Audi A8, A7, A6 and Q5 plug-in hybrids
Audi’s future plans for plug-in vehicles involve more than the all-electric e-tron quattro scheduled to roll out later this year.
Now, with the previous plug-in hybrid, the A3 Sportback e-tron, already in the rearview mirror, the company has announced plans to reboot its plug-in lineup with four more PHEVs: the Q5, A6, A7, and A8.
Going forward, the e-tron label will be reserved for Audi’s pure electric cars, and the new plug-in hybrids will wear a new “TFSI e” badge.
The new plug-in hybrids, scheduled to be released next week at the Geneva auto show will also be more capable than the A3 e-tron, Audi says.
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All four will use the same new plug-in hybrid system with a 14.1-kwh battery pack under the cargo floor in back that will give the cars about 25 miles of electric range estimated on the new European WLTP driving cycle—significantly longer than the A3 Sportback e-tron
In Europe, the cars will be offered in two different trim levels, a luxurious 50 TFSI with Audi’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 and 134-horsepower electric motor, and a sportier 55 TFSI e with a 3.0-liter turbo V-6 and a 141-hp motor. The 55 TFSI e models will also get sharper suspension settings and quicker off-the-line torque than the 50 TSFI e models.
In the U.S., only the 55 TFSI e will be offered. In the Q5 and A7, it will use the larger motor and smaller 4-cylinder gas engine. the A8 will get the larger V-6 and a smaller 100-hp motor, said Audi spokesman Benedikt Still. He declined to specify which powertrain might go into the A6 TFSI e in the U.S.
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To work in increasing numbers of cities with plans to ban internal combustion cars at certain times, Audi’s new plug-in hybrids will include Hold and EV modes.
They will also have a heat pump to heat the cabin without the engine running, which Audi says can provide 3 kw of heat with only 1 kw of consumption by using residual heat from the powertrain.
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Like the e-tron quattro, the navigation system works with the drivetrain to optimize efficiency on planned routes. Haptic feedback in the accelerator lets drivers know when to back off for greatest efficiency. In Drive, the cars will coast, while in Sport mode, they’ll offer up to 80 kw of deceleration regen.
When they go on sale later in 2019, the four new Audi plug-in hybrids will face off against BMW’s longstanding—though not-particularly high-selling—line of plug-in hybrids.