Audi’s drive to develop a comprehensive range of hybrid models is gathering steam, with several new models due to become available next year. Longer-term, Audi expects to offer ten plug-in hybrid models by 2025, plus 20 all-electric cars.
Customers will soon be taking delivery of the first new Q5 55 TFSI e quattro models, priced from around £55,000.In electric mode only, it has a range of over 26 miles and an 84mph top speed. This allows the SUV to cover most everyday distances without the backup from the 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine.It also makes it the ideal vehicle for commuters, fleet operators and as a company car.
The myAudi app allows customers to check the battery and range status, start the charging process, program the charge timer and view charge and consumption statistics. A route planner shows the currently available charging stations.Even with a standard 220-volt household outlet, an empty battery can be fully recharged in around six hours.Customers can get £500 off the cost of having a wall box installed at their homes.
First up next year is the new A3 Sportback 40 e-tron Plug-In Hybrid.We are taking orders for this exciting new coupé now.With an ‘on the road’ price of just £32,800 – substantially less than the previous model – it has an all-electric range of 22 miles, with the power of a 1.4 TFSI petrol engine available for longer journeys.Compared to the non-hybrid version, 40% tax payers will save more than £3,600 over four years in Benefit-in-Kind taxation based on current bands.
Also due early next year are Plug-In Hybrid versions of the A6, A7 and A8.
The A6 55 TFSI e quattro will have an all-electric range of 32 miles.It combines two highly efficient drive systems – a four-cylinder 2.0 TFSI petrol engine with 252PS and an electric motor integrated into the seven-speed S tronic with a peak output of 105kW and a top speed – using electric power alone – of 83mph.It will take around two-and-a-half hours to recharge an empty battery at public charging stations, and customers can use the MyAudi app to manage charging or pre-entry climate control before they depart.
“The potential to make journeys of over 30 miles under pure electric power, and to travel for hundreds more thanks to the powerful TFSI unit, makes the A6 TFSI e exceptionally fit for purpose, even before the BIK and VED advantages are taken into account,” comments Audi UK Director Andrew Doyle.
The Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, and an electric motor with a 25-mile range.Writing a ‘first drive’ road test for the audi.co.uk website, Angus Frazer notes that “while the technology at work in the A7 Sportback TFSI e, and all of Audi’s new plug-in hybrid models, is ultra-advanced and complex, it is never, ever complicated to use. In fact, it couldn’t be simpler – all you have to do is drive and enjoy it.”
The Audi A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro combines luxury with efficiency.The extended wheelbase limousine measures 5.3 metres and will be followed by a standard wheelbase model.It has a six-cylinder 3.0 V6 TFSI turbocharged direct-injection engine as well as a 100 kW peak output electric motor and can travel up to 26.8 miles on electric power alone.It is also equipped with a synthetic e-sound as standard to alert pedestrians and cyclists in city traffic.The acoustic vehicle alerting system can be heard clearly up to 12mph and gradually fades out as the speed increases.
The Audi e-tron Sportback will launch in the second quarter of next year, closely followed by an e-tron Sportback S version.Finally, we’re expecting the Audi Q3 TFSI e Plug-In Hybrid to arrive about 12 months from now. We’ll let you know more as soon as the details are announced.