Audi is so confident that vehicle buyers in the United States will embrace diesel that it is bringing back diesel-powered five-door version of the A3 compact to the country next summer, the German carmaker announced ahead of the New York Auto Show. The A3 five-door will be powered by a 2-liter TDI engine.
Audi withdrew the last-generation A3 hatch from the US at the end of the 2013 model year, but the compact managed to capture “an incredibly passionate and loyal fan base,” Audi of America President Scott Keogh said in a statement. Keogh said the five-door version of the A3 compact has been one of Audi’s most requested models since they unveiled the new A3 family.
The diesel A3 will be competing against entry-level luxury cars like the Lexus CT hybrid, a similarly sized hatch having a starting price of $32,960 including shipping. Lexus sold 15,071 CT hybrids in 2013 in the US while Audi delivered just 7,205 units of the previous A3 hatch in 2012. The sales figure in 2012 showed that around 55 percent of A3 buyers opted for the TDI engine.
Marketing experts at Audi came into conclusion that added fuel economy and torque of diesel engines were more appealing to environmentally conscious in cities like Portland, Ore., Seattle and San Francisco. Keogh, in a recent interview with Automotive News, described the diesel A3 as the “perfect ‘creative class’ car,” using a term coined by social scientist Richard Florida to describe the clustering of technology workers, artists and other “creative” types in urban locations.