Audi Diesels: No V-12, but V-6 Could Show Up Elsewhere

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Diesel fans, time to start saving up. Audi could unleash its latest diesel V-6 on future versions of the A4 and A6 sedans, among others. Asked Saturday at a racing event in Elkhart Lake, Wis., about the production likelihood of a V-12 TDI, spokesman Chris Bokich instead pointed toward Audi’s smaller TDI V-6, which held “possibilities” for usage in the A4, A5 and A6. We would have liked to have seen the V-12 — it made a Herculean 738 pounds-feet of torque in a Q7 concept last winter — but the V-6 will have to do.

The engine makes its official U.S. debut in the 2008 Q7 TDI. It cranks out an unexceptional 233 hp and, more importantly, 369 pounds-feet of torque, the long overlooked performance statistic. That’s a healthy figure for a 5,300-pound SUV. How it will transform a 3,500-pound sedan like the A4 is anyone’s guess. Compare for yourself: The A4’s turbo four-cylinder makes 207 pounds-feet of torque; the optional V-6 makes 243.

The official word from Audi is mum. Spokesman Andrew Lipman says Audi will test the market for a diesel in the Q7 and “make a determination about putting it in other models.” But considering diesel engines’ pulling power and efficiency – mileage can be 30 percent better than regular gas, and thanks to modern exhaust treatment, sooty particulates are a thing of the past — we like the chances.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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