Luxury carmakers Audi and BMW are expanding their US diesel lineups as demand for such vehicles continues to rise in a country where both fuel economy and performance are well considered. According to Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, the carmaker will offer diesel versions of the A6 and A7 sedans and Q5 sports utility vehicle for the 2014 model year.
Audi is already selling diesel versions of the A3 hatchback, A8 sedan and Q7. BMW, meanwhile, will offer diesel versions of its 3 Series and 5 Series this year, according to BMW of North America chief executive Ludwig Willisch. He said that BMW is planning to offer diesel versions of all its model lines in the next five years.
In an interview with Automotive News at the New York Auto Show, Willisch said BMW is expanding the lineup based on sales of the diesel version of the X5, which is presently the only model that offers a diesel engine. Diesel versions account for a fourth of X5s sold in the US. BMW expects the figure to rise to a third when gasoline prices hike.
Willisch said that this is a very convincing proposition, as diesel engines offer superior range, fuel economy and torque than gas engines. Luxury carmakers are under US regulatory pressure to double their corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) to 54.5 miles (88 kilometers) per gallon by 2025. Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst from Kelley Blue Book, remarked that as luxury and non-luxury carmakers struggle to achieve mileage standards, diesel has emerged as one of the preferred technologies, especially in luxury vehicles where performance cannot be sacrificed and hybrids have yet to penetrate.