The recently-unveiled electro-turbo-diesel 2020 Audi S4 TDI is not coming to Australia, instead arriving in 2020 in existing petrol TFSI form.
”Elsewhere in the world, regions such as Australia and the US will get the petrol-powered TFSI versions of the sedan and Avant,” explains Audi Australia communications manager, Shaun Cleary.
The S4 TDI’s 3.0-litre V6 has an electric-assisted turbocharger integrated into its 48-volt electrical system, producing 255kW and 700Nm returning 4.8-second acceleration in sedan form.
That’s just one tenth shy of the 4.7sec stat for the newly facelifted S4 TFSI, its direct-injected 3.0L six producing more power at 270kW but, at 500Nm, less torque. Meanwhile, both diesel and petrol Avant wagons are 4.9sec prospects.
However, the TDI brings expected fuel consumption benefits, its claim of just 6.2L/100km combined superior to the current TFSI’s 7.7L/100km best.
On whether omitting S4 TDI from the Australia was a decision by Audi Australia or made by the Ingolstadt head office, Cleary says it was “a bit of both”.
“Generally, Audi’s ‘rule’ globally is that particular markets either take one engine version or the other,” Cleary says. “As with SQ5, for example, we’ve not had the two versions offered for sale at the same time.”
“TFSI only for S4 is the plan for the foreseeable future. That’s not to say that the TDI version won’t ever be in consideration for Australia but it’s not part of plan right now.”
It’s an interesting decision given the popularity of the original TDI-powered SQ5 was, in Audi Australia’s word, “incredible.”
“That (3.0L biturbo TDI) engine was a great match for the SQ5. It was hugely successful, making up an enormous share of overall Q5 sales for the first couple of years.”
Asked if buyer reception for S4 TDI might come close to that of the now-defunct-if-soon-to-return oiler SQ5, Cleary states there’s “definitely a place for a diesel performance car in the local line-up.”
“Customer interest is an enormous part of the evaluation process for any new model. If there’s strong appetite for S4 TDI it’s definitely a big factor of consideration.”
The good news is that the 2020 SQ5 TDI is all but confirmed for Australia next year. However, the official word is that it’s “not yet been decided whether the new TDI will replace TFSI, or if it will be offered alongside the current TFSI petrol version.”