2019 Geneva Auto Show: Audi’s Plug-in Hybrid Offensive

GENEVA (Switzerland) – At the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, Audi is introducing new plug-in hybrid variants of the Q5, A6, A7 and A8 that will be available later in 2019. These new models will carry a “TFSI e” badge since the “e-tron” moniker will be used exclusively for the brand’s all-electric offerings.

Audi is announcing a range of more than 40 kilometres in EV mode with all TFSI e models, which will allow drivers to cover nearly a third of their daily commutes without burning any fuel, according to the company. The 7.2-kilowatt on-board charger tops up the battery in two hours.

Two of the new plug-in hybrids, namely the A8 and Q5 variants, have already been confirmed for Canada, and the A6 and A7 variants are expected to follow at a later date.

Blessed with all-wheel drive, the Q5, A6 and A7 are powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor incorporated into the seven-speed, S tronic dual-clutch transmission. Said motor is fed by a 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery mounted under the trunk. There will be two output levels including the comfort-oriented 50 TFSI e quattro producing 299 horsepower and 331 lb.-ft. of torque, as well as the sportier 55 TFSI e quattro generating 367 horsepower and 368 lb.-ft. of torque. The latter also gets a firmer suspension and uses the electric motor more frequently to maximize fun on the road.

Similarly, the plug-in hybrid variant of the A8 (available with long wheelbase only) will come standard with all-wheel drive. The A8L 60 TFSI e quattro houses a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 and the electric motor is integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission. Max power is rated at 449 horsepower, while torque amounts to 516 lb.-ft.

All these plug-in hybrid models offer several drive modes including EV for all-electric operation, Auto for a completely automatic hybrid drive and Hold for preserving energy to be used later in EV mode.

Furthermore, a “predictive efficiency assist” feature analyzes navigation data and input from the car’s sensors to plan the entire route. The driver receives a visual indication on the display and haptic feedback via the gas pedal when they should take their foot off to maximize efficiency.

Like many other products in the lineup, the new plug-in hybrids come with the Audi drive select system, which allows drivers to adjust vehicle parameters such as the transmission, suspension and steering to their liking.

This latest announcement fits into an electrification plan that sees Audi emulating other brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. By the way, the new Audi Q4 e-tron electric SUV concept is presented in Geneva, too.

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