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Audi 4x4 goes green

19 September 2005

Audi has unveiled a petrol-electric concept version of the Q7 off-roader, which could be in production by 2008.

Audi's Q7 was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Audi has unveiled a petrol-electric concept version of the Q7 off-roader, which could be in production by 2008.

The Q7 is Audi's first true off-roader, and the conventional-engined version is due to go on sale towards the middle of next year. The seven-seat 4x4 will be available with either a 345bhp 4.2-litre petrol V8 or a 230bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine at launch, with other options following later.

The petrol-electric hybrid version combines the 4.2-litre V8 petrol engine with an electric motor to improve fuel efficiency. Working together, the two units can generate 388bhp.

Audi claims the hybrid will return an average fuel consumption of up to 23.5mpg, just 3mpg better than the standard petrol engine. However, around town, where the electric motor does much of the work, the difference in fuel consumption – and emissions – is likely to be more significant.

The electric motor works at speeds less than 18mph. Both units can run independently or in unison, with the petrol engine automatically shutting down at low speeds or when the car is stationary.

The manufacturer says the Q7 hybrid is just a concept, and will not definitely go into production. However, the Q7 appears to have been designed from the outset as a hybrid because the large batteries required for the electric motor are contained in a compartment under the boot floor, so do not impact on load space.

  • The first petrol-electric hybrid off-roader to go on sale in the UK was the Lexus RX400h, and it has proved a hit with buyers with waiting lists up to six months.

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