By on June 22, 2009

Anyone remember energy independence? You know: oil addiction? Freeing America from the oppressive yoke of foreign oil importation? I guess the yoke’s on us, isn’t it children? You know, at one time, energy independence was, as Paris Hilton used to say, hot. The issue was used to justify spending billions of federal tax dollars to help our nice agribusinesspeople brew ethanol from corn. Hands up those of you who’ve heard your Mommy or Daddy saying “no one ever died defending a corn field?” Well, times change. Although the E85 federal subsidies and mandates are still there, and our corn growers are doing all they can do to ruin engines with mandatory E15 gasoline blends, you just don’t hear so much about energy independence as you used to. That’s all going to change now! I know: isn’t it exciting? And you’ll never guess who’s going to ping the people? Audi. Yes, Katy, truth in engineering. Only now it’s truth in TDI Clean Diesel!

“Energy independence and fuel efficiency are at the forefront of public debate, and with the launch of the Q7 TDI clean diesel, Audi is introducing a viable solution into that national discussion,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. “Several solutions for reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil have been introduced, but few are as convenient, accessible, and fun as simply switching from regular gasoline to clean diesel.”

What debate? Fun? Is Audi on buff book time? Good point, Johnny. And yes, Audi only sells three models in the US with diesel engines, and not many of those at that. What’s that? No, the R10 V12 TDI doesn’t count, Lucy. But you’re right: it did win LeMans!

All good questions and points children. Now turn to your Audi PR handout and read along with me.

• A U.S. EPA analysis found that if one-third of Americans fueled their cars, pick-ups and SUVs with clean diesel instead of gasoline, the United States could send back 1.5 million barrels of foreign oil per day.

• One drop of diesel fuel has 12% more power than one drop of gasoline.

• TDI clean diesel engines reduce carbon emissions by 20% over gasoline engines.

• If one-third of Americans switched from gasoline to clean diesel, it would be the equivalent of planting 2.2 billion trees.

That’s it for today, boys and girls. And don’t forget the dirty word of the day: particulates.

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16 Comments on “Audi “Clean Diesel” Campaign Hypes U.S. Energy Independence...”

  • avatar

    Currently Audi sells only one diesel in the US – the Q7 TDI. The A3 TDI will be here in the fall. The R10 TDI? Yeah. Right. In your dreams.

  • avatar

    I saw the ad this morning during the Early Show on CBS. It’ll be interesting to see how well Audi does with their TDIs. VW can’t keep Jetta TDI wagons on the lot, but the sedans are easy to find. I can’t see the Q7 doing all that well, but I think the A3 might do okay if diesel prices stay close to, or below gas prices.

  • avatar

    Well, if it doesn’t stink, smoke, rattle and cost 3 times as much to fix… like current diesels, maybe it would be worth looking at.

  • avatar

    Bring the TDI TT here Audi and I’ll buy one.

    Then again, I started driving Diesels in the 1980s and never stopped, so I’m the choir. No need to preach to me.


  • avatar

    Those of us who watch the news and notice the dead and wounded coming back from Iraq haven’t forgot about energy independence.

    True, using corn for fuel has turned out to be a bad idea but we shouldn’t stop experimenting.

  • avatar

    Is the particulate count that high with the new particulate filters?

  • avatar

    As long as you are afraid of the Diesel you can’t get the really nice things….


    (The price seems high for the US but is competitive in Europe).

  • avatar

    herb : As long as you are afraid of the Diesel you can’t get the really nice things…

    40 large for a diesel Golf is sure to pack ’em onto the sales floor.

    BTW: VW: the patriotic choice for smart shoppers…

  • avatar

    I remember Nixon vowing to make America independent of foreign oil.
    I remember Carter introducing a program to make that happen.
    I remember Reagan doing that, too.
    And Clinton, too.

    [ Just because I don’t remember Ford, Bush & Bush doing this doesn’t mean they didn’t do it, too. ]

    — Marshall

  • avatar

    mpresley: Well, as I said, these are European price levels. The GTD has almost the same price tag as the GTI here.

  • avatar

    Ah, TTAC you can be such a pain (not all the time).
    You seem to be bound and determined to put down the diesel option at every chance.
    I guess you haven’t heard about particulate filters?

  • avatar

    herb : Well, as I said, these are European price levels. The GTD has almost the same price tag as the GTI here.

    You know, that’s something I’ve wondered. Are Euro-types more lavish in spending? Does 40K for a small car suit their sensibility? If I were in the market for a new car, a TDI might be in order–perhaps in an A3 or something other than a Jetta (if available). I noted that diesel is less than regular, today. Hard to predict the future, though.

  • avatar

    Since I bought my Jeep Liberty CRD in July of 06 Diesel has been from $.30 less than
    RUG to $.70 more. Currently in Northern NV it’s ~$.10 less.

    My somewhat educated guess is that in a normal to booming economy diesel will typically cost more than RUG. Its just too darn useful as a industrial fuel in trucks, locomotives, generators etc. Over the past 30 years it has gone from being the leftover “hamburger” from refining oil to the “filet minion” fuel. It is no longer the low hanging fruit.

    Until they figure out how to meet to strict 2007+ emissions standards without high levels of EGR I’m leery of purchasing a new diesel.

    I’m still watching Autotrader and Craigslist for a good price on a TDI VW.

  • avatar

    I just bought Q7 TDI.
    The power is more than adequate.
    In worst case scenario stop and go traffic I get 15 mpg (solution: go to work one hour early and avoid rush hour). On highway I get 27-30 if I do not go above 60 mph. Pretty good for a huge heavy SUV. Diesel prices around my house are a few cents more than regular gas.
    So far I am quite impressed.

  • avatar

    A stupid question – why does a diesel engine have to be fed oil/diesel fuel, and not gasoline? Is gasoline combustion temperature much higher, so it can’t be used?

    A second stupid question – how do military (tanks, infantry carriers) multi-fuel engines work?

  • avatar

    mpresley: “Are Euro-types more lavish in spending? Does 40K for a small car suit their sensibility”

    Not so much. But it shows how unrealistic (with regard to cost of living, purchase power) the current exchange rates between $ and € are. A 1:1 exchange rate would be more to the point.

    By European standards, the Golf/Rabbit is not considered a small car, rather a compact. The GTI/GTD trims and engines are top-notch, so that’s why the price is relatively high. But it’s hard anyway, to find a decent new car below 30K. They all start with bare-bones models below the 20K range. If you opt for a moderately powerful engine and some higher trim level, however, prices go up steeply.

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