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Diesel, Gas-Powered Models Dominate Green Car of the Year Finalists

Jurors focus on diesels, other high-mileage options.

by on Oct.17, 2013

Jurors picked two diesels, inclluding the new BMW 328d, the maker's first 4-cylinder "oil-burner" to reach U.S. showrooms.

Green cars are going mainstream.  American motorists no longer have to look for stone-pony-slow econoboxes or premium-priced specialty vehicles to drive something clean and fuel-efficient, and that has made for an interesting round of choices as the sponsors of the Green Car of the Year reveal their five finalists.

Significantly, while there’s been much media attention on electrification in recent years, the list includes only one battery-based model, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, with not a single additional plug-in or pure battery-electric vehicle making the cut. By comparison, there are two new diesels and a pair of models using new technologies to boost the fuel efficiency of conventional gas vehicles.

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The finalists for the 2014 Green Car of the Year, in short, underscore the general perception within the industry itself that there is no single, silver bullet when it comes to reducing emissions and improving fuel economy.

“The diversity of this field of finalists illustrates not only that ‘green’ has gone mainstream, but also that there is no single approach to achieving ever higher levels of fuel efficiency and environmental performance,” says Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com, which sponsor the annual award.

The five finalists for 2014 include:

Audi Reveals Mileage, Pricing for Three New US Diesel Models

Fourth “oil burner” to launch in 2014.

by on Jun.10, 2013

Audi of America CEO Scott Keogh with two of the new diesel models the maker will launch in the U.S. over the next year.

Audi’s midsize A6 TDI model will soon be delivering fuel economy numbers that subcompact drivers could appreciate, the German sedan getting a new 38 mpg highway mileage rating from the EPA.

Sensing a growing interest for diesels in a market normally averse to so-called “oil burners,” Audi plans to launch four new TDI models in the coming year, three of which will reach American showrooms by this summer, the fourth in 2014.

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“Audi has been at the forefront of clean diesel since the introduction of Audi TDI technology in the U.S. in 2009,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America, who noted that, “As drivers increasingly look for high fuel efficiency and low-emissions output, demand for diesel is on the rise.”

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Audi Throws Down Gauntlet on Diesel

Maker introduces four new models in LA – but wants government backing for high-mileage technology.

by on Nov.29, 2012

Audi of America CEO Scott Keogh with two new diesel models - and a sign suggesting the fuel the technology has helped owners save.

Audi will introduce four new diesel models in 2013, technology the maker says has already allowed its buyers to reduce their fuel consumption by nearly 5 million gallons in recent years.

But during a news conference at the 2012 LA Auto Show, U.S. Audi chief Scott Keogh took shots at state and federal regulators whom he accused of unfairly favoring battery-based technologies, rather than diesel, as a way to curb American dependence upon imported oil. He called on officials to take steps that would help boost demand for diesel powertrains in the U.S. – as is already the case in Europe.

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“These are cars that demand no sacrifice,” proclaimed Keogh as he introduced the upcoming diesel versions of the Audi A6, A7, A8 and Q5 models. That’s a big part of the diesel pitch, as the latest versions of that technology can deliver significant performance and plenty of towing power, along with higher mileage. By comparison, hybrids and other battery-based technologies require trade-offs such as reduced performance or shorter range.

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Audi Adding Four More Diesels to US Line-up

High-mileage offerings to debut in LA.

by on Nov.20, 2012

Audi will add four new diesel models to the current line-up, which already includes the Q7 TDI.

The LA Auto Show has become something of the green car show, in recent years, with a primary emphasis on electrification – and a range of new battery-based models are set for debut in less than two weeks.

But Audi has been something of a spoiler, besting an assortment of electrified alternatives when its A3 TDI was named Green Car of the Year a few years back. And now, the Volkswagen AG luxury brand hopes to grab some of the spotlight for another big diesel announcement, Audi planning to introduce four new “oil burners” during its LA Auto Show news conference.

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Like the mainstream VW brand, Audi has seen a surge of demand for its high-mileage diesels over the last several years – if anything, sales limited by availability. It has been signaling plans to add several more diesels to the line-up, including one for the Q5 crossover, though the A7 diesel news comes as a big surprise.

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