Jaguar Land Rover to Offer Diesel Engines in the U.S.

By Jonathan Spira on 13 September 2011
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Jaguar Land Rover will offer U.S. customers the option of a diesel-powered Land Rover in the next few years, although the timeframe has yet to be determined and it is likely not to be imminent.

The good news, which came as the result of a question this reporter posed in a Q&A session with Jaguar Land Rover executives today at the International Automobile Show in Frankfurt, will help the company meet upcoming fuel-economy standards.  It should also help Land Rover’s offerings appeal to environmentally-conscious SUV buyers.

Both Jaguar and Land Rover currently offer European customers the option of a diesel engine and the automaker’s 3.0-liter turbo diesel V-6 in standard in many Land Rover and Range Rover models.  This is the engine we are likely to see across the pond as it meets current European emissions standards and it should be able to pass EPA tests with minimal additional plumbing.

Four manufacturers, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen, currently offer American customers a selection of diesel-powered SUVs and buyer acceptance is high.

Comparable model sales for both the Audi Q7 TDI and the Volkswagen Touareg TDI compared to their petrol equivalents were 43% in the first half of 2011 in the U.S.  The Touareg TDI outsold the gasoline version in the second quarter.

Based on these figures, it’s clear that luxury SUV buyers are ready for diesels.  By comparison, hybrid SUVs have enjoyed far less market acceptance.