LA Auto Show 2006: BLUETEC What, Why and When

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December 2, 2006

By: Aristomenis “Meni” Tsirbas

Audi used the Los Angeles Auto Show to officially announce its joint campaign with Volkswagen and DaimlerChrysler, whereby BLUETEC technology will be integrated into its future diesel models. Although Audi’s acclaimed TDI engines are used extensively in Europe, they have yet to pass California’s stringent emissions standards. The integration of BLEUTEC will allow Audi to finally re-enter the diesel arena in all 50 states.

Glitzy Presentation

Set at Hollywood’s Kodak theater, made famous for being home to the Oscar telecast, the presentation exhibited BLUETEC equipped SUV’s from Mercedes Benz, Jeep and Audi. VW displayed a Jetta TDI. Representatives from the Governor’s office, DaimlerChrysler and Audi AG spoke about the importance of diesel technology in regards to California’s long term initiative to continue to reduce green house emissions over the next several decades.

The Audi portion of the presentation first focused on Audi’s success with its TDI engines in Europe, where half of its sales come from diesel-run models. The phenomenal success of Audi’s diesel-powered R10 Le Mans racecar was then cited as a strong case for diesel power rivaling its petrol competitors in not only efficiency, but in raw power as well. The European V12 powered Q7 TDI was shown as the practical application of a high power, highly efficient diesel.

It’s Official: Audi Diesel Coming to the US

Audi made its first official announcement at the event concerning TDI in the American market. The Q7 3.0 TDI will be launched in the United Sates as a 2008 model. No other variants were mentioned, but it’s a forgone conclusion that if diesel is embraced once more in the US, many more American-bound Audi models will be powered by BLUETEC equipped TDI engines. We can expect Audi to utilize this same 3.0 TDI powerplant in models such as the upcoming Q5, as well as the A6.

What is BLUETEC?

The name BLUETEC covers diesel engines with exhaust emission treatment systems which meet even the strictest emission regulations on the US market. The systems employed by BLUETEC serve in particular to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) — the only constituent part of the exhaust gases which, due to the design of the diesel, inherently lies above the value for petrol engines. This makes it possible meet future strict limits imposed by the State of California.

The Audi diesel models will comply with the most stringent US emissions standards when they are launched in 2008, meaning that they can be marketed in all US states. To achieve this, Audi is using its very own emissions control technology. The individual Audi models will continue to be known as TDI models.


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