While electric vehicles have failed to gather the forecasted pace, the automakers still need to drive down their carbon fingerprint to meet increasingly tough European or US regulations.

The second largest premium automaker, Audi, has opted to initiate a never before seen plug-in hybrid offensive, as the technology can cater for many needs. It will allow the automaker to reach new CO2 and fuel consumption standards, while the customer can get rid of one of the biggest concerns of batter-driven vehicles – range anxiety. Audi will move to release its flagship sport utility vehicle in two plug-in hybrid powertrain derivations: a diesel-hybrid for the European customers and a gasoline-hybrid for the two largest luxury markets in the world, the United States and China. The Q7 e-tron quattro is Audi’s second plug-in hybrid after the A3 version that has under the hood a gasoline plug-in hybrid setup.

In Europe, the powertrain for the top of the range crossover will utilize a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder diesel engine and an electric motor. The latter has enough battery juice for up to 56 km (35 miles) and combined Co2 emissions are of just 46 grams per kilometer. Performance has not been sacrificed either – the total output is 373 horsepower. In the US and China the diesel, not very popular, will be swapped for a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline thanks to “a modular system that allows us to react to the different needs of the world,” as per Audi development boss Ulrich Hackenberg.

Via Automotive News Europe


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