Audi A8 Hybrid and A1 Plug-in Hybrid Luxury Car Concepts
Both these luxury cars are still concepts, but Audi executives are guarantees to bring on electric-drive cars.
Earlier this week at the 2010 Geneva International Motor Show, Volkswagen promised to lift hybrids out of its niche status and to produce electric cars. Audi, Volkswagen’s luxury brand, echoed the sentiment, making a commitment to full hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric cars.
Rupert Stadler, Audi AG's chairman of the board of management, said, “We shall offer electric power in the best possible forms for a wide range of mobility needs. The hybrid driveline will be followed by all-electric vehicles." Michael Dick, Audi board member for technical development, added, “In due course plug-in hybrids will demonstrate their strong points when drivers expect to cover longer distances in the pure electric mode, in combination with a conventional engine."
Audi plans to use the name “e-tron” for electric-drive cars, much the way the company uses “Quattro” as a synonym for all-wheel drive. In Geneva, Audi gave shape to its latest promise to hybrids and plug-in cars by exposing two concepts: a full hybrid version of its Audi A8 large flagship sedan, and the A1 e-tron, a plug-in hybrid subcompact.
Unluckily, Audi gave no details about the company's first and only hybrid slated for manufacture so far: the Q5 hybrid crossover SUV. It's due in the US in early 2011. The Q5 hybrid, like the BMW X6 Hybrid, will try to fight with the Lexus RX 450h, which in latest months has turn into the best-selling hybrid SUV on the market. Sorry, no news on price or other specs are available for the Q5 hybrid.