Audi plans to have a plug-in hybrid version of each of its “key models” by 2020, reiterated Board Member for Technical Development Ulrich Hackenberg.
Speaking at the launch of the A3 Sportback e-tron, Hackenberg said Audi had decided to prioritize plug-in hybrids because “they meet all of our customers’ expectations.”
He said that Audi is developing two PHEV families. Future models based on the MQB platform will be offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain like that of the A3 e-tron, which has an electric motor, a transversely mounted 1.4 TFSI gas engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Larger Audi models will use a similar system, but will be based on the new MLB-Evo platform, with a longitudinally mounted engine.
The first PHEV from the company, the A3 Sportback e-tron, is now available to order for customers in Europe. Approximately 410 Audi dealers in Europe are selling the plug-in at a base price of 37,900 euros in the German market (about $50,000 US).
Audi is in no hurry to develop pure EVs, said CEO Rupert Stadler. “We have tested the technology, but we have always been clear that, from a customer’s point-of-view, plug-in hybrid technology is best. Plug-in technology gives efficiency and it gives range. I’ve spoken to Tesla customers, and they say that if the plug-in Audi Q7 was available that is the car they would choose. We are confident we have chosen the right path – an electric car that lives only in the showroom does nothing for the CO2 agenda. We want to build cars that sell.”