I had predicted a while back that the German automobile manufacturers would start exporting diesels to the United States. Presently, sixty percent of the automobiles sold in Europe are diesels....in some countries that number goes to eighty percent of the vehicles are diesels. The price of petrol in Europe is much higher due to taxes imposed on fuels.
Audi is introducing the A3 TDI as an option in the A3 family of cars. The A3 TDI is equipped with the TDI 2.0 clean diesel engine. This is the same motor that is used in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The motor produces 140 hp. and 236 ft pounds of torque.
The A3 TDI is equipped with an S tronic tranmission....which is a direct shift gearbox that combines the advantages of a six speed manual with the abilities of a automatic.
Audi estimates that the A3 TDI should get about 29 city and 40 highway mpg. Pricing has not been formally announced!
The Germans have not really been impressed by the Japanese hybrids that have come out. When they compare the hybrid cost versus the diesels that the Germans are producing....they think that their cars are better choices.
There is some merit to their position....many of the driving dynamics of hybrids are second rate. The new German diesels have better acceleration and handling than many of the hybrids. The cost is also more reasonable for a diesel than a hybrid. Also, gone are many of the problems with the smoke, acceleration, and noise of the old diesel motors.
I am of the opinion that we will see a flood of diesels from Europe. So, we will see which technology prevails....in the short term we will probably see both technologies on the roads as the U.S. becomes more energy efficient.