"We have to do hybrids in order to show people that we are able to do them," said Wolfgang Hatz, head of powertrain development for theGroup, back in January at the Detroit Auto Show. Maybe that explains why Audi has been waffling in their decision to make a hybrid version of the Q5 crossover.
For now, anyway, the Q5 Hybrid is back on, with expected production happening by 2011. Though the powertrain details aren't yet known, there's a possibility that the new hybrid system could be applied to a number of vehicles in Audi's lineup, given that the Q5 is based on the A4. (The A4 comes in four-door sedan, two-door convertible and five-door wagon varieties.)
Not to mention the fact that Hatz believes a successful hybrid business plan requires the eco-friendly powertrain to be used in multiple models. Whereas a diesel powertrain can cost 1.5 times as much as a standard gas powertrain, designing a hybrid can cost quadruple that according to Hatz.
Regardless, the Q5 Hybrid is expected to beat any diesel version of the stylish crossover to market. We shall see.