Audi is betting big on diesel. For the 2014 model year the German automaker has introduced diesel engines to the 2014 A6, A7, A8, and Q5, with the ultimate goal of making diesel available across most all of its lineup. Why? Because increasingly stringent CAFE regulations means automakers need to raise their corporate fuel economy and reduce emissions, and Audi believes its range of TDI diesels can do just that.
There's one problem with Audi's plans though, and that's the negative public perception of diesels, especially among Baby Boomers. To fight that perception Audi conceived of and celebrated "Clean Diesel Day" in Santa Monica, Calif., and gave us the keys to a 2014 Audi A6 TDI for a day. Clean Diesel Day was an all-out effort to win over the hearts and minds of drivers and fight public perceptions of diesel being a dirty fuel.
Audi went about doing that in a very clever way – by taking over a gas station in Santa Monica and giving away free diesel to anyone who showed up. Audi viewed it as a way to reward those who've already made the jump to diesel (yes, even the owner of the beater Benz 190D, and the Cummins-powered Ram HD). With lines going around the block for the free diesel, Audi looked at the giveaway as an opportunity to raise awareness of diesel's benefits to the majority of gas-driving baby boomers who'd never consider buying a diesel vehicle.