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A few short months after announcing that it would be killing off the Q7 hybrid SUV, Audi has decided that its smaller brother, the Q5, doesn't really need the fuel-saving option either. The German automaker cites the safety of its nickel metal hydride battery packs, but we're not completely sold on that being the real concern, especially considering the hundreds of thousands of Toyota Prius hybrids (among others, of course) already roaming the world's busiest highways with nary a problem. If not safety, then why cancel the project? Pricing is likely the biggest factor holding Audi's hybrids back, along with Audi's large investment in turbo diesels and the growing use of lightweight materials in its line, especially the use of aluminum in its chassis structures. Adding the cost of hybrid technology to these already expensive programs may seem cost prohibitive. Oh yeah, and gas is getting cheap again.
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