Audi A4 2.0 TDI e Launches in JunePosted on April 23rd, 2009
Hi-tech diesel sedan leads sedan segment in efficiency.
By: Jol Dantzig
Audi is on a diesel rampage. After whooshing to victory at Le Mans three years running, the Audi R10 TDI has made a mockery of the notion of slow, noisy diesels. Now, with the European launch of the A4 2.0 TDI e, the German carmaker has raised the bar for sedan efficiency as well. The A4 sedan and it’s sport-wagon sibling, the Avant, are the fourth model to get the TDI treatment in the Audi range. Audi is calling this vehicle the most efficient in the standard-size segment, and with a fuel milage rating of over 50mpg it’s hard to argue with them.
Although the emphasis is on the turbocharged diesel engine and its direct injection system, this new Audi really achieves its goals through a symphony of advanced technical systems. The most obvious of these systems is a “start-stop” facility that shuts off the engine when it senses the car is at rest, in neutral with the driver’s foot off the clutch. As soon as the clutch is depressed the motor starts again. The system is said to reduce fuel consumption by about .085 gallons/100 miles. That might not sound like much, but combined with the TDI’s gas-sipping efficiency, a higher final drive ratio and low-resistance tires it all adds up to quite a savings over the life of the car. Another trick system is employed to convert braking energy into electrical power which is stored in the car’s battery. This allows the “smart” alternator to disconnect itself during acceleration putting less load on the motor and improving efficiency overall.
The A4 2.0 TDI e goes on sale in Europe this June with an expected retail around 30,800 Euros ($40,194 USD) but plans to bring it to America have not been announced at the moment, which is a shame. If fuel prices go ballistic again, or maybe if Audi can win the Daytona 500 with a TDI powered stock car there’ll finally be a mass market for it here in the USA.
• The new diesel-powered Audi A4 consumes 4.6 l/100 km (51.13 US mpg)
• Emissions are 119 grams of CO2 per kilometer (191.51 g/mile)
• Market launch in early June at a price of 30,800 euros
• A4 Avant also available as an ‘e’ model
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