By Audi Media
Audi is celebrating a very special anniversary in 2014 – 25 years of TDI. At the IAA in Frankfurt am Main in fall 1989, the company presented the Audi 100 equipped with a 2.5 TDI, a fully electronically-controlled diesel engine with direct injection. The brand with the four rings has since then continuously increased its lead in this field of technology and established new milestones.
25 years of TDI
“25 years of TDI mean a quarter-century of progress, efficiency, dynamics and power,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Technical Development. “We look back on this time with pride. For the TDI, which Audi brought to the market before any other carmaker, is today the world’s most successful efficiency technology. It thus made a big contribution to our brand’s upward positioning in the premium segment of the market.”
Since 1989, TDI technology has helped to make the diesel engine an overwhelming success. Development has been in multiple steps, with forced induction, fuel injection and emissions controls being the major drivers. Over the course of these 25 years, the TDI has seen its power and torque relative to displacement increase by over 100 percent, while pollutant emissions have come down by 98 percent over the same period.
To date Audi has produced roughly 7.5 million cars with TDI engines – nearly 600,000 in 2013 alone. TDI models are a major reason why the brand with the four rings has been able to reduce the average CO2 emissions of its EU new vehicle fleet by three percent per year in recent years. Of the 156 TDI models currently in the Audi lineup, 58 have CO2 emissions between 85 and 120 grams (136.8 and 193.1 g/mi). With its 1.6-liter TDI, the Audi A3 ultra consumes on average just 3.2 liters of fuel per 100 km (73.5 US mpg). The term “ultra” represents sustainability throughout the company. Audi is rapidly expanding its range of highly efficient ultra models at the moment.
All of the TDI engines available from Audi today are highly efficient, clean, cultivated, comfortable and powerful. With the exception of the Audi R8, TDI engines can be found in every model series, with displacements from 1.6 to 4.2 liters and outputs between 66 kW (90 hp) for the 1.6 TDI and 283 kW (385 hp) for the 4.2 TDI. The unchallenged leader in terms of sales is the 2.0 TDI. Nearly three million units have been sold so far, nearly 370,000 of them in the past year alone.
TDI technology from Audi has an impressive history of success and a bright future. The completely redesigned, low-emissions 3.0 TDI clean diesel represents a new milestone, and the new 1.4 TDI clean diesel with three cylinders will soon debut in the compact models. In the V6 TDI engines, a supplemental electric compressor will provide for the immediate development of power even at low rpm in the future, making the driving experience even more visceral and sporty.
The electric biturbo also represents the first step in Audi’s electrification of the TDI. The new hybridization components will soon be launched on the market. In the future there will be a tailored solution for every customer and requirement, up to and including a TDI with plug-in hybrid technology. When it comes to fuels, the brand is committed to sustainably produced Audi e-diesel, which enables CO2-neutral driving.
Audi is striving to reduce the fleet consumption of its models to an average of 95 grams CO2 per kilometer (152.9 g/mi) by 2020. The developers are therefore working intensely on not just hybridization, but also the classic technology fields. These include friction reduction, thermal management and the combustion process with the aspects fuel injection and forced induction. Audi is focusing on rightsizing, i.e. the right engine size for the respective size of the car, rather than downsizing. The six and eight-cylinder TDI engines, for example, have proven in practice to be highly efficient because they run smoothly at extremely low rpm.
Racing is part of Audi’s DNA. The racetrack is the toughest testing laboratory for new developments destined for use in production vehicles. The TDI engine made its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2006. Since then, the brand with the four rings has taken the checkered flag as the overall winner eight times in nine starts. In principle, the same requirements apply on the racetrack and in production:
The goal is to always get more and more out of every drop of fuel. The racing successes powerfully document the potential of TDI technology from Audi. Most recently with a 1-2 finish at Le Mans in the world’s most prestigious endurance race.