America got its first look at Audi's new Q5 mid-size SUV during the recent Audi Mileage Marathon. Those examples were powered by the company's 3.0L V6 diesel engine. So far there is no word from Audi on when or if Americans will ever be able to buy a Q5 TDI. For the moment the only Q5 powertrain confirmed for the U.S. is the 3.6L gas V6. When we got a preview of the Q5 in Germany last April, Audi officials discussed another possibility, a hybrid. Plans to introduce a hybrid version of the larger Q7 are on hold in part because Audi engineers are not satisfied with the performance of nickel metal hydride batteries, particularly in cold weather. We were told a Q5 hybrid with a lithium ion battery is likely to appear sometime around 2010-11 and that will probably be the first Audi hybrid in North America. The Nikkei is now reporting that the Q5 hybrid is expected to be introduced into Japan in 2012.

[Source: Nikkei, via Green Car Congress]

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