Audi to kick off diesel push with cross country Mileage Marathon

click the Mileage Marathon vehicles for a high res gallery

Audi has announced plans to demonstrate the fuel efficiency of its new diesel vehicles by running a cross-country marathon this fall. The automaker is providing 23 TDI vehicles that will be driven by up to 184 drivers from around the world, including some of the crew from AutoblogGreen and Autoblog. The vehicles will include the Q7, Q5 and A4 with the 3.0L TDI V6 and the A3 with the same 2.0L four cylinder TDI used in the new Jetta. The Marathon will kick off October 6 in New York City and wind its way to Los Angeles via Chicago, Denver and Monterey. The drivers will all be trying to outdo each other to earn daily rewards for lowest fuel consumption.

For now, Audi has only announced that the Q7 will be offered for sale in the U.S. starting sometime in the first quarter of 2009. It will be equipped with a particulate filter and urea injection system allowing it to pass Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions in all 50 states. Audi is considering other diesels for U.S. sale but hasn't made any decisions or announcements yet. The Q5 which was announced last spring at the Beijing Motor Show will go on sale in the U.S. with a gasoline V6 next summer and makes its debut on U.S. soil during the Marathon. A hybrid Q5 is expected to go on sale as early as 2010 and it could be joined by a diesel for the U.S. market.

[Source: Audi]

Press release

Ingolstadt, 2008-09-08

Audi Mileage Marathon

The world's cleanest diesel in its first endurance test

  • Audi launches diesel offensive in the US with major real-world driving tour
  • TDI with ultra low emission system to prove its supremacy
  • Dynamic driving performance with highly efficient fuel consumption

The TDI is the world's most successful efficiency technology. Now the latest Audi TDI is making its way to the US: Audi is introducing the world's cleanest diesel to the streets of America inside the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI with ultra low emission system. Once there, and prior to its market launch, it will prove its supremacy when it comes to driving fun and fuel efficiency in an endurance test – the Audi Mileage Marathon.

The Mileage Marathon covers more than 4,800 miles – that's over 7,700 kilometers – running from New York to Los Angeles through major cities and passing countless natural wonders. From October 5-20, 184 drivers from all over the world will do more than just get to know a lot of fascinating roads during a total of 13 daily stages – they'll also experience the confident sportiness and extraordinary efficiency of the TDI models from Audi.

The big real-world driving tour will be driven with 23 cars from four different model lines, all examples of Audi's characteristic combination of superior mobility and unbeatable efficiency. Along with the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI, the brand new Audi Q5 3.0 TDI will make its debut on the wide roads of the North American continent. The Audi A4, the sportiest sedan in its class, will also make its appearance with the superb 3.0 TDI engine.

The Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI – equipped with the innovative and particularly efficient S tronic transmission – will add yet another highlight to the Mileage Marathon's efficiency statistics.

Efficiency is key over the long haul

The route of the Audi Mileage Marathon leads across the American continent from New York to Los Angeles, passing major cities like Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas during the 13 daily stages, as well as natural wonders including the Rocky Mountains, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon. The entire route totals more than 4,800 miles – over 7,700 kilometers – with a realistic mix of city driving and rural driving on highways and country roads. In this environment and under conditions that come close to everyday driving, the TDI will be able to clearly show off its superiority over every other efficiency technology.

Debut for the TDI with ultra low emission system

In the Audi Mileage Marathon, the TDI with ultra low emission system will be making its debut in a tough endurance test several months before the planned market launch in the US and in Europe in 2009. This exhaust emission control system reduces nitrogen oxides by up to 90 percent, making it compliant with California's LEV II BIN 5 – the world's most stringent emission standard. It also already exceeds the requirements of the Euro 6 standards that are targeted for 2014. The Audi Mileage Marathon will show that this doesn't reduce the engine's dynamism and outstanding fuel efficiency.

With the latest generation of TDI, Audi once again confirms its pioneering role in the world's most successful technology for fuel efficiency: when Audi started series production of the first TDI, the engine was clearly a major technical advancement. The TDI quickly became a synonym for superior propulsive power and top efficiency, and set the trend for the entire automotive industry. There is still no propulsion system that can beat the TDI when it comes to high performance and actual fuel consumption.

Major potential to reduce worldwide consumption levels

Since it features the lowest emissions, the TDI with ultra low emission system can be employed worldwide, even in California and all other US states that currently have the most stringent emission standards. Compared with the fleet average of the gasoline engines typically found in the US, the TDI achieves a fuel-efficiency advantage of up to 40 percent. This means that today's diesel technology that is designed for tomorrow can make a greater contribution than any other type of engine to reducing the consumption of fossil fuels.

Part of an integrated efficiency strategy

Perfecting the TDI is just one part of Audi's integrated technology strategy to further reduce CO2 and the emission of pollutants in all models. Audi meanwhile relies on the outstanding potential of its state-of-the-art combustion engines and on the components of its modular efficiency system: with direct injection and turbocharging, the TFSI gasoline engines and TDI diesel engines already provide convincing performance with comparatively low consumption, while their innovative technologies form a solid basis for further significant reductions of consumption in coming years.

AUDI AG sold a total of 964,151 cars in 2007 and thus achieved its twelfth consecutive record year. With revenue of €33,617 million and profit before tax of €2,915 million, the company attained its best figures ever. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Györ (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). At the end of 2007, production of the Audi A6 started in Aurangabad, India. The company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG's wholly owned subsidiaries include Lamborghini S.p.A. in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy, and quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi currently employs around 57,000 people worldwide, including 45,000 in Germany. The brand with the four rings invests more than € 2 billion each year in order to sustain the company's technological lead embodied in its "Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan. Audi plans to significantly increase the number of models in its portfolio by 2015 to 40.

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