The clean diesel movement: Reinventing a ‘dirty word’

For decades, the popular perception of diesel vehicles was decidedly unpopular: They were noisy, smoke-spewing polluters.

But in a new campaign, Audi is championing its TDI “clean diesel” engine, promising cars that are not only sporty and luxurious but also require fewer stops at the pump—a boon to both environmental- and budget-conscious consumers. (Diesel cars use up to 40 percent less fuel than traditional vehicles.)

Audi’s ads are slick but grounded in history; they don’t shirk diesel’s reputation, but rather redefine it. Even the campaign’s slogan, “Diesel: It’s no longer a dirty word,” nods to the fuel’s murky past.

Sales of clean-diesel cars have nearly doubled since 2000, and projections have them increasing threefold by 2015.

As consumers watch day-to-day expenses—but still prioritize cutting-edge technology and environmental conservation—Audi has adeptly tied its brand to a burgeoning movement.

Video credit: MotorCities

1 Responses to “The clean diesel movement: Reinventing a ‘dirty word’”


  • I had a TDI Beetle, loved it to death. Well, actually, up until a high-velocity Russian kid in his father’s Camry ran a light and totaled it. My effective range on a tank of gas was over 500 miles.

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