ABG has learned the Audi A4 will not be available as a hybrid in the U.S. Instead, Audi will concentrate on the diesel version.
Audi USA communications director Jeff Kuhlman explained that the cost of homologating the hybrid system on both vehicles would likely not be offset by anticipated sales of the hybrids. As a result of low volumes and the unfavorable exchange rate, the prices would be too high to make business sense. Instead Audi is planning to offer the A4 with the same 3.0l diesel V6 that is to be used in the Q7 and VW Touareg. That engine is already being certified and has economies of scale so that it makes business sense. At the same time it will provide a significant boost in fuel efficiency compared to the gas V6 that is also available.And this is just after reports the Audi A7 would not be a hybrid. Are smaller companies capable of bringing newer more expensive technology to the market? GM is ready to lose money on the Volt just to prove they can do it. Ford, despite selling hybrids for years, is hoping to make a profit off them for the first time this year.
Diesel engines tend to be more expensive than gas only engines, but trying to bring both to market in the same car may be more than most companies can bear.