Until now Audi has pretty much limited hybrid technology to its concept cars such as its A1 Sportback, e-tron Spyder and metroproject quattro. That is set to change with the upcoming Q5 hybrid quattro – the company’s first hybrid model with two drive systems. Audi claims the vehicle will have power comparable to a V6, coupled with fuel consumption like that of a four-cylinder Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) turbodiesel engine vehicle.
The Q5 hybrid quattro’s 2.0 TFSI gasoline engine and electric motor combine to provide a system output of 180 kW (245 hp) and 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft) of torque. It is able to go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.1 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 222 km/h (138 mph). On electric power it can reach a top speed of 100 km/h but its range in electric-only mode is a meager three kilometers (1.86 miles) traveling at 60 km/h (37 mph).
The permanent four-wheel drive vehicle’s consumption of under seven liters per 100 km (33.6 US mpg) in the normal cycle (NEDC) corresponds to CO2 emissions of less than 160g/km (258 g/mile), while Audi says its 75 liter (19.8 US gallon) tank yields a range comparable to that of a TDI.
A so-called hybrid manager controls the transitions between operating modes and, when the 2.0 TFSI is turned off, an electric pump maintains the oil pressure in the hydraulic system to safeguard the vehicle’s start-stop feature.
At low temperatures it draws temperate air from the vehicle interior by way of a fan but, if its temperature exceeds a certain limit, a separate refrigerant circuit kicks in that is coupled to the main climate control system but uses a separate evaporator. Audi says this heavy-duty active cooling system distinguishes the Q5 hybrid quattro from many other hybrids and significantly contributes to the high electrical availability of the system.
Using a button on the center console or a selector lever the driver can switch between EV, D and S programs. EV mode gives priority to the electric drive in the city, while the D mode employs both motors for optimal fuel consumption and the S mode is designed for sporty driving.
The car also features a WLAN hotspot, which provides an Internet connection for up to eight devices. Using an antenna on the roof the system provide a connection of up to 7.2 MBps using UMTS.
The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro is due to land at dealerships before the end of the year and will be offered in an exclusive color called "Polar Silver." Pricing is yet to be announced.
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