Audi has announced that most of its current six-cylinder diesel engines are now compatible to run on renewable fuels. 

While the German brand is continuing to push its range of new electric models, it is also working to reduce the carbon footprint for customers not ready for an EV yet, and also for existing models on the road through the use of renewable fuels. 

Known as ‘reFuels’, they make it possible to operate a combustion engine in a more environmentally-friendly manner. Audi has now said that all of its cars with V6 diesel engines producing with up to 282bhp can run on these fuels as of the middle of February. This includes models such as the A6 and A7 saloons, as well as the Q7 SUV. Audi says that the ‘most popular engine variants were prioritised to allow the maximum possible number of customers to use renewable fuels’. 

In accordance with European standards, it means that these models can now be run on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), which is a sustainable fuel that is said to be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by ‘between 70 and 95 per cent compared to fossil diesel’.

 

HVO also burns more efficiently and cleaner, enhancing the performance of the engine. Audi says it’s particularly noticeable when it comes to cold starting. 

HVO uses residual and waste materials, such as cooking oil from the food industry or surplus residues from agriculture, and is then combined with hydrogen to create hydrocarbons, which makes them suitable for use in diesel engines. The fuel can be used pure or combined with conventional diesel. 

The greater use of HVO in V6 diesel engines combines with the fact that four-cylinder diesel versions of the A3, Q2 and Q3 produced since June 2021 have also been compatible with this renewable fuel.

 

​​Oliver Hoffmann, chief development officer at Audi, said: “With our ‘Vorsprung 2030’ strategy, we’re pursuing the clearly defined goal that all new models we launch worldwide as of 2026 will be all-electric only. In this way, we’re making an essential contribution on the road to carbon-neutral mobility

 “At the same time, we’re optimizing our existing combustion engine portfolio for more efficiency and lower emissions. One way we’re doing this is by creating the requisite technical foundations for the use of sustainable fuels such as HVO.”