Audi came out swinging with its diesel technology at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show Wednesday, introducing four new diesel models for the U.S. market.
But the company didn't limit its scope to new products. It also pressed the case that wider use of diesel engines could have far-reaching geopolitical consequences.
Opening the news conference for the debut of the A6, A7, A8 and Q5, Audi of America President Scott Keogh made clear his company's position.
"For a nation seeking to free itself from the grip of foreign oil and for a world seeking to slash its greenhouse gas emissions, clean diesel is not simply a viable choice, but frequently it's today's best," Keogh said.
Supporting Keogh's point is the A8 TDI, a full-size luxury car that will get an estimated 24 mpg in the city and an impressive 36 mpg on the highway. The 3-liter V-6 diesel engine will produce 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, and Audi says it will do 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. The A8 diesel will go on sale in spring 2013.
The other three models getting the diesel-engine option are the mid-size A6 sedan, its mechanically identical yet more expressively styled A7 four-door coupe and the Q5 crossover SUV. These models will go on sale in fall 2013.
This engine is already in the updated 2013 Q7 TDI, Audi's seven-passenger crossover. In this application, fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Keogh also made it clear that Audi didn't intend to stop with these four new models and hinted that the company will continue to make an aggressive push with diesels.
"We believe the efficiency gains that diesel offers today aren't a ceiling, they're a floor," Keogh said. "We believe diesel can be even cleaner, even more powerful, even more efficient in the days ahead."