Awhile back, we learned that Audi would be releasing four new plug-in hybrid models in the coming months/years. The first of which has just been revealed and it will be the first new Audi plug-in hybrid to hit the road — the all-new Audi Q5 55 TFSI e Quattro.
Before we talk about the car, can we quickly talk about its name? Audi needs to figure out a better naming structure because that name is just a messy jumble of letters and numbers. But I digress, I apologize. Now, onto the car.
The new Audi Q5 TFSI e is a plug-in hybrid version of the standard Q5 and it’s the first of many to come. Following its lead will be an Audi A6, A7 and A8, all of which will wear the “TFSI e” badge. The Audi Q5 is the first of them to be revealed, though, and it’s the only SUV among them.
Powering the Audi Q5 TFSI e will be a combination of the brand’s ubiquitous 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder (that’s the “TFSI” part) engine and an electric motor (there’s the “e”). The gasoline engine itself makes 252 hp and 279 lb-ft of torque, just as it does in the Audi A4 and standard Q5. The electric motor will make 140 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. When you combine that all together with complicated maths (it’s not as simple as just adding the numbers together) you get 367 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. That actually makes it more powerful than the Audi SQ5. Though, it won’t be as fast as the SQ5. According to Audi, the hybrid Q5 will take 5.3 seconds to get from 0-60 mph.
However, it will be more efficient than the SQ5. Far more efficient. With a combined 98.0 – 112.0 US mpg, it’s a very efficient powertrain and one that’s capable of saving the its owner a ton of money on fuel. It also gets an all-electric range of 40 kilometers (25.9 miles). That’s not a lot but it’s more than enough to run to the store quick and grab a couple of groceries. So there will be days in the ownership of the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e where it doesn’t burn a drop of fuel.
The lithium-ion battery is located in the trunk and it’s a small one. Just 14.1 kWh, the battery in the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e is positively dwarfed by the massive 95 kWh battery in the Audi e-tron SUV. But the car does have some clever tricks up its sleeve. For instance, it uses a highly efficient heat pump to take waster heat generated by the high-voltage systems and use that for cabin heat. So it can create 3 kW of heat with just 1 kW of energy.
Like most hybrids, the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e allows the driver to choose how they want the powertrain to switch between gas and electric. There are three modes: Hybrid, EV and Battery Hold. Hybrid mode is the normal mode and the car uses its brain to figure out when to use the electric motor and when to shut the engine down. It also changes based on navigation route, so once it knows its destination and route, it can optimize when the gasoline engine will shut off and when to use just the battery. EV mode is exactly as it sounds, being that it keeps the car running on pure battery power for as long as it can or until the driver mashes the throttle. Battery Hold mode just holds the battery at a state of charge so it can be used later. So if you’re taking a long highway journey but know you’re going to be in a tight urban city at one point, you can save the battery for said city use.
It charges pretty quickly, too. One an industrial 400v outlet, it can charge from empty to full in 2.5 hours. Far fast enough to charge up at work or at a charging station. At a 220v home charger, it will take around six hours, which is enough to get the job down overnight while you sleep.
Orders are now being accepted in German, with market introduction to begin in Q3 of 2019, and prices are starting at 60,450 Euros.