Audi's first mass-production hybrid model was to have been the Q7 SUV beginning in early 2009. As Audi officials told ABG back in April, that program has been effectively canceled. Audi had been working on the development with VW and Porsche, whose Touareg and Cayenne share their platforms with the Q7. Audi R&D Boss Michael Dick has confirmed to Autocar that development of hybrids with nickel metal hydride batteries has been put on hold. Instead, the company will focus on lithium battery hybrids expected to debut with the Q5 in 2010. Audi explained that they were not satisfied with the poor cold weather performance and limited capacity of NiMH batteries. When the batteries are low, the vehicle loses a significant amount of performance and Audi engineers wanted to ensure that the performance was consistent. They don't want a driver to pull out for a passing maneuver and have less acceleration than expected due to a cold or flat battery. VW and Porsche are proceeding with their nickel metal hydride battery hybrid plans.
[Source: Autocar]

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