It seems like every carmaker has set themselves the goal of world domination. Toyota's internal master-plan memos leaked out, and then there's BMW nipping right along with lofty goals, too. Here comes Audi, deciding that they'd really like to sell 200,000 vehicles in the US market by 2010. While BMW is the current premium brand champ, Audi thinks it's got the moxie to claim that spot. Audi's perhaps got a case of inflated self-esteem if they think they're going to come out on top, especially considering that competitors are also projecting gains. Taken together, automakers have set out goals for growth that are more ambitious than what the market's likely to do.

Nobody will argue that Audi makes high-performing cars packed with high levels of technology and class-leading appointments. When the conversation takes on a green tinge, however, Ingolstadt seemingly falls short. Audis have been packing on the muscle and the weight, while BMW's been at work discovering ways to decrease carbon emissions and innovate in the name of fuel efficiency. Audi fires back, citing their fleet's CO2 emissions which are lower than Mercedes or BMW, with more tech to come. Tweaked engines, hybrid and alternative-fuel powertrains, and fuel-saving techniques like stop/start and brake regeneration are all coming to the Audi range soon. In the race for the top, someone will inevitably end up on the bottom. Audi just hopes that they can claw up that slope, Quattro-like.

[Source: Auto News - sub req]