Audi Q5 Hybrid to Be Released in 2010

After the yet-to-come hybrid version of the Q7 mall-boat, Audi is also preparing a hybrid version for its little brother, the Q5 compact crossover/SUV. The official statement comes from Wolfgang Hatz, who is the head of powertrain development for the entire Volkswagen Group.

The Q5 hybrid will first arrive on yankee shores starting in late 2010 and if it's successful enough in the US it will be launched in Europe as well. This comes as a bit of a surprise since the Q5 is already available in most European countries and will only go on sale in the US in March.

In an interview given to Autoweek at the Detroit Auto Show in January, Hatz said that Audi must counterattack rivals like the already available Lexus RX 400h, the soon-to-come Li-Ion competitors from Mercedes-Benz and the BMW X6 Hybrid which will arrive later this year.

Giving as an excuse the fact that a hybrid powertrain is usually 3-400% more expensive that a standard one, compared to a diesel, which is only about 50% more expensive, Hatz also said that the greatest future potential still lies in the diesel engine.

“If you look at what you have to spend to get the advantage of the hybrid and what you have to spend on other technologies like diesel, the diesel is much more cost-effective,” Hatz also told Autoweek. “We have to do hybrids in order to show people that we are able to do them.”

Until a real diesel offensive should start from Audi's part on US turf, the Q5 might actually replace the Q7 Hybrid future-offering since the dollar's weak value against the euro has made the original plan a bit non feasible.

Competing with BMW's X3, Mercedes-Benz's GLK and Volvo's XC60, the Audi Q5 is the company's first ever compact crossover/SUV and it's already available with both diesel and gasoline engines in Europe.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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