Audi. 1989. History.
The Frankfurt Auto Show became home to one of the most significant and enduring announcements in automotive history. Audi introduced its TDI technology for the first time, displaying it in an Audi 100 sedan. This technology, TDI, is an electronically-controlled engine with turbocharger and direct-injection technologies. Even after 25 years, it continues to be a keystone of the German automaker’s lineup as it pushes back against the growing hybrid and all-electric surge.
Over the past two decades, Audi has introduced production and concept cars, as well as race cars, powered by the TDI engines. In fact, this powertrain contributed to the recent 24 Hours wins within weeks of each other – with 24 Hours of Le Mans as the first followed by 24 Hours Nurburgring. That means there is a credible history that the German automaker has with fine-tuning its offerings.
While other embattled car companies face Congressional committees or are mired in massive recalls, Audi makes news for its expansion of diesel models and feats using the TDI technology. Unfortunately for us in the U.S., most of these updates are exclusive to the European market because American consumers are not buying diesel engines at the same volume. Still, there will be a few updated models to cross the Atlantic and thrill those of us in the states with TDI and quattro.
The 2014 Audi A7 3.0-TDI special edition has launched as part of celebrating the 25 years of diesel. It will deliver 326 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. This type of power will allow the A7 to dash up to 62 MPH in 5.1 seconds.
Other news includes the reveal of an all-new electric biturbo TDI engine, which will be first taken to the public in the next generation Q7 SUV.
A8 Plug-in Hybrid with V6 Diesel
While the Audi A8 Plug-in Hybrid with a V6 Diesel will reach European showrooms, critics expect to see it also reach the United States. Audi, however, has yet to confirm this distribution.
The company did release the power output of this 2015 model. It will produce 368 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque, which will be extremely competitive against Porsche’s Panamera S E-Hybrid. Battery pack size is not yet known, but Audi has previously quoted its all-electric range to reach 30 miles.
Recent TDI Accomplishments
With an average range of 30 miles for all-electric vehicles – and high price tags – the interest in EVs has petered out. Consumers have largely remained hesitant, waiting for ranges to double and costs to be cut in half. Barclays Equity Research projects that total all-electric vehicle car sales across the globe will only reach 1.3% by 2021.
That’s what makes the 2015 Audi A8 Diesel, the company’s flagship sedan, so remarkable. It can make the trek of 868 miles without stopping for fuel. Keep in mind that the A8 is no diminutive compact – this is a limousine boasting enough room for Angela Merkel to invite the G8 Summit leaders for a white-knuckling jaunt down the Autobahn …
Now that could make history just like the TDI.