Audi has followed their Volkswagen stablemates and added some special "e" series models to the their lineup in recent months. The "e" models are similar to VW's Bluemotion models in that they are specifically optimized for ultra-low CO2 emissions. Currently, the smallest such vehicle is the A3 TDI e equipped with a 1.9L diesel. The TDI e has modified gear ratios and engine calibrations along with the low rolling resistance tires. The A3 is rated at 52mpg (U.S.) on the EU combined cycle with CO2 emissions of just 120g/km, low enough to avoid London's congestion charge. Motor Trend had a chance to put some miles on a A3 TDI e over in the UK and managed to achieve 44.3 mpg in a mix of fairly quick driving over 500 miles. They managed 50.5mpg over 50 miles on a very congested M25 motorway around London, topping the best they ever achieved with a Prius (47mpg). They also found the little German far more entertaining to drive than the Prius.

[Source: Motor Trend, via GermanCarBlog, thanks to Christian for the tip]

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