Although among enthusiasts and journalists, the merits and virtues of modern clean-diesel cars have long been known, many members of the general public still associate diesels with big-rigs, slow, smelly old Mercedes, Oldsmobiles and Volkswagens. Audi is hoping to educate Americans on the virtues of modern diesels in a double-barreled offensive showing the economy of new diesels, as well as challenging perceptions showing a modern, upscale diesel sedan. Starting this weekend, a two-car team consisting of a 2014 Audi A6 and A7 TDI, followed by a Q5 TDI as a support vehicle, will make the coast-to-coast trek on just four tanks as part of the "Truth in 48" challenge, with the goal of completing the trip in less than 48 hours.
The objective is to make the trip in less than 48 hours, filling up only four times along the way. Leading the group will be hyper-miling celebrity Wayne Gerdes, editor and founder of the website CleanMPG, and considered one of the nation's leading authorities on economical driving techniques to extract maximum economy from cars. Gerdes will be joined by other journalists on the trip, and the journey can be followed on Audi's Twitter and Facebook pages.
The door-to-door journey is slightly more than 2800 miles. If the A6 and A7 achieve their estimated 38 mpg highway, and 700 mile highway range, the cars should finish the journey with just pints of fuel to spare. With Gerdes coaching the team, we have a feeling the cars will make the trip with plenty of fuel to spare.
In a further challenge to consumer perceptions of diesel, Audi has just launched the online and TV ad campaign entitled "The Station" in which observers watch in horror as a young professional woman puts the diesel fuel nozzle into her new 2014 A8L TDI, not knowing the sleek luxo-sedan is diesel-powered. Watch it here below. Another uses animations to show the relative ubiquity and availability of diesel fuel, shattering another widely-believed myth among the driving public.