2009 Audi Q5

2009 Audi Q5

Audi is hopping onto the electrified vehicle bandwagon with plans for a new range of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric luxury vehicles and sports cars in the coming years. Following the lead of parent company Volkswagen, Audi is striving to become the leader for alternative-powered vehicles in the luxury segment and is doing so with vehicles like the recently revealed A8 Hybrid, e-Tron electric sports car concepts and soon a gasoline-electric version of the mid-size Q5 SUV.

The Q5 SUV will in fact be the basis for Audi’s next hybrid vehicle, which rumors had hinted would make its world debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show this November ahead of a sales launch early next year. Those rumors are false, however, according to Audi of America corporate communications director Brad Stertz. Stertz says the Q5 is slated for a 2011 debut.

According to reports coming out of Europe, the Q5 Hybrid will feature the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor combination found in the A8 Hybrid. Peak output should remain at 245 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque and in the Q5 fuel economy could hover around the 40 mpg mark for the combined cycle.

Hybrid-electric and other green  propulsion systems are as much a theme of the current climate as is the restructuring and 'right-sizing' of the industry--even more so, at ground-level. However, the popularity of hybrid vehicles will largely depend on whether or not U.S. auto sales increase beyond its current levels but with practical newcomers like the Q5 Hybrid we can only assume their popularity will increase substantially.

[L’Automobile Magazine]