After taking quite a bit of flak over its parent company’s, Volkswagen’s, latest diesel scandal, Audi is doing some work to turn its image around in South America. The 2010 Audi A3 TDI was stripped of its Green Car of the Year title, after the diesel scandal, so it’s only fitting that Audi start with the A3 in its turn around. And that turn around starts in Brazil.
Audi has a manufacturing plant in Brazil and will be using that plant to create an alternative fuel A3 for the South American market. This alternate-fuel A3 will use a 1.4 liter four-cylinder turbocharged flex-fuel engine that will be able to run on either ethanol or gasoline or a combination of both. The idea is a sound one for the South American market, as the governments, like the Brazilian one, push ethanol-based engines due to the means to produce ethanol fuel is plentiful in many South American countries.
This wouldn’t be the first time Audi produced a flex-fuel car for South America. In 2003, Audi released a flex-fuel car in the Brazilian market and in two years Audi’s production went up to 300,000 units annually. Audi had such success in flex-fuel cars in Brazil that it forced Honda and Nissan to get involved as well. So this is a good move by a company that is struggling to get its alternative fuel reputation back from the gutter.