As expected, Audi will continue to expand its U.S. diesel line, led by the clean-diesel variant of the automaker's flagship luxury full-size sedan, the 2014 A8 L TDI. Pricing for the A8 L TDI, Audi recently announced, will start at $82,500, excluding a destination charge; for comparison, the Mercedes-Benz S350 Bluetec clean-diesel sedan starts at $93,000, excluding a destination charge.
The 2014 A8 L TDI has a new 3.0-liter clean-diesel engine paired with Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system. According to Audi, the sedan will boast the best fuel economy in its segment: an EPA-estimated 24/36 mpg city/highway. The 3.0-liter puts out 240 horsepower and 406 pounds-feet of torque, and Audi says it's good for a zero-to-60-mph time of 6.4 seconds.
When the A8 L TDI goes on sale in early spring, the available Premium Package will include blind spot monitoring, 22-way multicontour comfort seats, front-seat ventilation with massage and full LED headlights. The expanded model lineup will include the A8 3.0T, 4.0T and W12, as well as the S8 4.0T; the A8 L TDI will be available only in the long-wheelbase version.
The A8 L TDI is among four new TDI models that debuted at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show , including the A7 large hatchback, A6 midsize sedan and Q5 compact crossover. They join the TDI models already on sale, including the A3 compact hatchback and Q7 midsize crossover. Audi has previously stated that its TDI engines have already saved 4 million gallons of gasoline &mdas; the equivalent of nearly a quarter million barrels of foreign oil — since their introduction to the U.S. in 2009.