Now official: Come 2014, Audi A3, A4 sedan and Q7 Crossover to get plug-in hybrid options
Volkswagen group company Audi is betting big on electric vehicle technology and by 2020, the German automaker hopes to have an electric variant in every single category of its car range, and that includes its supercars. That’s right, later this year, Audi plans to launch its all electric R8 e-Tron supercar, thus opening the floodgates for a range of new Audi cars, both in plug-in hybrid as well as all-electric categories.
In 2014 though, Audi will begin to focus on the mass market segment with the plug-in hybrid versions of the big selling A4 sedan and the Q7 crossover. However, the A3 plug-in hybrid is expected to pip both the A4 and the Q7 hybrid cars to the launch post, and will be Audi’s first big volume hybrid product to be launched in 2014. Audi is expected to begin selling the internal combustion engined versions of the A3 sedan in India by 2013-14.
Coming back to the A4 and Q7 plug-in hybrids, both these cars will be all new versions both in terms of design as well as the technology that goes into making them. While the A4 will be based on the MQB platform and will come with a front wheel drive design with plenty of weight savings due to extensive use of lighter materials, the 2014 Q7 is also expected to be much more lighter than ever before, due to the extensive use of aluminum in its construction.
The next generation 2014 A4 plug-in hybrid sedan will feature a electric motors mounted on the rear axle and will come with an all new e-Quattro system, a system that Audi is showcasing through its latest LeMans race cars. The e-Quattro all wheel rive system will eliminate mechanical linkages and will be an all electric system. Also, the plug-in hybrid cars in Audi’s line up are expected to feature a start-stop system, brake energy regeneration and a thermal energy recovery system.