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2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid To Be Pricey 'Performance Hybrid'?

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2013 Audi Q5

2013 Audi Q5

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The 2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid crossover has had a long gestation, but reports say it will finally reach the U.S. market this fall.

On sale in Europe for a year now, the hybrid Q5 was originally launched at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Technical details had emerged even before that.

Now a report in Automobile magazine suggests that the 2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid will be priced at the very high end of the Q5 range, positioned as a "performance hybrid" rather than an out-and-out fuel efficiency champ.

That's similar to the way its larger siblings in the VW Group--the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid and Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid--are positioned. The low-volume, now-discontinued BMW ActiveHybrid X6 also fit that niche.

Automobile suggests that the Q5 Hybrid will come in above $50,000, which would put it within $10,000 of the larger hybrid SUV from Volkswagen. It quotes an Audi spokesman as saying that the hybrid crossover will come solely in the top-end Prestige trim level.

The Q5 Hybrid is the first model to pair the VW Group single-motor hybrid system with a 211-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Audi gave details on its most technically advanced crossover earlier this year.

The 40-kilowatt (54-hp) electric motor sits between the turbo four and the group's eight-speed automatic transmission, and Quattro all-wheel drive is standard.

Cutaway of new Audi Q5 Hybrid

Cutaway of new Audi Q5 Hybrid

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Powered by a 1.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack under the load deck, the electric motor can propel the Q5 Hybrid for roughly a mile on electricity alone, at speeds up to 62 mph.

The Audi driving character is maintained by a choice of three modes: Electric, Drive and Sport, offering the driver the option of choosing between fuel-efficient and sporty performance.

When it's introduced later this year, Audi's first hybrid in the U.S. will wear slightly new styling, marking a mid-cycle refresh for the compact crossover.

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