy Audis I was used to. It still understeers (not only at the limit) but not that heavily. The steering is not that good at high speed, not very exact, hard to carve a perfect turn (I had the skimpy 17inch, a car with 19 would have responded better).

      Big interieur...3 series coupe (bigger trunk but somewhat smaller back seat area). At one moment we were 4 big adults in it with luggage for 12 days on a trip: Cologne-Almeria (spain). With some cooperation from the front seaters the back ones could make it 3-4 hrs at a time.

      Now...the engine...a gem...but FAR from 40mpg...driven gently, at 130km/h, it gets maybe 32-34mpg...but burry that foot a couple of time and you go very quick under 30mpg. In town is something like 26mpg (9l/100km).
      It pulls like crazy at almost any revs (but more above 1500rpm) up to the redline (one of the few diesels where you get traction all over the rpm range).
      It did with ease 250km/h with 4 adults and luggage. Alone, it went up to 275km/h (on the tacho...might be 260 real)

      The gear change is not quite perfect...the clutch grabs and it is very hard to launch it hard without head snapping:)
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is all fine and dandy, but I'm sorry, but it seems pretty pointless to bring these only to fairly high priced vehicles. VW is the only omany offers a somewhay afford able option, and those will still be $25K.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Adam, I totally agree with you from a cost payback standpoint.

        However, Europe is pushing hard for lower CO2 emissions and better mileage. The German autobahn flyers could easily be branded "not-green" like the Hummer unless they act fast. That same thinking is happening on this side of the pond also.

        It's a sure bet that they will be bragging about mileage and not talking about the price with the strong Euro.
        • 7 Years Ago
        you get what you pay for, and in fact relative to other german brands, you're better off before Audi starts raising their prices even more. They've been under priced imo for a while now
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wait!

        Subaru is working on a horizontal 4 oil burner.

        That'll bring it to an affordable price and dependability point.
      • 7 Years Ago
      come to papa!
      • 7 Years Ago
      How odd, A few weeks ago I kept mentioning the 3.0TDI in the A5 was US bound in the Q7 and would follow in other models and people kept acting like I was talking out of my ass - I guess it helps to pay attention to interviews with key Audi employees.

      That said, bring it on. I can't wait to drop a deposit on the A5 TDI! 0-60 in 5.9, 40mpg, awd, fantastic!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice. The odds of me getting a diesel for my next car keep improving.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BLS- Biodiesel tends to yield HIGHER NOx emissions than petroleum diesel. Particulates are a little lower, but those aren't the problem.
      CB- not sure what exactly this system is, but I don't think it's additive based. Sounds more like the Honda system.
      Afterburners, you say? All diesels in N.America will have Particle traps and they all work the same way. Trap the soot, the burn it off with extra fuel once enough accumulates. These things are proven technology and should last the life of the vehicle.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Last the life of the vehicle"? If I had a buck for all the stuff from emission controls to non-greasable ball joints and tie-rods that were supposed to last the "Lifetime of the vehicle", but didn't, I'd be a VERY wealthy man. As to the "afterburners", see you at the fire station. Thanks for the rest of the info though, as it's confusing to an old fart like me.
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