The only thing that seems to be certain about Audi's hybrid plans is that absolutely nothing is certain. Just since the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, Audi officials have said they will build a Q7 hybrid in 2009, then at the Detroit Auto Show in January they said they would build an A4 hybrid instead. In Detroit they showed an A4 hybrid powertrain and Product Mgr, Carter Balkom said that car was coming in 2009. More recently, Audi has indicated they wouldn't build a Q7 hybrid but would instead do a hybrid version of the new Q5 in 2010. When I was in Germany last month to drive the new A4, several Audi engineers indicated that they would not build any hybrids until they had lithium ion batteries since they were not satisfied with the performance of nickel metal hydrides. They also indicated that with the current exchange rates, a hybrid sourced from Germany wouldn't make business sense because it would be too expensive. I was told that the Q7 would focus on the TDI diesel instead. Apparently Q5/Q7 marketing head Frank Hermann has told Automotive News yet another story. Hermann told AN that there would no Q5 hybrid but a Q7 hybrid was coming in 2009, bringing us all the way back around. We've got an email query into Audi that will might provide an answer, but I'm not hopeful.

[Source: Automotive News: - sub. req'd]

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