While Audi is currently pushing its e-tron game hard, debuting three all-electric models in just under a year, the four-ringed brand is also working on some plug-in hybrid models as well. In 2019, Audi will launch four new plug-in hybrid models, which will get the designation “TFSI e” to signify their hybrid nature. The four hybrid cars will be the Audi A8, A6, A7 and Q5.
Previously, Audi plug-in hybrid models wore the “e-tron” badge, such as the A3 and Q7 e-trons. However, moving forward Audi wants to reserve the e-tron name for purely electric vehicles only, which we think is a wise move.
No exact specs have been revealed for any of these cars. All Audi has said is that they will all boast direct-injection, turbocharged engines paired with electric motors integrated into the eight-speed gearbox. Range for all cars will be about 40 km (24 miles) on the WLTP cycle.
While all four cars will have similar powertrains, the Audi A8 TFSI will have only one version of the powertrain, while the Audi A6, A7 and Q5 hybrids will have have two versions of the same powertrain, one making more power, but will use the brand’s seven-speed dual clutch transmissions, rather than the A8’s eight-speed auto.
All four plug-in hybrid models will come with three driving modes, all designed to optimize efficiency; EV, Auto and Hold modes. EV mode will be the default and how each car will start up. It keeps the car in purely electric mode for as long as possible. Auto mode allows the car to intelligently choose when the internal combustion engine kicks on. Finally, Hold mode uses a combination of the gas engine and electric motor to keep the battery at a specific level of charge to be used later. You use Hold mode if you know you’re going to be entering a city later on and want to only use electricity while in the city, so you can save your battery for later, essentially.
On top of those modes, there will be the typical Comfort, Auto, Efficiency and Dynamic driving modes, which tailor the comfort/sportiness of the suspension, steering and throttle.
Audi is also implementing a very interesting new feature, which is a throttle pedal with a variable pressure point and haptic feedback. Basically, while in electric-only mode, the throttle pedal can help you drive more efficiently.
All new Audi plug-in hybrid models will come with the brand’s compact charging system, which comes with cables for both domestic and international charging stations. There will also be a 3-mode charging cable for public chargers available as an option. On a 7.2 kW charger, the Audi A8 plug-in hybrid will be able to charge in about two hours. That also goes for the other three Audi TFSI e models.
These new plug-in hybrid Audis will do well in combination with e-tron models to improve the brand’s image. Audi wants to become more green and more electrified models will only help.