2009 Audi Q7 TDI - Click above for high-res image gallery

Time to fire up the TiVo. Friday night, the Science Channel will be debuting a new episode of "How It's Made" that features the Audi TDI clean diesel engine range. What's the big deal, haven't diesels been around since the death of the dinosaurs? Well, sorta. While they still share the same basic architecture that Rudolph Diesel invented all those years ago, today's modern diesel powerplants are a far cry from the old smoke belching, shake-themselves-to-pieces lumps of yore.

The actual engine featured in the segment will be Audi's 3.0-liter TDI V6, which puts out 225 horsepower and a whopping 406 lb-ft of torque in the engine bay of the 2009 Q7 TDI while still maintaining class-leading fuel efficiency. Soon, the German automaker will introduce its second clean diesel-powered vehicle here in the States in the form of the 2010 A3 TDI, which you can read about here.

Anyone interested in what goes into building a modern diesel powerplant will want to tune in to the Science Channel at 9pm (Eastern and Pacific). Click past the jump for the press release.

NOTE: BMW North America contacted us to correct the statement that the Audi Q7 TDI offers class-leading fuel efficiency. With an EPA mpg rating of 17 city/25 highway, the Q7 TDI is bested by the BMW X5 xDrive35d at 19 city/26 highway. The BMW's 3.0-liter diesel is also more powerful with 265 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque.


Audi TDI® clean diesel featured on "How It's Made"

- Featured content includes Q7 TDI® clean diesel engine manufacturing
- TDI segment debuts on Science Channel on Sept 18 with encore broadcasts on Discovery Channel on Sept 24
- Audi launching two TDI clean diesel models in the USA within a year

HERNDON, Va., Sep 17, 2009 - Audi today announced that TDI clean diesel technology will be a featured segment on the Discovery Communications program, "How It's Made" premiering on Science Channel on Friday, September 18, 2009, 9 p.m. ET/PT, with an encore broadcast on the Discovery Channel on Thursday, September 24, 2009, 7:30 and 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.

The steps taken to assemble the Audi V6 3.0 TDI clean diesel engine show a high level of detail, from block machining through final vehicle assembly. Audi launched its first TDI clean diesel model in the United States earlier this year with the Q7 SUV. Featuring 225 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, the Q7 TDI has begun building awareness with American luxury car consumers that modern clean diesel technology is markedly improved in emissions, quietness, ride comfort and overall performance. With a range of over 600 highway miles per tank, the Q7 TDI employs 50-state clean diesel technology, which translates into 30 percent better fuel economy and a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas when compared to gasoline engines of similar size.

"American consumers are rapidly awakening to the advantages that TDI clean diesel technology can provide," said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. "TDI is a ready-now solution to American concerns about fuel consumption and emissions. Programs, such as 'How It's Made', can only build greater awareness of clean diesel's modern practicality."

The EPA has calculated that if only one-third of the vehicles on American roads ran on clean diesel, the U.S. would use 1.5 million fewer barrels of oil each day. Audi was the first German car manufacturer to combine turbocharging with diesel engine technology in 1989, and has continued to evolve its technology ever since. Audi Sport helped prepare the way for TDI clean diesel in the United States by racing the R10 TDI sports car from 2006-2008 in the American Le Mans Series and sweeping the major endurance races at the 12 Hours of Sebring (Sebring, Fla.) and the 10-hour Petit Le Mans in Atlanta. The R10 TDI also won all three 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance races in which it competed from 2006-2008. The R15 TDI continued the TDI clean diesel performance tradition by winning the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in March 2009.

In late November, Audi will launch its second model featuring TDI clean diesel technology. The Audi A3 TDI offers the same sophistication, styling, operating efficiency and ride comfort that has distinguished Audi throughout its model range. Standard amenities include dual-zone climate control, leather seating surfaces, cargo nets behind the front seats, spit folding 40/60 rear seats and rear seat arm rest with dual cup holders. Some distinctive options include Audi Navigation plus with RDS traffic, the expansive two-panel Panorama sunroof, and Bluetooth® hands-free phone preparation.

The pulling power of torque is the signature performance feature in all diesel models, and the A3 TDI clean diesel is no different. Offering 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, this model performs briskly and efficiently with unmatched performance with its EPA-estimated 30/42 city/highway fuel efficiency.

The competitive set for the A3 TDI clean diesel is unique. Only one competitor is currently playing in the field of fuel-efficient compact luxury vehicles, but does not offer the driving experience or the 5-door flexibility that includes 40/60 split rear-folding seats. The A3 TDI offers more superlatives in value, including a standard S line exterior sport appearance for 2010, a tighter steering turning circle, a top track speed of 130 mph, as well as a 12-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation.

The Audi approach toward efficiency is not only catered toward TDI clean diesel vehicles. Audi is also the first car company in the United States to equip 100 percent of its gasoline engines with FSI® direct injection technology beginning with model year 2010. Audi began racing with FSI direct injection technology in 2000 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and American Le Mans Series with the R8 FSI prototype racing sports car. Once this technology first became available for U.S. Audi customers in late 2004 with the introduction of the 2005 A6 3.2 FSI quattro, the list of Audi vehicles sold in the U.S. with FSI direct injection technology has continued to grow

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