Audi could be getting even more diverse with its powertrains for the A6, A8 and Q7, moving beyond offering just gas- and diesel-powered models and adding plug-in hybrid variants of the three luxury vehicles. The report comes from Indian Autos Blog, which spoke to Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's research and design chief, who confirmed the PHVs.

The next-generation Q7, due in 2015, will be the pioneer for the full-size PHV movement from Audi, although the A3 Sportback E-Tron (shown above) will precede it. The move toward plug-ins by Audi is a big step, as the German marque has stayed quite firmly in the diesel camp, outside of its racing efforts. It's developed a few E-Tron cars over the years, including a version based on the R8, although it wasn't until recently that production of the electric sports car became serious again.

It's believed that this hesitance to really dive into the PHV market is why Audi sacked former research and design boss Wolfgan Dürheimer, with IAB speculating that his approach was too conservative.

Naturally, we're looking to hear from you. Should Audi just leave plug-in hybrids alone and continue plugging along with its excellent diesel offerings, or are more E-Tron products necessary to the brand's survival? Let us know what you think in the informal poll below.



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  • 18 Comments
      Tweaker
      • 9 Months Ago
      Europe is officially moving away from diesel, something routinely ignored by the auto writers constantly pounding the diesel drums. There is that small problem of diesel particulates being listed as a known carcinogen. Electric baby.
      SloopJohnB
      • 9 Months Ago
      Plug in hybrid diesels. Their cars are big enough for a 30-60KWH battery and the diesel should be awesome.
      Rick
      • 9 Months Ago
      Anything that gets me off Big Oil's teet, sign me up as long as it's got performance and is affordable. Diesel is just a less side effects version of the same ailment. I want an oil cure. I'm patiently waiting for a $30k or so (could be used/CPO) EV that has performance and styling so I can go petrol free. Teslas sell more used than new, but maybe another 1-2 years I can look into that.
        TMoody
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Rick
        Similar sentiment for me. A 200 mi range for $30k would do it for me.
      bonehead
      • 9 Months Ago
      Every time i look at that interior i see this funny little man wearing a top hat _[|||]_ O....O ====
      Anonymous
      • 9 Months Ago
      I agree with some of the others. Why make diesel and plug in hybrid an either or choice? Lets see a diesel plug in hybrid.
        fastz28
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Anonymous
        Exactly, best of both worlds. I recall an article on AB a while back about a diesel hybrid Volvo V60 it got great mileage and was reasonably quick.
        Myself
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Anonymous
        A diesel hybrid might be a good idea - if diesel came from Mazda, and hybrid technology from Toyota.
      CoolWaters
      • 9 Months Ago
      Diesel particles cause Cancer. Not Smart.
      yo
      • 9 Months Ago
      epic fail. um...DEAR AUDI...1993 called and wants its designs back.
      zambono
      • 9 Months Ago
      What about plugin diesels?
      dan.frederiksen
      • 9 Months Ago
      Audi will eventually in their own unintelligent subconscious way realize that you can't electrify the dumb vehicles they have in their product portfolio now. And of course the solution is not diesel. That's such a spectacular example of USA ignorance to ask that question. Half the cars in Europe are diesels. They run on fossil fuel. Obviously not the solution. How stupid can you be. Conventional cars like the cast iron junk Audi is pushing are very wasteful. They have gotten away with that because you sheep are vacuous and fuel is cheap. So you can afford to waste it. The easy way to transition to electric drive is to make the cars energy efficient which is done with aerodynamics and weight optimization. And both can be dramatically improved compared to the junk that's on the roads today. Roughly a factor two. Which means you need only half the battery capacity. Halving the price on a car is significant. You only have to look at Volvo 240 to know how stupid carmakers are about aero. The typical human intuition is that a car is a car, you can only do so much to the efficiency, it has to use a certain amount of energy like you are used to. But that's very wrong. A car can be surprisingly improved. Driving costs can be so reduced that it feels like it's free. Optimization is king. That's how 'computers' from 1970 the size of a house is bested by a greeting card today. Automakers are just evil and stupid and you sheep don't hold them accountable and neither do the nitwits in governments. There is not a single even remotely competent government on this earth when it comes to cars going green. It is phenomenal. An absolutely inexplicable universal stupidity. Even noble prize winning Steven Chu who was secretary of energy in USA is dumb as a post. He said about current battery technology that it needs to have at least 5 times higher energy density to compete with gas cars. That's the battery technology in Tesla Model S he was talking about. He said at least 5 times, preferably 7. 7 times the density in Model S would allow it to go 3000km on a charge. And Model S is a fatso at 2.1ton. Hardly an efficient car. That's what a nobel prize winner in his professional capacity stated in a prepared speech at COP16 was needed for EVs to compete. I'm a genius and I'm at a complete loss to explain how it's possible to be that stupid. It would be difficult for 50cent to say something that stupid.
      FREEPAT75014
      • 9 Months Ago
      Audi had it all in its first eTron concepts, that then degenerated into non-interest hybrids so far. I hope they will return to these original thoughts and build real sole car replacements designed as European Teslas with smaller batteries than Tesla but not tooo small (40KWH would be enough for me, even 24 to 30KWH could do it, but please not
      Rr778
      • 9 Months Ago
      Didn't Audi already say the future if quatro was fwd with electric powered rwd?
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