Volkswagen has one of the widest and most interesting engine range in the automotive industry but in the United States its offering consists of a paltry line of four, five and six-cylinder units that are mostly petrol. That is set to change, however, as construction of a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will soon see VW manufacturing a new-generation of U.S.-specific clean diesel engines and possibly an advanced diesel-electric hybrid powertrain.

The information comes from the carmaker’s American chief Stefan Jacoby, who confirmed to the Chattanooga Daily that VW will build a diesel version of a brand new mid-sized car in Tennessee. This will allow VW to fully leverage the currency advantage of the new factory and capitalize on increasing demand for more fuel-efficient diesel models.

“We don’t see any conflict between business and the economy and the environment,” Jacoby explained when referring to the new clean-diesel model.

VW is expected to build two different sedan models at the site, a low cost version of the Passat that will compete with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, and another based on the Jetta that will compete with the Corolla and Civic sedans.

The Chattanooga plant will start production in early 2011 and will hire around 2,000 people.

While no specific details about the hybrid powertrain were revealed, Jacoby said engineers were perfecting the design and boasted that it would be “at the forefront” of low emissions technology.