Audi to expand plug-in hybrid range alongside e-tron electric


2018 Audi Q5

2018 Audi Q5

The Audi e-tron electric crossover won't be the only new model with a plug coming soon.

The company plans up to 12 new plug-in models by 2025, Audi revealed at the launch event for the e-tron quattro SUV in California last month, according to a report in British magazine Autocar.

In addition to the e-tron SUV, the company will produce a fastback version of the SUV known as the e-tron Sportback, as well as the e-tron GT, a four-door luxury sedan designed to compete with the Tesla Model S.

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Audi also plans to debut several new plug-in hybrid models, starting with a new plug-in hybrid version of the Q5 SUV (slightly smaller than the all-electric e-tron SUV).

The Q5 e-tron plug-in hybrid has recently been observed testing in the U.S.

It represents a new wave of plug-in hybrids from Audi expected to have bigger batteries and longer electric ranges than the company's sole plug-in model today, the A3 e-tron.

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The A3 e-tron has 16 miles of electric range, according to the EPA.

Audi powertrain director Siegfried Pint told Autocar that the new range of e-tron plug-in hybrids will have 20 to 30 percent more electric range, which could give the Q5 e-tron up to 21 miles on the U.S. driving cycle.

That would put the latest Audi plug-in hybrids on par with existing versions of the BMW X5 xDrive40e, and the Volvo XC60 and XC90 plug-in hybrids. BMW has already announced that the next version of its X5 plug-in hybrid, coming in 2020, will have up to 50 miles of electric range.

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Like the A3 e-tron, the new models will have all-wheel drive, with a gas engine driving the front wheels, and the electric motor providing power to the rear. A second electric motor connected to the transmission can provide all-wheel drive on electric power.

The Q5 is expected to use a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with 188 horsepower driving the front wheels. The front-mounted motor will add another 108 hp. 

The Q5 e-tron will be one of 10 plug-in hybrids expected from Audi, including the small Q3 SUV and the A6 sedan.

It's not clear how many of those models may come to the U.S., but with photos showing the Q5 e-tron plug-in hybrid testing in the U.S., it seems a fair bet. 

 
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