Audi’s Hybrid Q5 to Arrive in US in 2010

Wolfgang Hatz, Volkswagen‘s powertrain development head, said in an interview at the Detroit Auto Show that the company will bring the hybrid version of the Q5 crossover to the United States in late 2010.

Audi Q5 Hybrid City Drive

According to Hatz, this move is necessary if they want to stay ahead of the game and compete with other hybrid vehicles such as the Lexus RX 400H and the BMW X6, which will have a hybrid version available on the market late this year. Mercedes is also planning on rolling out a hybrid version for its major models, in addition to the S400 hybrid which will be available this year.

Audi Q5 Hybrid Front

Despite the popularity of hybrid models, however, Hatz said that diesel cars still have the greatest potential in vehicle development. Hatz said that if you compare the money you have to dole out to get the advantages of hybrid and what you have to spend to get the other technologies in diesel cars, the latter would still prove to be more cost-effective.

Audi Q5 Hybrid Side

Hatz also said that the development of a hybrid powertrain is three to four times more costly than that of a standard drivetrain, whereas a diesel drivetrain would cost less than 50 percent to develop. And given the low volumes of hybrid vehicles available, Hatz said that offering the drivetrain in only one model would have negative impacts on business.

Audi Q5 Hybrid Front View

The gasoline version of the Audi Q5 is already available in Europe, and will cruise through US shores in March. The Audi Q5 will face fierce competition with the Volvo XC60, BMW X3, and the Mercedes Benz GLK.

Audi Q5 Hybrid Driving

More news on Audi Cars at Audi News Blog.

Filed under:Audi, Hybrids, Luxury, SUV

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