Audi’s A7 Sportback TDI commemorates 25 years of compression ignition glory

25 years ago, at the 1989 at Frankfurt Auto Show, the TDI engine was born.

The Audi 100 sedan was the first vehicle to feature Volkswagen Group’s lauded turbodiesel, and its Frankfurt unveiling showcased a 2.5-liter, 120-horsepower TDI five-cylinder to the automotive world.

In the years since, as Hammer pants and Chumbawumba came and went, the TDI grew up. Increasing in output and efficiency as it aged, the TDI has been the heart of countless production and conceptual vehicles since 1989, such as the Audi R10 TDI racecar. The V10-powered racer produced 700 horsepower and garnered several Le Mans and Sebring championships.

To celebrate the TDI’s lauded history, Audi is releasing a special edition A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI competition. That may sound like a lot of words, but this looks to be a lot of car.

Under the hood is a 3.0-liter, bi-turbo diesel V6 that makes 326 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. That power allows the A7 to reach 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds.

The biturbo is impressive in fuel economy, too; Audi’s 3.0-liter averages 38.6 miles per gallon.

The engine reaches these specs by way of new camshafts and a retuned turbo system, which helps the special edition TDI produce 7 hp more than the standard A7. Under full acceleration, the Sportback provides an extra 20 hp for a brief period, thanks to an overboost function.

Audi’s biturbo is fitted with the S line sport package, which lowers the body by 0.8 inches, includes custom “W design” 20-inch wheels, and wears 17-inch brake discs. The interior is enhanced as well, with Beaufort wood, aluminum inlays, and custom stitching sporting a Martix-esque black theme.

Would-be Sportback buyers can order the A7 competition for 72,000 euros starting in August. Audi will begin shipping the 3.0 TDI to European customers in fall. No U.S. date has been announced.

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