Audi revs up promotion of clean diesel technology with new TDI line-up

Audi TDI Diesel Technology
The 2014 Audi A7 TDI is touted as the first five-door diesel coupe.

Audi is really pushing the idea that when it comes to fuel economy, clean diesel technology is a lot more practical than most people think − even if it is a bit more costly upfront for the purchase.

To promote the rollout of the all-new 2014 A6 TDI, A7 TDI and Q5 TDI, the luxury carmaker has introduced three new television spots touting the vehicles’ increased performance and range.

The ads include a 60-second television spot called “The Station” (below) and two new 15-second spots, “Future” and “Range,” which aim to show drivers the benefits of clean diesel technology including increased performance and range.

The new Audi A6, A7 and Q5 TDI models, which now join the A8 L and Q7 as part of the carmaker’s TDI line-up, all make the idea of diesel cars a whole lot more appealing than it’s been in the past, which I can definitely attest to following my recent test drive of the vehicles in the Washington D.C. area.

Audi has been at the forefront of the clean diesel movement since the introduction of its TDI technology in the U.S. in 2009. Over the past four years, the carmaker has sold more than 26,000 Audi TDI vehicles in the U.S.

TDI Engine (2)

Touting an average of 30 percent better fuel economy and 30 percent lower emissions than the comparative gasoline engines, the TDI models are a stark contrast to the days when the smell and sound of diesel powered cars made them about as desirable as a bad cold on a long road trip.

Power across Audi’s clean diesel line-up is in many regards more impressive than the carmaker’s gasoline engines. Aside from the slight rumbling of the exhaust, which actually gives the TDI models a unique personality, most wouldn’t even recognize a difference in the car – other than how far you can drive before having to refuel.

The 240-horsepower A6 and A7 TDI models have an EPA rating of 24 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, compared to 18/27 mpg and 18/28 for their V6 gasoline engine counterparts.

During my test run in the A7 TDI, by far my favorite in the line-up, I averaged 30.2 mpg driving 91.8 miles in what would be considered typical driving situations.  Well, aside from some of the area’s twisty country back roads that kind of egg you on to see if the clean diesel technology hampers any of Audi’s performance elements, which it doesn’t.

My test drives in the A6 and Q5 averaged 33.2 MPG with 104.9 miles driven and 34.8 MPG with 107.9 miles driven respectively, which is pretty impressive as well.

Still, convincing consumers that the clean diesel technology is worth dishing out another $2,500 or more on average for the TDI model compared to its gasoline counterpart won’t be easy.

That puts that A7 TDI model I raved about earlier, touted as the first clean diesel five-door coupe, at right under $67,000 before you start loading in all those extras features.

TDICapitol_1_hrgb__midCouple that with the still negative perception of diesel cars in the U.S., an unwillingness to wait it out for those long-term cost savings and the current price of diesel fuel, and the selling consumers on the idea gets even more challenging as Audi pushes to get the government to offer more incentives for diesel vehicles in the U.S.

That’s where the new Audi TDI TV spots come in.

In “The Station,” a woman at a gas station reaches for the diesel pump to fill up her Audi A6. In dramatic slow-motion, unsuspecting onlookers comically yell and race towards her to warn her as she begins pumping fuel since they can’t imagine the luxury vehicle is in fact a diesel.

“Range” demonstrates the potential of driving from New York to Chicago on a single tank of gas, which is approximately 790 miles.

In “Future”, viewers see the potential for clean diesel as today’s leading alternative fuel solution and an intelligent choice for those on the leading-edge.

The three new television spots will be accompanied by the future roll out of a series of four online video shorts that will roll out over the next two months on the Audi YouTube channel.

Is it enough to make you consider a clean diesel car? Take a look at the “Station” ad: