Detroit 2009: Audi Are a Bunch of Teases

Audi is betting the future is diesel, not electric. Photo courtesy of Kicking Tires.

Audi is betting the future is diesel, not electric. Photo courtesy of Kicking Tires.

Oh say, can you see?  The 2.0-L Audi A3 TDI is coming to America…well, soon, anyway.  Audi have officially announced that the redesigned 2010 A3 TDI will hit US shores in the third quarter of 2009, with official fuel mileage numbers and pricing both yet to be announced.  No release date has been announced as of yet for Canada, but with both Audi’s Q7 TDI and look-ma-the-A3-TDI-engine-has-a-twin VW Jetta TDI currently being road-legal contenders in Canada, we’ll be kind of shocked if it doesn’t happen.

What’s more shocking than withholding such a crucial Audi development from Canadian shores, though?  Follow the jump to find out and to check out some more pics of the A3 TDI. 

Here’s the official press release:


2010 Audi A3 2.0 TDI clean diesel: Quick Reference: USA Data

Key Summary Points

• The freshened Audi A3 launched in September 2008 (2009 MY).
• The 2009 model year freshening expanded the A3 lineup with quattro all-wheel drive on the efficient 2.0 TFSI engine (200 hp / 207 lb-ft torque).
• Audi A3 moves into a market space presently unoccupied in the luxury segment, that of a highly efficient diesel small luxury car.
• Audi’s TDI clean diesel technology expands the A3 lineup in the direction of efficiency, providing over 40 mpg highway.
• A3 holds a unique position in the Audi family, targeting buyers who need a small but versatile package without sacrificing luxury and sportiness.
• A3 2.0 TDI is Audi’s second U.S. TDI clean diesel announcement. Audi Q7 TDI is expected to be on sale at U.S. dealers around April 2009.
• A3 is already rated a “Top Safety Pick” by the IIHS for top frontal/side/rear crashes (source

• Key competitors are BMW 1-series, Mini Cooper S, Volvo C30 and S40, and now Toyota Prius and Honda Insight.

• Audi signature LED daytime running lights with optional xenon lights.
• Unique tail lights with LED light guides
• Enhanced exterior and interior design, new wheel program.
• Versatile interior design, providing unmatched utility for urban environments.

• Sporty McPherson front suspension and multilink independent rear suspension for high lateral rigidity.
• Speed-sensitive electromechanical power steering
• High rigidity due to the use of tailored blanks for adapting steel grade and thickness to the material stresses.

• 2.0 TDI clean diesel engine with S tronic (dual clutch) and front-wheel drive
o Specifications: 140 hp, 236 lb-ft torque, in-line 4 cylinder turbocharged clean diesel with common rail direct injection and piezoelectric injectors
o 50-state legal, with no after-treatment system required
o Exclusively with S tronic (dual clutch) transmission with front-wheel drive

Standard Equipment Features
• Hill-hold assist (already standard on S tronic models)
• Sirius satellite radio – standard on all
• Leather seating surfaces – standard on all
• Leather steering wheel – standard
• Aux audio input – standard
• Dual-zone climate control
• 17″ alloy wheels

Launch Timing and Pricing
• USA Audi A3 2.0 TDI clean diesel goes on sale by the first quarter of 2010 as a 2010 model year vehicle. Pricing is expected to be released close to the time of the U.S. launch.

Astute readers of will already have spotted one crucial factor missing out of the press release above: it’s only apparently going to be released in the FWD version.  Granted, given its targeted competition and its rather sleek design, it may still be able to bring some of the fight to its short list of challengers.  But if it really wanted the fight to be won, without question, Audi would be making the Quattro version available.  It’s not nearly enough that Audi is firmly putting their eggs in the diesel basket rather than the electro-hybrid one.  Their Quattro system is the ace they’ve had up their sleeve for roughly a bazillion years; why, then, are they so afraid to use it?  Is it because the expected pricing of the A3 TDI is already going to be steeper than they’d like, and so they don’t want to scare potential buyers off any more than they already fear they’re going to do?

What this writer would really love to see would be a 2010 A3 TDI Quattro rolling up to a stoplight alongside an AWD 2010 MINI Cooper S.  Neither car is or will currently be available anywhere on the North American continent, and currently only one of these cars actually exists.  If Audi seriously wants to whomp their competition in this segment, there’s a seriously easy way to do it right within their grasp.


Gallery courtesy of Autoblog.