Luxury Features: While BMW has gone to great lengths to promote its range of EfficientDynamics fuel-saving features, rivals Audi and Mercedes Benz are only starting to make inroads with their own respective technologies. Audi has announced plans today to step up its game in the field with several new technologies designed to help improve the efficiency of its vehicles.
These include new engine stop-start features coming in the middle of the year, as well as new brake-energy recovery systems and a new "modular efficiency platform." This latter feature works with the car's onboard computer and motivates drivers to drive more efficiently by relaying consumption-related data in the car's display. There's also a gearshift indicator that tells the driver when to shift for optimal fuel economy. According to Audi, up to 30% of fuel consumption depends on the individual driving style.
As for the start-stop system, it works like most rival systems in that it shuts down the engine once the car has come to a stop and the clutch is depressed. Operating the clutch then starts up the engine again. No automatic version is available yet. Audi estimates a saving of about 0.2L/100kmin fuel-consumption and reduced CO2 emissions of about 5g/km. The new system will be used for the first time in theA3 1.4 TFSI and 2.0L A4 and A5 models. Numerous other models will follow this year.
Finally, a new brake-energy recovery system is also available that is designed to create electrical energy and relieve the alternator in order to save fuel. The system is already standard equipment on the A3 1.4 TFSI with a manual transmission, the Audi A4, A5 and A5 Cabriolet with the 2.0L TFSI and a manual transmission, and the A6, Q5 and Q7.
By 2012, Audi expects fuel consumption of its model range to drop by 20% through the adoption of such technologies.
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