To help make its goal of a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption by 2012, Audi has just released some new technologies for its vehicles, while expanding some existing fuel-efficiency features across its product rage.
Audi's three systems, (some new and some not-so-new) include a Start-Stop manual transmission, an Energy Recovery System and what Audi calls an "Efficiency Program."
The Start-Stop system will first appear in 1.4-liter A3 models in Europe and will soon expand to A4 and A5 models equipped with the 2.0 TFSI engine. The system works for manual transmission cars, shutting off the engine when the car comes to a stop - thus saving gas instead of having the car sit idle at a light or in traffic. The Start-Stop system is activated by the clutch pedal, stopping the engine when the clutch is disengaged and restarting the engine as soon as the driver touches the pedal again. Audi will also offer a button to turn the system off.
This system should make its way into other manual transmission cars soon and it's likely a similar setup for automatic transmission models will arrive shortly as well.
Secondly, Audi will offer an Energy Recovery System in more of its models. Currently it is standard on the 1.4 TFSI A3, A6, Q5, Q7, as well as the A4 and A5 Coupe/Cabriolet equipped with the 2.0 TFSI with the manual transmission.
This system works by temporarily storing the energy generated under deceleration and then feeding it back into the electric system. This added electricity therefore means less energy has to be generated by the alternator, which means it doesn't have to draw as much from the engine.
The final new item is Audi's Efficiency Program, which works though a series of displays on the dash to inform the driver how to improve fuel economy. It will provide different fuel-saving tips, including telling the driver what gear it is best to be in and at what point shifts should be made.
Audi believes this system might be one of the most beneficial as is claims 30 percent of fuel consumption is based on driving style.
More: Audi Adds New Fuel-Saving Technologies