It’s significant that an Audi TDI won this year, as Green Car Journal editor and publisher, Ron Cogan said had “the strongest field of nominees ever.” After considering entries from other luxury brands: BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, competition was tight among the five finalists which included last year’s winner, VW (for the 2009 Jetta TDI), in addition to three hybrids including the all-new Prius.
Right now the strength of hybrids is best exhibited in urban traffic where regenerative braking systems really help raise efficiency in stop-and-go driving. The Audi TDI proves it’s efficiently superior in every other driving situation, in stop-and-go traffic and especially for long hauls, and canyon driving. The composed nature of the TDI offers both quiet, relaxed cruising and robust acceleration.
Keepin mind that the cost of manufacturing hybrids, especially batteries, is much higher and their long-term wear has not been proven. It is easier to recycle diesel vehicles.
In addition to developing electric cars such as the E-tron, a production version of which Audi plans to launch in 2012, the company is working on hybrid concepts. But Audi says they will only be brought to market when the advantages for customers have been proven, as with TDI.