The United States market seems to get the short end of the stick when it comes to some of the best Volkswagen and Audi products. All of their cool diesels seem to stay on the other side of the Atlantic. Audi has given us an A6 and A8 TDI, as well as some SUV diesels, yet Audi hasn’t offered us a diesel version of its A4. This is a shame, because the A4 is a car that fits diesel life quite well. The A4 was always a sporty car, but it was never the sharp sports car that, say, a BMW 3 Series was. So a diesel would allow the A4 to be a plucky little sports sedan, that isn’t as fast as its rivals, but has more character. Plus a diesel mated to the Quattro all-wheel drive grip would give the A4 a distinct advantage over its rivals when the weather goes wrong.
However, our prayers have been answered, as Audi will be giving the US market an A4 2.0 TDI in 2017. Yes, we have to wait a full year after the European markets get it, but it could be worse, we could not be getting it at all. The 2.0 TDI in the A4 will produce 190 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and could see around 40 mpg. The 2.0 liter diesel engine will be mated to Audi’s latest 7-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox and will send power to all four wheels, via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive.
This comes at a perfect time for Audi, as BMW is having some success with its 328d. The entry-level BMW diesel produces 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, so the Audi has a distinct advantage, in terms of power. The new B9 A4 should also be significantly lighter than the upcoming 3 Series LCI, as the A4 is built on Volkswagen Groups new MQB platform and utilizes quite a bit of lightweight materials. There will also be some competition coming from Stuttgart, as Mercedes-Benz plans to release its C25o Blutec diesel in 2016. No word on exact power figures, but the C250 should be on par with the rest of the gang.
The 2017 Audi A4 TDI should be one of the best in the A4 lineup. While down 30 horsepower from the 2.0 TFSI variant, it will have 59 lb-ft more torque. So the TDI should get off the line equally as fast as the TFSI, though the TFSI will probably have it to 60 mph. However, the TDI will get much better fuel economy and be better in freezing weather. So the 2017 Audi A4 TDI seems like it could be the best in the A4 line, and maybe even best in the segment. We’ll see in 2017.