PROVIDING GREEN POWERTRAIN options is fast becoming a key strategy for the world?s automakers. Not every solution fits every market though which is why Audi is preparing a petrol-electric hybrid version of its Q5 SUV, targeted principally at North American 'green' buyers.
Set to launch in 2011, the Q5 Hybrid is aimed squarely at markets that favour hybrid systems over the likes of clean diesels, the powertrain of choice in Europe.
For now, the specifics on which engine might be teamed with the hybrid system are being kept under wraps. With the Q5 sharing much of its mechanical package with the A4 and A5, it?s not too much of a stretch to envisage the hybrid system spreading into other Audi models with time.
Audi first hinted at the hybrid option at the Detroit Motor Show in January.
Wolfgang Hatz, head of powertrain development for Audi, although conceding the practical benefits and cost-effectiveness of clean diesel engines, said that due to differences in fuel prices and positioning between Europe and the US, a hybrid system would enjoy greater acceptance in North America and similar markets.
The investment in a petrol-electric system won?t just be for the benefit of the American market though, with the Q5 hybrid to be offered in various markets globally. Watch this space for news of an Australian release.