Audi has reached another milestone in diesel technology with the new V12 TDI. The brand with the four rings has been performing vital pioneering work in this area for the past three decades. Audi premiered the world’s first five-cylinder diesel engine in the Audi 100 in 1978. The first TDI auto engine made its debut in 1989 in the successor model. The 2.5 liter five-cylinder power unit developed 88 kW (120 hp) and 261 Nm, catapulting diesel driving into an entirely new dimension.
This was followed in 1994 by a development version generating 103 kW (140 hp). This engine was optionally available with all-wheel drive – the first TDI quattro model. A new four-cylinder diesel appeared at that time in the Audi 100 and Audi 80, the 1.9 TDI developing 66 kW (90 hp) that has now become legendary.
At the end of 1995 the output of this four-cylinder unit rose to 85 kW (115 hp) with the advent of pump-injector fuel injection. Slightly more than one year later, at the start of 1997, the world’s first 2.5 V6 TDI appeared.
With four valves per cylinder, it achieved an output of 110 kW (150 hp), and its top speed of 220 km/h (136.70 mph) made the Audi A8 the fastest production diesel on the market. The first eight-cylinder TDI followed in 1999 – a V8 engine with a 3.3 liter capacity. The 3.0 TDI made its debut early in 2004 as the first V6 diesel with inline piezo injectors in the common rail system.
The 4.2 liter TDI launched in the A8 in 2005 is currently at the vanguard of Audi’s TDI range. One in three A8 buyers in Germany chose this V8 engine. The next logical step was to make the V8 TDI available in the Audi Q7 in summer 2007.
With extremely clean, ultra-low emission technology, Audi is continuing its tradition of leadership in diesel engine technology. In 1989 it was the Ingolstadt brand that developed direct injection technology. Since then the diesel engine has become around 30 percent more efficient.
Source: Audi World