There are signs that Volkswagen could be soon to break the new technology diesel drought in the United States.

The Car Connection (TCC) website says the V10 turbo-diesel version of the new Touareg SUV could go Stateside but not until the second quarter of 2004 when it has a particulate trap in its exhaust system.

TCC says VW can’t even sell its current diesel models, [notably a 90bhp Tdi version of the Jetta which is known as the Bora elsewhere] in California.

Meanwhile, European buyers are offered 100, 110, 130 and 150bhp versions of the car, some with more advanced performance and emissions control technology.

TCC said the tough US emissions laws could even force VW’s diesels out entirely by the middle of this decade without the new particle trapping equipment.

The website added that the Touareg project director Matthias Kroll hinted that the new emission control gear is now being tested and that updated versions of four-, six- and possibly five-cylinder Volkswagen diesels could find their way to the States.

A number of US industry commentators say a fuel crisis as a result of possible Middle Eastern military activity could spur diesel demand.

However there are notable ‘for’ and ‘against’ diesel lobby groups in the US and both sides have stepped up their press conferences, media events and statement release activity in recent months.