My landmark diesel moments from the last 30 years of clattering…


There has been several defining diesel moments in my life. One was when a neighbour used to wake me every morning by firing up his 1980s Audi diesel. Painful.

Another was when BMW launched the 2003 5-Series range in Spain. I drove the 535d back to England, convinced the diesel market had changed forever because the car was so damn good.

The most terrifying was being a passenger in Peugeot’s Le Mans winning car – at Le Mans. Shame we never saw that one on the public road.

And now there is the Audi TT TDI. This engine/coupe combination is simply class-leading. It takes diesel power to a new, much higher level that rewards the driver not just with economy, but with great performance.

Sure it takes the TDI around 7.5 seconds to reach 60mph but the torque is incredible. The TDI is no longer a poor relation to the petrol unit. It’s quite possibly the better car…

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