Now that more than half of the Audi A3s sold in the United States are clean-diesel Turbo Direct Injection models, and about one-third of sales of the Audi Q7, it’s difficult to imagine that becoming the leading advocate for clean-diesel propulsion in the U.
S. market was a dicey decision for Audi of America.
But then you talk to Allen Schaeffer and are reminded that Audi’s backing of clean diesel comprised a major gamble when it first took shape several years ago.
Schaeffer is executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based industry group, and he was there in the mid-2000s when any hopes for a renewal of diesel power trains in the American market were only tailpipe dreams. He recalls an incident at the famous Sebring raceway in Florida where Audi technology helped define the future of clean diesel.