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Lord of the four rings

BS Motoring | June 05, 2004

The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming! Just two weeks back we told you that Porsche is making an official entry into India. Now it's the turn of Audi.

They are setting up a dealership each in Mumbai and Delhi next month; the dealers will offer the full range of sales, after-sales and spare parts, and this will be followed by service centres in other parts of the country.

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They aim to sell over 100 vehicles by March 2005 and over 1,000 units in the next five years. Audi is excited about India because the luxury car segment in the country has tripled in the last five years and they are expecting a 25 per cent growth this year.

Oh, we haven't told you which Audis are being launched. The radical, new A6 will come with a 3000cc V6 and multitronic transmission -- read competition to the Mercedes E-Class.

The long wheelbase A8, the flagship Audi, will also have the same powerplant -- competition to the S-Class. The iconic TT Coupe with a 1800cc petrol turbo motor (the same unit inside the Octavia 1.8T, but possibly with more horses) will hopefully kickstart the roadster segment in the country.

And finally, the Allroad Quattro -- the estate that's a capable off-roader -- will be introduced with a 2500cc turbodiesel motor. Sounds good, right?  Herzlich wilkommen, Audi!

Boys don't cry

If the famed Bentley Boys were alive today, they would have heard the news and perhaps shed copious tears. According to the British Auto Express magazine, Bentley is looking at diesel engines for their cars.

One of Bentley's top executives has been quoted saying that an oil-burner could be added to their line-up since Bentley engines generally have high-torque, low-revving engines and diesels meet this criteria very well. With huge advances in diesel technology over the last few years, high performance oil-burners could be considered to power Bentleys.

Parent Volkswagen is extremely strong in diesels. Their award winning 5000cc V10, with a whopping 72 kgm of torque is used in the Touareg and seems an ideal choice, but shoehorning it under the sloping bonnet of the Continental GT or its upcoming convertible version could be difficult as it's rather large.

Perhaps the forthcoming Mid-Size Bentley will find it suitable. The solution could be to mate two of the Audi A8's 4000cc V8s to produce a V16.

The V8 develops 270 bhp and 65 kgm, so you know what sort of figures we're talking about. Will this re-engineered diesel engine be found under the hood of the next R-R Phantom-sized Arnage? Possible.

If Jaguars can have diesel engines, why not Bentleys? Those few Bentley buyers in India would be excited, but we're not sure about the Bentley Boys though.

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