Although the 2009 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI won't formally be arriving in the U.S. until early next year, the German automaker plans to boost its profile and promote the merits of its super-clean technology to the American market early next month with the Audi Mileage Marathon. From October 5-20, 184 journalists from around the world will squire 23 turbodiesel-equipped Audis from four different model lines on a 4800-mile odyssey from New York City to Los Angeles, California. Along the way, these Audi TDIs will be subjected to the full spectrum of real-world driving conditions, from highways to country roads. Beyond a series of formal stops in a number of major cities, including Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas, they'll be taking side trips to places the Grand Canyon and Death Valley and engaging in a formal fuel-efficiency competition.
Currently, the Q7 is the only TDI-equipped vehicle that Audi has announced it will bring to America. But this 13-stage, cross-country outing also will include two European-spec 3.0-liter TDI-equipped vehicles, a new Q5 crossover and an A4 sedan, both of which are potential candidates for the TDI treatment here. Rounding out the field is another Euro model, a 2.0-liter TDI version of the A3 Sportback. One source inside the company indicated to KBB.com that it may have the best chance of being the next turbodiesel variant to turn up at U.S. Audi dealers, although no specific time frame was indicated.