Audi confirms more clean diesels and E-tron EV heading to the U.S.
Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America, has provided some new insight into the automaker's plans for future U.S. offerings. His statements were based on a presentation made in Germany by Audi AG's Chairman Rupert Stadler at the firm's 2010 global performance review. The key revelations involved Audi's decision to greatly expand the U.S. availability of its clean turbodiesel technology far beyond the 2.0-liter TDI four in the 2011 Audi A3 and the 3.0-liter TDI V6 in the 2011 Audi Q7. De Nysschen indicated that during the next 24-30 months, we can expect to see clean diesels be added to the A6 and A8 sedan lines as well as the Q5 sport utility.
Plans for a diesel version of the current-generation A4 remain less clear, primarily because of where that line is in its lifecycle and the costs involved in prepping the U.S. version for a TDI engine. However, de Nysschen stated that "diesel will form a very important part of our strategy to deal with very significant compliance challenges," and that the next-gen A4 would likely be fitted with both gasoline and TDI engines. He went on to note that Audi also plans to use clean diesel to complement its hybrid technologies and will offer solutions in both arenas.
On other product-related fronts, de Nysschen indicated that the electric-powered Audi E-tron is still on target for a late-2012 production startup and that it will likely be available here sometime in early 2013. No final decision has been made on the fate of the compact Audi Q3 SUV in the U.S. However the Audi A3 sedan that was shown in concept form at Geneva will be sold here, although the timing remains uncertain as to exactly when. For now, the current generation of the Mini-scaled Audi A1 remains a non-starter for the U.S. market.
Finally, de Nysschen said that Audi will decide sometime before the end of 2015 whether it will build an assembly facility here in the states. "We have to earn the right to set up a manufacturing plant in the U.S. It is completely volume determined... You need a critical mass in order to justify investment in the plant."