More TDIs for America Says Audi Marketing Boss
by, 09-09-2010 at 04:26 PM (5197 Views)
Last year there was a repositioning at Audi whereby product planning was streamlined into the marketing channel and that team reports to Audi of America marketing boss Scott Keogh since that time. Given Keogh's senior position in general we'd already expect him to know what's what when it comes to future Audi products but this change makes that especially so. Given that, we read with great interest a story on Edmunds.com's Green Car Advisor section that was based on an interview with Scott. In the piece, Keogh outlined Audi's strategies and outlook about diesels for America and, while he didn't name names, did confirm that the brand's diesel lineup (currently Q7 3.0 TDI and A3 2.0 TDI) will "more than double in the next year or so".
So What Do We Think?
Audi goes about its North American product expansion very pragmatically and its current TDI product is centered around two engines. These are the longitudinally mounted 3.0 TDI and the transversely mounted 2.0 TDI. Additionally, any engines that might also be federalized for use in Volkswagen or Porsche models could be in play. Knowing which engines are being considered helps understand their thought process.
Our guess is that most of this new product will center around 3.0 TDI. Here's a quick rundown model-by-model to help better guess which way Audi could be leaning. Based on Keogh's comments we're guessing the expansion will include 2-3 vehicles.
We've already heard A8 mentioned in this context by several sources and are fairly certain an A8 3.0 TDI will be launched.
The A4 also makes a lot of sense given it is Audi's volume leader but which engine it receives remains to be seen. 3.0 TDI would be the most likely here though pricing would be S4 territory (or more) and the added weight with quattro would mean less efficiency. A 2.0 TDI FrontTrak A4 with Multitronic CVT would be much less passion-inspiring but would likely do very well in efficiency but the engine would need to be re-certified for longitudinal placement in the B7 chassis. Sources have told me in the past that the BMW 335d is not a sales success by Audi's measure and a 2.0 TDI could be priced more competitively. Our hearts vote 3.0 TDI but our heads think the 2.0 TDI might have more potential.
A6 or A7
More than likely this is one of the cars that will get the go. A new, more efficient and lighter chassis will help make the argument for such cars and either could carry the premium pricing that would go along with the 3.0 TDI. Both cars are expected in the market over the next year "or so".
Audi's aluminum coupe would also be an interesting car to consider. Lighter than the A3, the current 2.0 TDI could be installed in the TT with perhaps the least amount of investment and that engine in that car (as with A3) would need no AdBlue urea injection system. The TT TDI is a hit in Europe but the TT's segment is on life support in the USA. Adding TDI might help drive volume as it has with the A3 though.
Unlikely. A Q5 2.0T has just joined the lineup this year and a 2.0T hybrid is on the way in the next 12 months. Adding TDI here would be redundant.
Read more about Keogh's chat with Edmunds after the jump.