- The fuel-stingy 2014 Audi A3 1.6 TDI Ultra debuted on Monday in Germany, but plans for a U.S. release are sketchy.
- Audi AG says the A3 1.6 TDI Ultra returns 74 mpg when translated to the U.S. drive cycle.
- The car's base price in Germany will be 25,200 Euros or the U.S. equivalent of $33,404.
INGOLSTADT, Germany — The mega-frugal 2014 Audi A3 1.6 TDI Ultra debuted on Monday in Germany, but plans for a U.S. introduction are sketchy.
Audi AG says the A3 1.6 TDI Ultra returns the equivalent of 74 mpg on the U.S. driving cycle, while the car's base price in Germany will be 25,200 Euros or the U.S. equivalent of $33,404.
Audi describes its first-ever Ultra-trim model as "the brand's most fuel-efficient production model." It goes on sale in Germany in September.
"The Ultra designation expresses the brand's all-encompassing commitment to systematic sustainability concerning production and products," said Audi AG in a statement.
Audi said it will unveil additional Ultra models in "coming months [in] other model lines featuring TDI (diesel) and TFSI (gasoline) engines." The Ultra designation will "constitute a third category in the brand's portfolio of cars," the automaker said.
An Audi of America spokesman, who asked not to be identified, told Edmunds there are no firm plans at this point for a U.S. release of the A3 1.6 TDI Ultra. Audi has confirmed that the new 2015 Audi A3 sedan will arrive in U.S. showrooms in the first quarter of next year.
The 2015 A3 sedan has been confirmed with several powertrain options for U.S. buyers, including a 1.8 TFSI, 2.0 TFSI, 2.0 TDI diesel and the high-performance S3 with a high-output 2.0 TFSI.
The Audi A3 1.6 TDI Ultra, which is available as a three-door compact or a five-door Sportback, has a range of 932 miles, according to the automaker. The fuel-miserly car accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 10.5 seconds — perhaps one reason Audi may be reluctant about the A3 Ultra's appropriateness for the U.S. market — and has a top speed of 124 mph.
Meanwhile, fuel prices in the U.S. have been relatively flat recently. The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Monday pegged the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the U.S. at $3.61 versus $3.61 a year ago. The national average price for diesel fuel was $3.88 versus $3.81 last year.
Edmunds says: It would be rather shocking if Audi bypassed the U.S. with its first Ultra model.