With tough new CAFE standards on the horizon, automakers have a couple different technologies in store, ready to help meet those standards. Some automakers are looking exclusively to hybrids, others to diesels, and yet others looking to electric cars. Audi is looking at all three. According to a report from WardsAuto, Audi will be positioning its upcoming Q5 TDI as a performance diesel to help boost its overall corporate fuel economy average, while avoiding stepping on the toes of the Q5 Hybrid.
When Audi first announced that they were going to roll out a diesel Q5, many naturally assumed that the 2.0-liter turbodiesel that currently serves under the hood of the Audi A3 and various other Volkswagen TDIs would be the engine of choice for the Q5 TDI in the United States. After all, diesels in the U.S. have traditionally been sold and marketed as eco-friendly green models, and a Q5 with the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 from the Q7 seemingly doesn’t make much sense.
However, according to WardsAuto, Audi will be wedging the 3.0-liter 225-hp and 406 lb-ft turbodiesel V-6 under the hood of the Q5 TDI instead of the 2.0-liter, because the 2.0-liter diesel is actually more efficient than Audi’s hybrid gasoline-electric drivetrain, which would make the Q5 Hybrid a tough sell here in the U.S. With the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 slated for the Q5, it gives Audi a little wiggle-room with it’s first-ever hybrid and also gives the brand a sporty diesel crossover to take on the recently revealed BMW X5 M50d.
With the A8 also slated to get the 3.0-liter turbodiesel this year, and the A6 sometime after that, it allows the cost to be spread around the lineup. Audi of America chief Johan de Nysschen told WardsAuto that the V-6, “Already has been thoroughly developed for the U.S. for applications in the Q7, and it will be in the A6 and A8 as well, so we get economies of scale with that.” If that means more sporty diesels, then we can definitely get behind that.
What do you think? Do you think the 225-hp 406 lb-ft turbodiesel V-6 makes more sense in the Q5, or would you prefer the slightly more efficient 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4?