2017 Audi Q7 e-Tron Plug-In Hybrid Will Be Gasoline, Not Diesel, For U.S. And China

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2016 Audi Q7 live photos, 2015 Detroit Auto Show

2016 Audi Q7 live photos, 2015 Detroit Auto Show

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No diesel hybrids are now sold in North America, but diesel enthusiasts have lately been salivating over the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro diesel plug-in hybrid formally launched at the Geneva Motor Show.

Sadly for those TDI fans, Audi will limit that model to European sale.

Both North America and China will get a gasoline engine in their versions of the Q7 e-tron quattro plug-in hybrid instead.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Audi Q7 e-Tron Quattro Diesel Plug-In Hybrid: Live Photos From Geneva Motor Show

The news comes from industry trade journal Automotive News Europe (subscription required), which confirmed the story with Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's product development head.

Rather than the 3.0-liter TDI V-6 turbodiesel in the European version, the U.S. Q7 e-tron will use a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder engine with its modular hybrid system.

2016 Audi Q7 e-tron quattro

2016 Audi Q7 e-tron quattro

Enlarge Photo

Hackenberg suggested that Audi hadn't entirely closed the door on offering the diesel Q7 plug-in hybrid in North America, saying that the brand was "having success" with diesel models in the States.

Audi will analyze the market, he said, to see if such a vehicle would make sense for U.S. buyers.

ALSO SEE: Audi To Add Plug-In Hybrid Models Of Next A6, A8 Sedans, Q7 SUV

In swapping a gasoline engine into its plug-in hybrid models for North America, Audi follows the lead of Volvo.

That company has had remarkable success in Europe with its Volvo V60 diesel plug-in hybrid wagon.

2015 Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid R-Design

2015 Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid R-Design

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But for the U.S., its upcoming 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid SUV will use a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine instead.

With the sole exception of the Chevrolet Cruze diesel--whose sales have been very low--diesel and SUV passenger vehicles in the U.S. are restricted to German makes and Jeep.

MORE: Volvo V60 Plug-In Diesel Hybrid: Quick Drive Of NY Auto Show Debut (Mar 2013)

Diesel fuel is now available at roughly 60 percent of U.S. fueling stations, but in half of those it's not located on the main pump ranks--a disincentive for some drivers who don't want to fill up next to semis.

At the moment, the fuel is also more than $1 per gallon pricier than gasoline in most states, making its economics and payback questionable.

2016 Audi Q7 live photos, 2015 Detroit Auto Show

2016 Audi Q7 live photos, 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Enlarge Photo

Given the low percentage of plug-in hybrid Audi Q7 models likely to be sold in the U.S.--in what is already a low-volume vehicle for the brand--we'd bet against any diesel plug-in hybrid Q7 for North America.

We suspect, however, that our prediction doesn't mean that diesel fans will stop advocating for such a model.

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