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Audi A4 diesel version ruled out for US market

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Audi AG via AP Images/File

(Read caption) An Audi A4 in crystal effect paint finish Ara Blue is seen on the road. The Audi Group plans to launch more than 20 new or revised models and to continue its growth in 2016.

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First drive, Venice, ItalyAudi’s all-new A4 goes on sale in the spring with a starting price of $38,250, including a $950 destination charge.

It’s being launched with just one powertrain, in this case a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that delivers 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

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While it was thought this generation of the A4 would finally get a diesel option to match rivals offerings such as BMW’s 328d and Jaguar's new XE 20d, Audi of America President Scott Keogh said that won’t be the case.

Speaking with Automotive News (subscription required), Keogh said the decision not to offer a diesel in the A4 wasn’t a result of the diesel emissions cheating scandal afflicting several Volkswagen Group brands, one of which is Audi. Rather, he explained, the decision stems from diesel being a popular option for SUV buyers but not those of sedans.

“Every decision is a blend of a lot of things but I think the predominant thing is there was not significant market demand for the TDI sedans we had in the marketplace, A3, A6, A7 A8,” Keogh is quoted as saying. TDI is the brand name Audi uses for its dieselengines, a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and a 3.0-liter V-6.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, both engines were fitted with the “defeat device” software used to hide their true emissions levels from regulators. The VW Group has stopped sales of vehicles fitted with the engines and is yet to supply a fix that satisfies regulators. A federal judge has given the German auto giant a March 24 deadline to come up with a new fix acceptable to regulators.

Once approved, cars fitted with the engines will be back on the market. Keogh said Audi will wait until the next-generation versions arrive to determine whether the cars continue to offer diesel options in the future.