Audi's A3 TDI took home the 2010 Green Car of the Year award. Green Car Journal jurors appreciated the A3's, "rakish styling, upscale appointments, and 42 mpg highway fuel efficiency – a 50 percent improvement over the gasoline A3 variant that makes the car very economical to operate with low relative CO2 emissions." Audi is now participating in a 1,000-mile long road trip, called the Green Car of the Year Tour.
The Tour, which kicks off October 18th in Eureka, CA, will supposedly showcase the role that advanced diesel vehicles will play in America's future. For the event, Audi has elected to run a pair of A3s fueled by Rentech's synthetic RenDiesel down California's coastline. RenDiesel can be produced from, "a variety of domestic resources using proprietary technologies to create sustainable and environmentally friendly diesel fuel." Basically, it's a biodegradable fuel made by gassifying biomass.
Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen emphasized the importance of diesel vehicles and advanced fuels, stating:
His words are justifiably biased, but the strengths of today's diesel-fueled vehicles show that oil burners have progressed tremendously during the past few decades and are now more than capable of providing efficient and exhilarating transport. Hit the jump for more info on Rentech's synthetic diesel and the 1,000-mile long Green Car of the Year Tour.When you combine the reigning Green Car of the Year, our Audi A3 TDI, with advanced fuels, such as RenDiesel, you begin to see that the future for sustainable motoring is near at hand. These technologies have powerful near-term potential to answer some of our thorniest energy questions.
*UPDATE: This post has been changed since publication to reflect the fact that there was no "like it or not" deal that forced Audi to participate in the tour as part of accepting the prize.