Audi recently furrowed the brows of the motoring world by announcing that the new European versions of the S6, S7 and SQ5 – its large sporty sedans and SUVs – would switch from petrol power back to diesel.
You know, that demon fuel that took a serious chunk out of the German brand’s bank balance and credibility a few years ago.
On the surface, it could’ve been a huge mistake. But our first drive of the new cars suggested that big diesels actually suit these cars down to the ground. Of course, we knew that before torque-light petrols had to step in after the cloud of dieselgate descended. But anyway, I digress.
What’s shocked us in the DriveTribe office is that our readers don’t just seem to have forgiven diesel – they are actively excited about its use in performance cars.
A poll after our first drive review – which admittedly gave a decent amount of page space to Audi’s clever lag-defeating electric turbo technology – suggests that more than 60% of DriveTribers would happily buy a diesel performance car.
It’s always interesting how the actual opinions of a group of individuals are often at odds with the media portrayal of a subject.
After all, we should have expected the very mention of a new diesel Volkswagen Group model to be lambasted from every corner of the internet. But individuals can still think for themselves. And, naturally, we like to think that our audience members are discerning enough to know what’s good for drivers – and which fuels suit which applications.
Now that Audi’s really nailed using electric turbos to counteract the lag you often get with powerful diesel engines, will the demonised fuel get a second lease of life? Given that we’re some way off mass-market electrification, it feels as if people are slowly coming back around to the realisation that diesel really is the best choice for long-distance economy. As well as being an economical option, however, it feels as if it’s earned a second crack at being a fuel for petrolheads once more. Or should that be dieselheads?