Audi Brings on the Diesels

Gary S. Vasilash

While many OEMs are pursuing hybrid or fully electric powertrains, and while diesels seem to have taken the proverbial backseat to even downsized, turbocharged engines, like the operational workhorses they are, diesels keep soldiering on.

Audi diesels

That will be all the more apparent this week at the LA Auto Show, where Audi is introducing four new diesel-powered vehicles, all of which will be available in the U.S. market by the fall of 2013.

These “TDI clean diesels” are said to provide 30% better fuel economy and 30% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than their gasoline powered versions.

The engine in question is a 3.0-liter V6 diesel, which will be used for the A8, A7, A6, and Q5. The Q7 is already available with a diesel.

So what does this diesel mean in, say, the A8 TDI? It offers 240 hp, 406 lb-ft of torque, and 24 mpg city/36 mpg highway. It allows the A8 to go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds.

Or take the diesel in the Q7 SUV. There it provides 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and because the vehicle is equipped with a 26.4-gallon fuel tank, it is possible to go on a road trip of more than 700 miles without having to stop for fuel. Of course, you may not be able to hold off that long for beef jerky, but. . . .