Diesel Car Preview for 2014-15

By Dan Collins on 25 July 2013
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More Diesels Still to Come as Automakers Add Models to Lineup

2014 Audi A8 L TDI

2014 Audi A8 L TDI

America’s love affair with the diesel is being rekindled, at least as far as sales figures go.  Sales of diesel-powered cars and SUVs were up 26% in 2012 and it looks as if that trend is continuing for 2013.  While these figures are encouraging, overall sales of diesels remain in the single digits while diesels command over 50% of sales in European markets such as Germany and the United Kingdom.  Hybrids, not diesels, seem to have significantly greater mindshare in the U.S.

Given the trend, not only are automakers making oilburners available in the U.S., but some, such as Chrysler and General Motors, are entering the field after a hiatus of several decades.  Up until now, however, the diesel market has been dominated by German carmakers, namely Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen.

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze started reaching dealerships and buyers in the late spring.  With a 46-mpg (5.1 l/100 km) highway fuel economy rating from the EPA, it easily carries the title of highest-mileage non-hybrid sold in the U.S.  It also was the car that broke the German stranglehold on the domestic diesel market as it was the first non-German diesel to be sold in the U.S. (the German heritage of its diesel powerplant notwithstanding).

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel was unveiled at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit and is arriving at dealerships now.

Another new entrant, Mazda, is bucking the hybrid-only trend of Japanese carmakers.  The 2014 Mazda 6 Skyactiv-D sedan will go on sale later this year.  A Cadillac ATS diesel had been rumored for the past year or so, although one Cadillac executive who asked to remain anonymous told The Diesel Driver that many at the marque think that diesel is a “German thing” and don’t see it on their radar, preferring to focus on electric vehicles instead

Here’s a manufacturer-by-manufacturer look at the diesel market for the coming year:

AUDI

2013 Audi Q5

2013 Audi Q5

Audi revealed its diesel plans at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show last December and told The Diesel Driver that it plans to ramp up diesel sales to roughly 20% of total volume.

It has since made the Audi A8 L TDI available along with the Q7 TDI SUV that has been a mainstay of Audi’s U.S. diesel offerings.

Later this year, the Ingolstadt-based marque will offer the A6 TDI sedan, A7 TDI hatchback, as well as the mid-sized Q5 TDI crossover for the 2014 model year

The four new models will be using an updated version of the 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel that is also found in the Volkswagen Touareg TDI and the Porsche Cayenne Diesel. The Q7 will also get the new engine starting in the 2013 model year.

Audi says that the 240-horsepower A8 TDI will achieve 24 mpg (9.8l/100km) in the city and 36 mpg (6.53 l/100km) on the highway, and that the large sedan will accelerate from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds.

Audi’s new A3 was unveiled at the Shanghai show in April. The A3 TDI will house Volkswagen’s 2-liter four-cylinder engine, which will deliver approximately 150 horsepower and about 250 pound-feet of torque. For now, it appears that the only transmission offered will be a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Click here to continue to Page 2BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler/Jeep, Mazda, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen

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