Audi's first diesel and hybrid powertrains in the US will be launched in the Q7 next year. The power units will likely trickle down to other vehicles in Audi's range, but they're not yet offering up any details on how prolific this hardware will be. Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have been working collaboratively to develop the parallel hybrid system, which makes the choice of the Q7 logical, as all three brands share a flavor of the architecture. Hybrid Q7s will be able to power around on the electric motor up to 31 mph, and the system will also shut down the engine during cruise conditions at speeds up to 75 mph. The total weight of the system adds 300 pounds, most of which is in the 288-volt NiMH battery pack.

The modular hybrid system will be easy to integrate with different powertrains once Audi starts propagating the system throughout the rest of their models, and terming it "modular" denotes that the basic pieces will be very adaptable. When Porsche and Volkswagen get their versions of the hybrid gear, we'd expect the engines to differ from the Q7's 3.6 liter 280 horsepower unit. Audi's claiming a 23 percent mileage improvement versus the conventional Q-ship. As for the oil burner, it will be a 3-liter V6 that is 50-state compliant while quietly thumping out 230 horsepower and 400 ft-lb of torque. Diesel torque delivery can be often be described as "electric-motor like," but we wonder if the Hybrid, with its actual electric motors, will laugh at the diesel's effort as it gets the hole shot.

[Source: Auto News - sub req.]