The folks in Ingolstadt seem dead-set on ridding themselves of the dirty reputation brought about by the diesel scandal of last year. Mainly, Audi is working hard on new electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, to boost its green image. However, it seems that Audi wants to offer even more alternatives, in the form of different alternative fuels. So the Ingolstadt-based brand is releasing two alternative fuel-powered cars in Europe: the Audi A4 g-tron and A5 Sportback g-tron.
Both cars use a bivalent 2.0 TFSI engine developing 170 hp. Much like the A3 Sportback g-tron that is already on the market, they can run on a choice of the climate-friendly fuel Audi e-gas, conventional CNG (compressed natural gas) or gasoline. Customers can now order both models from dealers.
The bivalent engine works with two different fuels in one trip. So there’s a CNG tank and gasoline tank. The engine first uses the CNG until pressure in the tank hits about 10 bar. Once that happens, the engine automatically switches to gasoline operation. Running on just CNG, the Audi A4 g-tron can drive about 500 km (310 miles) on a single tank. While running on the gasoline backup, it can do about 450 km (279 miles). All in, the A4 g-tron can do 950 km (590 miles). That’s absurd.
The g-tron models are especially eco-friendly when running on Audi e-gas. This synthetic fuel is produced using renewable energy from water and CO2 or from organic residual materials such as straw and plant clippings. During its production, Audi e-gas binds exactly the amount of CO2 emitted by the car. Audi offers this fuel for three years as a standard feature to customers ordering a g-tron model by May 31, 2018.
They can fill up their g-tron model at any CNG filling station and pay the regular price. By feeding the computed volume of Audi e-gas into the natural gas grid, Audi ensures the green benefits of the program, including the corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions. With this deal, Audi is reducing the CO2emissions of the g-tron fleet when running on gas by up to 80 percent**. Customers no longer require a special fuel card. Instead, Audi computes the volume automatically based on surveys and service data from the cars. TÜV Süd, a German testing and certification authority, monitors and certifies the process. Audi g-tron customers receive a document that confirms their car will be supplied with Audi e-gas and informs them about the certification.
These models are not currently on sale in Germany. We don’t know how well they will sell but it will surely be interesting to find out.