Audi, considered a holdout in hybrid powertrain technology, is on schedule to release a hybrid version of the Q5 Crossover vehicle in late 2010 or the ealry part of 2011.

Though Audi has developed a considerable amount of fuel efficient diesel engines, they have yet to develop a hybrid powertrain vehicle for production.  That is about to change as Audi gears up for the release of it Q5 hybrid.

As part of a collection of hybrid offerings slated from Volkswagen and Audi in the near future, the Q5 will lead the way for Audi. 

The Volkswagen group recently announced plans for several hybrid models to be introduced in the near future beginning with the hybrid Jetta expected in 2010.  Volkswagen will focus on advanced hybrid technology for several upcoming models.  Volkswagen has stated that they will adopt micro hybrid technology, regenerative braking and stop and start technology on all product lines in upcoming models.

Audi's hybrid powertrain is an HEV modular system that uses lithium ion batteries and electric motors to move the rear axle, while the gasoling engine powers the front axle combining to make the vehicle awd capable.  Audi hints at the possibility of a plug in vehicle in the near future. 

Audi chose the Q5 to introduce its hybrid technology because it shares platform with several other Audi vehicles making the hybrid modular system easily incorporated into other models.

Word is that the hybrid technology may find its way into a Porsche model soon.

 Look for the hybrid Q5 in showrooms in late 2010 or early 2011 with additional update on hybrid models from the Volkswagen group coming soon.

Source:  Wards Auto