With the upcoming launch of the 2014 Audi A8 L TDI—the first of four new clean-diesel Audi models set to debut in the U.S. this year—we have an excellent opportunity to showcase just how far the industry has come since the global meltdown of a few years back.
Consider: The 2013 Toyota Corolla remains one of the few high-volume mainstream cars that has yet to be released in a next-gen configuration, and the compact posts an EPA line of 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway/29 mpg combined with a four-speed automatic transmission. The diesel-ized A8 L is an extended-wheelbase full-size sedan that is 27 inches longer than the Corolla and some 1,500 lbs. heavier, and it also commands more than 100 extra horsepower and an additional 275 lb.-ft. of torque. And it’s fitted with a full-time quattro all-wheel-drive system.
But thanks to a stiff dose of “progress through technology,” the 2014 Audi A8 L TDI is just as efficient as the tiny Toyota, showcasing EPA grades of 24 mpg city/36 mpg highway/28 mpg combined. Of course, it also helps that the motivator in the A8 L TDI is an advanced 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel that makes 240 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, which is enough to also push the car from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds.
On the other hand, while it’s not really likely that anyone will be cross-shopping the two, the Corolla does offer a significant pricing advantage as compared to the Audi, since the latter will be stickered from $82,500.
The four-rings brand will provide more details about the 2014 Audi A8 L TDI as we get closer to its on-sale date this spring.