The LA Auto Show has become something of the green car show, in recent years, with a primary emphasis on electrification – and a range of new battery-based models are set for debut in less than two weeks.
But Audi has been something of a spoiler, besting an assortment of electrified alternatives when its A3 TDI was named Green Car of the Year a few years back. And now, the Volkswagen AG luxury brand hopes to grab some of the spotlight for another big diesel announcement, Audi planning to introduce four new “oil burners” during its LA Auto Show news conference.
Like the mainstream VW brand, Audi has seen a surge of demand for its high-mileage diesels over the last several years – if anything, sales limited by availability. It has been signaling plans to add several more diesels to the line-up, including one for the Q5 crossover, though the A7 diesel news comes as a big surprise.
Also on the list of additions, a diesel version of the latest A6, as well as one for the flagship A8 sedan. The four additions will be designated 2014 models though they will be rolled out at different times, the A8 TDI starting next spring and the rest reaching showrooms by autumn 2013. Pricing won’t be released until closer to launch, though Audi noted the 2013 version of the Q7 TDI starts at $52,000.
All four models will share Audi’s 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel, which produces 240 horsepower and a stump-pulling 406 lb-ft of torque. The bump in fuel economy is expected to be significant. The current 4.2-liter gas engine in the A8 yields 17 mpg City, 27 Highway. Audi expects to reach 24/36 with the TDI.
“Owners of Audi TDI engines have helped save over 4 million gallons of gasoline, or the equivalent of more than 240,000 barrels of foreign oil, since the introduction of Audi TDI to the U.S. in 2009,” said Audi of America President Scott Keogh. “And, TDI technology delivers better fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance.”
In the case of the A8 TDI, it will still launch from 0 to 60 in an estimated 6.4 seconds, in line with the 4.2 gas version.
While the German maker didn’t release fuel economy numbers for the Q5 TDI, A6 TDI or A7 TDI they should be significantly better than the current gas versions. The 2013 Audi A6 with a 3.0-liter V-6 yields 18 mpg City, 27 Highway.
Meanwhile, Audi notes that the 2013 Q7 TDI will deliver 19 City, 28 Highway, with a range of as much as 700 miles per tank.
Expect that all four of the newest additions to the Audi line-up will be heavily loaded – and, like the Q7 TDI, should carry a premium of several thousand dollars over comparably equipped gasoline models.