European reports say Audi is postponing indefinitely petrol-electric hybrid development, and has shelved the planned hybrid Q5 compact SUV
British magazine Autocar quoted senior but unnamed Audi sources, as saying the carmaker “won’t produce a petrol-electric hybrid until we can make nickel metal hydride batteries safer in crash situations, and hybrid technology more efficient overall.
“Until then we will concentrate on producing more efficient diesel engines and aluminium chassis.”
One of those more efficient diesels is in the new Q7 full-sized SUV due to go on sale in New Zealand next March. Audi says the massive SUV can return fuel economy in the 11 litres/100km bracket.
British Autocar says Audi will now fit the latest in-vogue fuel saver, stop/start technology, to the Q5, along with other technical advances aimed at improving fuel efficiency. So far there is no diesel Q5. Stop/start turns off the engine when a vehicle is idling and restarts it when a gear is engaged.
Audi New Zealand says TDI diesels account for around 43 percent of its new vehicle sales.