While newest Audi releases and upcoming Audi cars and SUVs in India are giving a miss to diesel engines in their line-up, the company is yet to rule them out completely from their future portfolio.
Audi has just launched the A6 luxury sedan in India, but only in a single variant; the A6 45 TSI. It is powered by a 2.0-litre engine that outs out 245 PS and 370 Nm of max power and max torque respectively. While this engine is extremely impressive, the lack of a diesel option leaves a big gap in Audi’s Indian line-up.
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With the upcoming BSVI norms in April 2020, many car manufacturers are considering shunning their diesel cars due to the increased cost of BSVI-compliant diesel engines. Car makers are instead focussing on alternative options, like CNG and hybrid vehicles, to provide a more economical-to-run option to buyers. Still, premium manufacturers could potentially continue to sell BSVI diesel cars, as increased prices wouldn’t affect their customer base a lot.
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In Delhi NCR region, however, it is illegal to drive a diesel car more than 10-years-old on road, while for petrol cars, the duration is 15-years. It, therefore, makes sense for people who spend a significant sum of money on buying a premium vehicle to want to drive it for longer. This makes a big chunk of potential diesel car customers purchase a petrol or CNG-powered car instead.
“Audi India will bring all cars from now until next year in petrol, followed by electrification as well. Whether we have given up diesel, the answer is no. But we are still evaluating this. To start with, all our cars will come with BS6 in petrol.”
Balbir Dhillon, head of Audi India
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Currently, the biggest chunk of sales for luxury car makers like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes comes from their diesel models. Although the sale of petrol cars has risen by a significant margin, it still contributes only a small percentage to the overall sales. Also, most of the petrol cars serve as entry level trims for most car models, while the top trims remain diesel-powered.
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The closest competitors to Audi A6 include the BMW 5-series, Mercedes Benz E-Class, and Jaguar XF sports saloon. Upcoming Audi cars in India include the new Audi A8 luxury sedan, Audi Q8 luxury SUV, the Audi Q7 SUV, and the Audi Q3 compact SUV. Audi is also expected to bring the e-Tron, its all electric luxury SUV, to India very soon.