#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e

#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro

The German luxury trio Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are all locked in a close battle for the title of the world's most popular automaker. According to sales data from the first half of 2010, BMW is currently primarily, although the management of two rivals is marginal. At under 2000 vehicles, Mercedes & # 39; lead third place Audi is even narrower, although the number may have increased in recent months due to strong sales for Mercedes in the US

Regardless, all three German luxury brands are fighting for the top leak. To achieve this, they go for smaller market segments. According to Automotive News, the next segment that the brands look to meet is the "green" or environmentally conscious car owner.

Mercedes recently announced that it will debut a four-cylinder engine on its top-of-the-line S-Class model. The S250 CDI is expected to be available on several models in early 2011. Four cylinders are unusual options for luxury cars, with drivers usually wanting performance on a six or eight cylinder. But Mercedes says that thanks to the turbocharging technology, the engine delivers a six-cylinder low-emission torque and fuel consumption for smaller engines.

"Green luxury is possible," says Verena Mueller, a Mercedes spokesman. "We expect to attract environmentally conscious customers seeking the lowest possible carbon dioxide emissions.

The news source reports that Audi will counteract a new version of its A8 sedan that will probably see the car car pair the four cylinder with an electric motor for the A8 hybrid that is expected to be 2012.

BMW also goes the electric road, but it is undoubtedly to move to a four-cylinder soon. BMW is said to develop a hybrid supercar based on its Vision Efficient Dynamics concept.

"I like to sell 7-Series cars with six and eight cylinders," BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer told the news source at the Paris Motor Show. "What we need to offer with these cars in the future is electrification."

Smaller engines and electric cars can save drivers on the pump, but luxury cars equipped with the latest engine technology are likely to be expensive for many buyers. Drivers interested in saving money on their vehicle purchases may want to shop for a used Mercedes, BMW or Audi.