Audi is consistently pressing forward to improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Starting in the third quarter of 2009, the Vorsprung durch Technik brand will redouble its efforts to boost range average fuel economy by 20 per cent by 2012 through the gradual integration of new technologies, including a new start-stop system and a new efficiency program built into the onboard computer.
The start-stop system and the onboard computer with efficiency program complement the energy recovery system, which is a standard feature of a rapidly increasing number of Audi models and feeds energy back into the vehicle's electrical system during deceleration phases.
The start-stop system realizes its efficiency potential especially in urban traffic, significantly reducing consumption by shutting down the engine once the car has come to a stop, the gear lever is in neutral and the driver has released the clutch pedal. Operating the clutch then starts up the engine again. The start-stop system is extremely quiet, convenient to operate and fast: the engine restarts while the driver is shifting into gear.
Audi combines the start-stop system with efficient battery technology and sophisticated energy management, to maintain functioning even at low temperatures. The system is inactive during the warm-up phase of the engine, so that the engine oil becomes warmer and the exhaust gas cleaning systems reach their operating temperature faster. The driver can also switch off the start-stop system at any time by pressing a button.
Economy improved, CO2 emissions reduced - In the standardized driving cycle the start-stop system lowers fuel consumption by about 0.2 liters per 100 km, and therefore reduces CO2 emissions by around 5 g/km. The new system is set to make its debut in the Audi A3 1.4 TFSI with manual transmission and in the Audi A4 and A5 with 2.0-litre engines and manual gearshift. Numerous other models will follow this year.
The second new addition is the on-board computer with the efficiency program, an addition to the Audi Driver Information System. All consumption-related data appears in the centre display, and recommendations for efficient driving are also included, highlighting the fact that up to 30 per cent of fuel consumption is dependent upon individual driving style. The efficiency program continuously analyses the energy consumption in the vehicle and gives the driver up-to-date tips for saving fuel, depending on the driving situation and driving style.
The newly designed gearshift indicator signals to the driver when to shift, for optimal fuel economy: a large, color-coded display indicates whether the right gear is engaged, or whether shifting would be practical for the sake of efficiency.
Comfort features like air conditioning and seat heating also increase fuel consumption. A specially developed display in the efficiency program identifies the systems requiring extra energy and indicates their share in fuel consumption.
Energy recuperation - The energy recovery system already uses deceleration phases to convert kinetic energy into electrical energy. When the car accelerates again, the battery directs the temporarily stored energy back into the vehicle, to relieve the alternator and thereby save fuel. The energy recovery system is already standard equipment on the Audi A3 1.4 TFSI with manual transmission, the Audi A4, A5 Coupe and A5 Cabriolet with two-liter engine and manual transmission, the A6 and the Audi Q5 and Q7.
From innovative powertrain technologies to highly efficient air conditioning, the goal is to improve the entire vehicle's mechanical, thermal and electrical energy management capabilities. And Audi's efficiency technologies are systematically geared to the driver's needs.
Audi also employs a host of measures to minimize driving resistance and optimize aerodynamics. These benefits are made tangible for the driver by a range of innovative assistance systems, with the standard specification of many current Audi models already featuring numerous efficiency technologies such as the Audi valvelift system, high-efficiency transmission and tires with optimized rolling resistance.
By 2012 Audi plans to lower the fuel consumption of its model range by 20 per cent compared with the 2007 level, proving even more emphatically that driving pleasure and environmental consideration do not have to be mutually exclusive.
AUDI AG sold a total of 1,003,469 cars in 2008 and thus achieved its 13th consecutive record year. The Company posted new record figures with revenue of 34.2 billion and profit before tax of 3.2 billion. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Gyr (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). Aurangabad in India saw the start of CKD production of the Audi A6 at the end of 2007 and of the Audi A4 in early October 2008. The Company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG's wholly owned subsidiaries include Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. in Sant'Agata Bolognese (Italy) and quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi currently employs around 58,000 people worldwide, including 46,500 in Germany. The brand with the four rings invests around 2 billion each year in order to sustain the company's technological lead embodied in its "Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan. Audi plans to significantly increase the number of models in its portfolio by 2015 to 40. The AUDI brand celebrates its 100th birthday in 2009. The company was founded by August Horch in Zwickau on July 16, 1909; he named it AUDI after the Latin translation of his surname ("hark!").