We're guessing Audi is being motivated by the success of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The German luxury automaker announced at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show that it will launch the 2010 Audi A3 2.0 TDI clean diesel in the U.S. by the first quarter of 2010. Audi says that the model that was first was being targeted at the BMW 1-Series, Mini Cooper S and the Volvo C30, will now take on the Toyota Prius and the new 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid.
Under the hood of the front-wheel-drive A3 TDI is a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged clean diesel with common rail direct injection that makes 140-hp with a maximum torque of 236 lb-ft. Mated to S-tronic dual-clutch transmission the A3 2.0 TDI will return an estimated 40 mpg on the highway. The car is already rated a "Top Safety Pick" by the IIHS and is 50-state legal with no after-treatment system required.
Pricing for the 2010 Audi A3 2.0 TDi will be announced closer to launch.