2007 Jetta 2.0. Click here for a high-resolution image gallery of VW clean technologies.

While the strict diesel emission requirements were tough for automakers to adjust to, today's news from the D.C. Auto Show proves that they've still got what it takes to live up to the clean air laws that the people ask for. We've heard about the 2007 Ram 2500/3500 pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD (and, of course, the non-diesel hydrogen Edge PHEV) and now comes Volkswagen with their new Jetta TDI, which they're billing as the cleanest diesel VW has ever sold in the U.S. The 50-state legal Jetta uses BlueTec urea injection to meet the low emissions standards, with the "engine management system in the Jetta (changing) operating modes periodically to treat the NOx that has been stored in the catalytic converter" along with a particulate filter in the exhaust system.

To prove it's been in the diesel business for a while, Volkswagen also announced today a search for the oldest running and highest-mileage VW diesels in America. It's likely the oldest diesel will be a Rabbit diesel (VW says it sold 12,393 in 1977). The highest-mileage VW diesel must have its original engine. If you think you've got one of these cars, check with VW starting in March (and continuing through at least August) for details on how to enter your car. The winners will get to drive a 2007 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI for six months.

Press releases on both stories are after the jump.

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[Source: VW]

CLEAN DIESEL VOLKSWAGEN JETTA MAKES NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT WASHINGTON, D.C. AUTO SHOW

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Volkswagen of America, Inc. today unveiled its cleanest diesel ever for the U.S., the Jetta TDI. Additionally, the company announced that this new clean diesel will be available to the U.S. market in the spring of 2008. This Jetta TDI will meet emissions standards applicable in all 50 states, including the most stringent "TIER 2/BIN 5" or "LEV II/LEV" requirement limiting nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions to 0.05 g/mile.

This clean diesel Jetta meets the lowest emissions standards without the use of urea injection. Instead, a nitrogen oxide storage catalyst reduces NOx emissions by up to 90 percent. The engine management system in the Jetta changes operating modes periodically to treat the NOx that has been stored in the catalytic converter. A particulate filter in the exhaust system further reduces emissions.

The Jetta TDI is one of the first products of the BLUETEC offensive initiated jointly by Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen. The goal of this partnership is to establish the concept of BLUETEC as a uniform label for clean and highly fuel efficient diesel-powered cars and SUVs with 50-state compliant engines. BLUETEC denotes diesel power plants that comply with the strictest emissions regulations of the US market. The technologies individually developed by each manufacturer serve to reduce NOx in particular – an exhaust element more prevalent in a diesel engine.

Volkswagen unveiled its clean diesel concept Tiguan compact SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The Tiguan will be available in the U.S. mid 2008.

Volkswagen has a 30-year history of providing the U.S. market with efficient and durable diesel vehicles. Diesels traditionally account for almost 20 percent of Volkswagen's sales in the United States.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, GLI, Passat, Passat wagon, Eos, and Touareg through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at vw.com.

SEARCH ANNOUNCED FOR THE OLDEST AND HIGHEST-MILEAGE VOLKSWAGEN DIESEL VEHICLES

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today a national search for two significant vehicles from its diesel-powered past, in celebration of its 30th anniversary of selling diesel-powered passenger cars in the U.S. The announcement, made today at the 2007 Washington Auto Show kicks off searches for the oldest running Volkswagen diesel vehicle and the Volkswagen diesel with the highest accumulated mileage.

"Volkswagen has a long history of selling diesel-powered vehicles in the United States. These durable vehicles are capable of providing years and years of reliable service. We anticipate an enormous response from our owners," said Keith Price, public relations manager, Volkswagen of America, Inc.

The oldest U.S. market diesel Volkswagen search is open to registered, running vehicles. The winner will be determined by the vehicle identification number (VIN). Volkswagen anticipates this vehicle will be a Rabbit diesel, as 12,393 were sold in 1977.

The highest mileage diesel Volkswagen is also open to registered and running vehicles. The mileage must be documented and verifiable with an accurate odometer reading, and supporting historical service records and/or logbook. Both vehicles must be equipped with their original engines.

Beginning March 1, interested owners will be able to submit their information online at www.vw.com. Applicants will complete a form with contact and vehicle data, and upload digital pictures of their diesel Volkswagen. Once a pool of finalists is identified, they will be asked to visit their authorized local Volkswagen dealer to have their vehicle and documentation validated.

Volkswagen plans to keep the application period open for a minimum of four months. Each of the two winners will be awarded the use of a 2007 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI for six months.

For 30 years, Volkswagen has provided the U.S. market with efficient and durable diesel vehicles. The company has sold 813,476 diesel powered Volkswagens.

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