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Audi unveiling two new production plug-in hybrids in Shanghai, new prologue allroad PHEV show car

Audi is introducing two new models with plug-in hybrid drive systems to the market in China in 2016, both of which are having their world premier at Auto Shanghai 2015: the Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro and the Audi A6 L e tron. In addition, Audi is unveiling the Audi prologue allroad show car, providing a glimpse into the future of Audi’s design language, at the show.

Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro. With the Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro, the company is combining a TFSI plug‑in hybrid with quattro drive for the first time. (The earlier announced Q7 e-tron quattro plug-in hybrid features a 6-cylinder, 3.0-liter TDI diesel. Earlier post.) Audi has developed this newest Q7 model especially for the Asian markets China, Singapore and Japan. The Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than six seconds and consumes 2.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (94 mpg US), according to the measuring method prescribed in China for plug‑in hybrid vehicles.

Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (offered on the Chinese market). Click to enlarge.

Powered by the 17.3 kWh, liquid cooled lithium‑ion battery, the large SUV covers up to 53 kilometers (33 miles) on electric power alone; total range is 1,020 kilometers (634 miles). The Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro will be available from dealers in the three specified markets starting in 2016.

The hybrid drive system combines a 2.0 TFSI engine and electric motor to deliver 270 kW (367 hp) and 700 N·m (516 lb-ft) of system torque—enough to accelerate the SUV from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds and for a top speed of 220 km/h (1367 mph). The fuel consumption of 2.5 l/100 km corresponds to CO2 emissions of less than 60 grams per kilometer (96.6 g/mi) and is a new best value in the segment.

Like all Audi hybrid models, the Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro has also been designed as a parallel hybrid. The TFSI engine delivers 185 kW (252 hp) of power and 370 N·m (273 lb-ft) of torque. Active engine bearings use targeted counterpulses to eliminate undesirable vibrations.

The disk-shaped electric motor provides 94 kW and 350 N·m (258 lb-ft) of torque. Together with a decoupler, it is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic. The automatic transmission is outstanding for its high efficiency and low weight. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system distributes the power to all four wheels. During fast cornering, its center differential works closely with the torque vectoring system, an intelligent software feature.

Another highlight of the Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro is the standard Audi virtual cockpit. The all-digital instrument cluster with 12.3-inch display presents all key information in high-quality graphics. The driver can retrieve different levels of information, including specific e-tron displays such as the powermeter. In addition, the instrument cluster offers displays for the energy flow in electric mode, the range (with numbers and graphs) and the charge level of the battery.

The standard thermal management system with integrated heat pump has been specially developed for the plug-in hybrids of the Q7 family. This makes it possible for the waste heat from the electrical drive components to be made available to the interior. Audi is the first manufacturer worldwide to bring this technology to a production plug-in hybrid, enabling the brand top set new standard with respect to interior comfort, air-conditioning system efficiency and range in purely electric EV mode. Benefits for the customer include a fast-heating cabin and the ability to drive more frequently and longer on electric power alone, even in low outside temperatures.

The new Q7 e-tron quattro is equipped with the new two-phase charging technology that permits charging with up to 7.2 kW of power. Depending on the infrastructure and with a correspondingly high-powered industrial outlet and charging cable, the customer can fully charge the battery in around 2.5 hours.

The driver can choose between four modes. EV mode prioritizes electric driving, while in hybrid mode the hybrid management system chooses the type of drive for the most part freely. In battery hold mode, the system conserves the available electrical energy, and charges the battery in battery charge mode.

The large SUV generally starts in electric mode. To activate the TFSI, the driver has to press down on the active accelerator pedal (another innovation from Audi) beyond a certain point of resistance. The point at which the resistance occurs is based on the requirements of the hybrid management system. A pressure point must also be overcome for boosting, in which case both the engine and electric motor work together.

