Fleet News

Audi's diesel move set to signal lower benefit-in-kind tax bills

FLEET drivers will be able to avoid the controversial 3% diesel supplement on company car tax almost as soon as the new emissions-based tax rules come into effect next year.

Audi is revising its entire TDI range to comply with key Euro IV emissions benchmark that removes the 3% company car tax supplement placed on diesel engines. The firm says the first Euro IV compliant cars will reach the UK in May 2002.

The manufacturer claims it has achieved the improved environmental performance without increasing CO2 emissions or fuel consumption - a traditional side-effect of cutting overall emissions.

Dr Bernd Hauschild, a technical expert for Audi's diesel engine programme, said: 'We are in the process of upgrading the TDI to Euro IV standards. We will start with the smaller engines, but all of them will meet Euro IV within two years.'

Kevin Rose, director of Audi UK, said: 'The smaller engines will be ready next year shortly after the change in company car tax rules. The V6 and V8 diesels will take longer, but we will start with the higher volume engines. People choosing the V6 TDI are already getting a big benefit over a petrol V6.'

Rose said Audi could be the first manufacturer in the UK to offer Euro IV diesels but said the race would be close against BMW. The improvement is part of a Volkswagen Group programme to improve diesel engines. Volkswagen revealed in May that the next generation 1.9-litre Golf, sporting 100bhp, will meet Euro IV emissions and have a CO2 figures of just 142g/km.

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