TDI stands for Turbocharged Direct Injection. It is a proprietary engine created by the Volkswagen Group for their consumer vehicles sold widely throughout Europe and the United States. The TDI engine is more environmentally friendly than even some hybrid vehicles, and provides the same power and responsiveness as a traditional gasoline engine. TDI engines are used in a variety of Volkswagen models, as well models within their sister-company Audi.
Direct Fuel Injection
TDI engines get their power by shooting fuel straight into each cylinders combustion chamber. This differs from traditional diesel engines, which has pre-combustion chambers before the cylinders. The TDI engine also utilizes a turbocharger which pushes air into each cylinder, thus increasing the power and efficiency of the engine. These engines are typically smaller, have less surface area, and lose less heat, thus also increasing their gas mileage.
TDI engines produce more torque than other conventional engines. Torque provides the pulling power and “get up and go” that drivers expect from VW and Audi. While other vehicles may tout more horsepower, the horsepower is typically calculated using the vehicle’s top speed. The bottom line, torque is more important than horsepower when applied to stop-and-go driving common to the cities and suburbs.
v In 2010, Volkswagen Jetta and Audi A3 won the “Green Car of the Year” award, thanks to their TDI engine, which beat out many electric cars that were also in the running.