When hybrid mode is active and the eight-speed tiptronic with integrated electric motor is in D, the Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro changes to coasting mode when the driver takes his foot off the accelerator. The TFSI and the electric motor are then deactivated and restarted with no perceptible vibration once the accelerator is pressed again.

When driving in battery charge mode and with the transmission set to S, the system recovers energy as soon as the driver lifts off of the accelerator. The driver can progressively influence the degree of recuperation using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. Most braking is also performed via the electric motor. The hydraulic wheel brakes are used for moderate or sharper deceleration.

The standard MMI navigation plus is closely integrated into the hybrid management system on the Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro. In hybrid mode, the system uses the navigation data—including long-range data—to select the most fuel-efficient combination of drive modes along the route to the destination.

New electromechanical power steering is efficient as well as sensitive. The five-link wheel suspension—also newly developed—on the front and rear axles are 60 kilograms (132.3 lb) lighter compared with the predecessor model, and greatly contribute to the high driving dynamics. The lowered center of gravity also plays an essential role here.

Even the basic version of the large SUV rolls along gently and smoothly, while comfort is further enhanced by the optional adaptive air suspension with controlled damping. The driver can regulate the mode of operation via the standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system. It offers up to seven modes and integrates further technical components such as the steering, accelerator and automatic transmission.

Collision avoidance assist, turn assist, cross-traffic assist and trailer assist are new driver assistance services for the vehicle. The Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro also offers a tilt angle display, hill descent control, an off-road mode for the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) and off-road navigation are standard.

Audi A6 L e-tron (offered on the Chinese market). Click to enlarge.

The Audi A6 L e‑tron. The model is based on the long version of the Audi A6, which the company produces locally in China. The A6 L e‑tron’s plug‑in hybrid drive offers 180 kw (245 hp) of performance with fuel consumption of 2.2 liters (107 mpg US) of fuel, according to the measuring method prescribed in China for plug‑in hybrid vehicles, corresponding to 52 grams CO2 per kilometer (83.7 g/mi). The Audi A6 L e-tron 2.0 TFSI covers 50 kilometers (31 miles) purely on electric power and meets the Chinese definition of a New Energy Vehicle. Total range is 880 kilometers (547 miles).

The 2.0 TFSI, a four‑cylinder gasoline engine, features 155 kW (211 hp) and 350 N·m (258 lb‑ft) of torque. The disk-shaped electric motor provides 91 kW and 220 N·m (162 lb‑ft) of torque. Together with a decoupler, it is integrated into the eight‑speed tiptronic transmission and transfers the power to the front wheels. System power is 180 kW (245 hp); maximum system torque is 500 N·m (369 lb‑ft).

The lithium-ion battery comprises 104 cells and stores 14.1 kWh of energy. Located beneath the luggage compartment, the battery reduces its volume only slightly—capacity is 340 liters (11.9 cu ft). The car thus offers sufficient stowage space for longer trips. The new two-phase charging technology allows charging with 7.2 kW of power. With the appropriate infrastructure (high-power industrial outlet) and high-power charging cable, the batteries can be fully charged in roughly two hours. On a typical household outlet in China, the procedure takes somewhat longer than eight hours.

The driver can choose between four driving modes. “EV” (electric vehicle) mode prioritizes electric driving at up to 135 km/h (84 mph). In “hybrid” mode, the hybrid management system chooses the drive type for the best possible efficiency. In “battery hold” mode, the system stores the available electrical energy and charges the battery in “battery charge” mode. The sedan can coast in hybrid mode—when the driver takes his or her foot off of the accelerator, both drives are deactivated. The electric motor assumes most of the braking, charging the battery. The hydraulic brakes are used only for heavy braking.

The A6 L e‑tron will be produced in a joint venture by FAW‑Volkswagen in Changchun, in the northeast of China. It will be launched in the Chinese market in 2016.

Audi prologue allroad. Click to enlarge.

