• Audi India Head Balbir Singh Dhillon
    Audi India Head Balbir Singh Dhillon
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Not given up on diesels: Audi India head

24th Oct 2019 6:25 pm

New Audi cars and SUVs for India will be launched in petrol-only form but the carmaker hasn’t completely ruled-out diesels.

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The all-new Audi A6 has just gone on sale in India, and the sole version for our market is the 45 TFSI. On the A6, 45 TFSI means power comes from a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that makes 245hp and 370Nm. While the 45 TFSI’s power figures put it in the league of petrol rivals like the BMW 530i (252hp) and Jaguar XF 25t (250hp), and even give it an edge over the Mercedes-Benz E200 (197hp), what’s missing from the A6 line-up is a diesel option. However, an A6 diesel won't come in a hurry, with the carmaker still evaluating its diesel strategy for India.

Speaking to Autocar India on the sidelines of the A6 launch, Balbir Dhillon, head of Audi India said, “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.”

Upcoming launches from Audi include those of the new A8, Q8 and Q3, and the updated Q7 is also scheduled to arrive in 2020. 

While Audi will update its petrol engines to BS6-spec, there is the possibility that the diesel versions of some existing models will be withdrawn, at least in the short term, come April 1, 2020 when the BS6 norms kick in. This could dent Audi’s volumes as diesels bring in the majority of sales in the luxury segment. The contribution of petrols to overall sales has grown in the past few years but 65 percent of Audi India’s sales still come from diesels. Of Audi’s chief rivals, Mercedes has already started rolling out models with BS6-compliant diesel engines.    

Audi is looking at electrification as well, and has its options open on this front. “We have the technology for plug-in hybrid and are evaluating it. We can live the journey of petrol, petrol-hybrid and then electrics. These are things on the table and we are in touch with headquarters for this.”

The carmaker will bring its all-electric SUV, the e-tron to India next year.

Also see:

2019 Audi A6 review, test drive

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