Audi’s Diesel Strategy: The 2014 A6 TDI, A7 TDI, and Q5 TDI

By Dan Collins on 2 October 2013
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Audi is surging forward in the U.S. diesel market with the introduction of three newP1040471 diesel-powered models, the A6 sedan, the A7 sportback, and the Q5 midsize crossover. All three use the recently updated 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel that is already available in the A8 and Q7, as well as the corporate cousins Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. The A6, A7, and Q5 feature Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system, and all three are on sale now.


The 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine has been revamped since it initially became available in the U.S. Output has increased from 225 to 240 horsepower, and the all-important torque has been improved from 406 to 428 pound-feet. At the same time, Audi’s engineering team has managed to reduce the engine’s weight by 55 lbs (25 kg) and reduced emissions sufficiently to comply with the stricter, upcoming ULEV2 standard.  The re-engineered engine also features optimized cooling and injection systems, which results in quieter operation.


Joining the A8 and Q7 TDI are the A6 sedan, A7 sport back, and Q5 midsize crossover, P1040492and while the A6 has freshly updated competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the A7 and Q5 are the first and only models in their class to be available with a diesel powerplant. The A4 will be offered with a diesel in conjunction with a full refresh in 2015, as will the A3. The only visible differences between the diesel and gasoline-powered models are the tachometer and TDI badge on the rear lid.


To introduce the new models, Audi invited a group of journalists (including yours truly) to the TDI Efficiency Rally. The drivers were sent off in A6, A7, and Q5 TDIs with the goal of attaining the best fuel economy figures. The route included Washington D.C. area traffic, backroads in scenic Virginia hill country, and some stretches in Maryland where the speed limit signs also said “Photo Enforced.” Telemetry tracked how we drove, our speed, distance and fuel consumption, and the winner was announced for each model, as well as overall standing.

2014 AUDI A6 TDI

The A6 was last redesigned for the 2012 model year, and has quietly competed against its rear-wheel drive German counterparts, Mercedes-Benz E Class and BMW 5 series ever since. All A6 TDIs come with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system, and the 240 horsepower V6 TDI positions it right between the two in terms of power and fuel economy, and price, at $57,500.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the Audi A6 TDI, A7 TDI, and Q5 TDI

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