Audi prologue allroad concept car. The new prologue allroad, one of the family of Audi prologue show cars, follows on the introduction of the Audi prologue Avant diesel plug-in hybrid at the Geneva motor show this year (earlier post).

The hybrid system combines a 4.0 TFSI engine—a V8 with twin turbochargers—and electric motor integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic and produces 540 kW (734 hp) of system power and 900 N·m (664 lb-ft) of system torque.

The show car rockets from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.5 seconds, yet consumes just 2.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (98 mpg US) according to the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrids, which corresponds to 56 grams CCO2O2 per kilometer (90.1 g/mi). The lithium-ion battery mounted in the rear of the car has a capacity of 14.1 kWh for a purely electric range of 54 kilometers (33.6 mi). With its AWC (Audi wireless charging) technology which the brand is developing for series production, the Audi prologue allroad can also be charged inductively.

The body of the Audi prologue allroad is 77 millimeters (3.0 in) higher than that of the Audi prologue Avant.



This looks to me like the start of a wave of PHEVs which look ideally suited to the US market and which are unlikely to make it on sale there.

There are two reasons for this:

1. As Mitsubishi noted in reference to their Outlander PHEV, homogulation for the US is time consuming and expensive, and crash regulations etc there require substantial redesign.
The US market is becoming something of a ghetto, with standards which differ markedly from those in most of the world market.
Which leads into:

2. ZEV regulations are designed to overwhelmingly favour BEVs and FCEVs, with PHEVs disadvantaged.
OTOH cars which comply with Chinese city ZEV regulations are compliant in most places, including in most of Europe.

So a lot of cars will simply not be released in the US, even ones as suitable for conditions there as these.



Using specific local/national regulations to block imports is a very old commercial trick used to support local producers.

It went from bumper size and height to old fashion head lights and back. Of course, California's regulations will favour pure BEVs etc.



I am not sure its a deliberate plot, so much as not realising that the world has moved on since the days when the US was such a dominant factor in the world auto market that it could set the de facto standard, to which others would have to comply.

The European, and the Chinese seem to have a good working relationship, and mostly set compatible standards, with the rest of the world ex the US falling pretty well into line.

Certainly the US, following California, is rather isolated in its selection of BEVs and FCEVs in preference to PHEVs as the standard to push.

Certainly the US, following California, is rather isolated in its selection of BEVs and FCEVs in preference to PHEVs as the standard to push.

That goes way, way back.  The original CA emissions regulations of the 70's would have been much easier to meet with PHEV technology (eliminating many issues of throttle transients would have been a huge help), but it never got a foot in the door.

Patrick Free

17.3KWH Battery is a significant improvement versus previous Audi PHEV batteries using far too low #10KWH packs. To do my # 60 KM daily local commutes, with 10KWH I would need 2 x charges per day hence typical 3000 x full charge/discharge cycles would be consumed in # 5 years, while with 17.3KWH I have a chance to reduce this to one charge per day, making the same 3K cycles last # 10 Years. My sweet spot for PHEVs remains 30KWH allowing one charge every 2 x days for local commutes, an burden less mid-size week end trips... but 17.3KWH can be a starting point.
Then OK for 4 x cylenders, as long as there is a decent all electric mode. Problem here is only one electric motor of <100KW is not enough here for this size/weight of car. Only an optimal dual Electric motor providing >150KW can bring a decent all electric mode on such a big heavy SUV. So I'll skip this one too, not available in Europe any way...
Plus it would need to fit a decent budget, say €80K including all needed options and taxes, which may be a problem here, even fit with 4 x cyl....
Last is by the time this will be available in 2016, Tesla will have covered all Europe work and vacation routes with ideal sized 135KW Superchargers, and for the same price you could buy an All Electric TESLA Model X Perf Dual Motor SUV.... likely closing the PHEV window in Europe, yet totally missed by German car vendors kidding the EU regulators with meaningless 10KWH models set as "electric turbos", following the Porsche eHybrid non-sense. Too bad for them.

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