Tony O'Kane | May 14, 2009

Audi has just wheeled out its latest fuel-saving start-stop system in Europe, which will come fitted to select models in the marque's lineup.

Start-stop tech has been around for a while now on other cars, but the adoption of the system by Audi is a first for the German automaker. By shutting down the engine when stationary, the car's thirst for fuel drops by around 0.2l/100km during a standard driving cycle.

The system comes paired with an efficiency display, which analyses the driver's style and issues gearshift prompts to improve fuel economy. It also gives tips to the driver and displays the amount of energy being consumed by ancillary systems like the air conditioner and seat heaters.

2009 Audi S5 cutaway

The start-stop system will also complement Audi's regenerative braking system, which stores energy captured during deceleration to charge the batteries and reduce load on the engine's alternator. End result: less mechanical drag on the engine means less power is needed to do the same amount of work.

Currently, the start-stop system is standard equipment on the A3 1.4 TFSI and A4, A5 and A5 Cabriolet with the 2.0 TFSI motor - as well as the A6, Q5 and Q7. More start-stop-equipped models will follow soon, and Audi spokesperson Anna Burgdorf says we should see Audis with start-stop and regenerative braking in local showrooms by the end of the year.

"It will of course be available for Australia," said Ms Burgdorf.

"Should we bring those models with manual transmissions, then certainly towards the end of the year it [start-stop] is likely to be available for Australia."

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