Carmakers in the luxury and sports segments are finding it extremely difficult to increase fuel savings without compromising the quality and performance of their product, but one company, the Volkswagen Group, is banking on dual-clutch gearbox technology to help achieve the all-important fleet-wide fuel economy gains.

Speaking with MotorTrend, Volkswagen Group's chief of powertrain development, Wolfgang Hatz, explained that the technology was no longer in the realm of large-engined, expensive cars, but was now going to trickle down to even entry-level models in order to reduce average mileage and emissions figures.

Hatz estimates that 90% of all future production models will be carrying a dual-clutch transmission, and that the majority of these could be the same durable unit as that found in the current Audi S4 and Q5, which is capable of handling almost 443lb-ft (600Nm) of torque.

Meanwhile, Audi is continuing its diesel offensive in the U.S. market, with plans to use a 3.0L V6 turbodiesel Q7 to promote the idea that diesel vehicles can be fun as well as economical. It will also be bringing a four-cylinder turbodiesel to the U.S. next year, likely to be in the A4, and will study the sales of these two models to figure out whether the market is ready for more oil-burners.

The sales of these two models could also have some bearing on the future of Audi's current concept-only V12 TDI diesel-powered R8 supercar. While a decision on the car's production status was supposed to have been made earlier this year, Hatz said that it was still being considered, although admittedly it isn't "priority number one" at Audi right now.