Audi has decided to celebrate its TDI engine now that the diesel powertrain has reached its 25th anniversary. The motor was seen for the first time back in 1989 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany and was a 5-cylinder, 2.5-liter TDI unit generating 120 PS (88 kW) and a peak torque of 195 lb-ft (265 Nm). It was installed in the Audi 100 pictured here and allowed the model to return 41.2 mpg US (49.5 mpg UK or 5.7 liters / 100 km) and reach a maximum speed of almost 124 mph (200 km/h), figures which are not too bad even with today’s standards.
During these 25 years that have passed, Audi’s engineers have managed to implement a series of improvements to the TDI engine which have slashed emissions by a whopping 98 percent while power and torque have gone up by more than 100 percent (relative to displacement).
It should be mentioned that Audi is offering no less than 156 TDI-equipped models and you can get any model (except the R8) with a TDI engine. Interestingly, the German automaker has announced the TDI engine will be offered as part of a plug-in hybrid configuration in the near future while the electric biturbo TDI engine is going to be out “soon” so the future looks bright for Audi’s iconic TDI motor.