Audi's first hybrid, the Q5 Hybrid Quattro, will achieve a U.S. 33.6 mpg the automaker announced in advance of the crossover's Los Angeles Auto Show debut. The Q5 Hybrid Quattro pairs a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine to an electric motor.
Combining the two drive systems, the Q5 Hybrid has a total of 245 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Drive carefully and you might be able to go 1.86 miles gas-free at a speed of about 37 mph. The Q5 can also cruise at speeds of up to 62 mph using only electric power. We've become dubious of such claims and are eager to test these out.
The Q5 Hybrid Quattro is being positioned as the high-end model in the SUV's lineup. A four-cylinder Q5 starts at $36,075 while $43,375 is the entry fee if you want V-6 power. This could mean a starting price in the $45,000-$49,999 range. For comparison, the Lexus RX 450h V-6 ybrid with all-wheel drive carries a $45,700 MSRP.
Just because the Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro starts with a four-cylinder engine doesn't mean it's slow. In fact, 0-62 mph takes 7.1 seconds. The nearly 20-gallon fuel tank, Audi notes, means this Q5 has a diesel-like range, though probably not if you are traveling at the vehicle's 138-mph top speed.
The 2.0-liter engine we've come to know and love in other Audis is altered for use in the Hybrid. The turbo has been retuned and the ECU helps make smooth transitions between operating modes. An eight-speed automatic transmission is part of the package, as is engine start-stop technology. By itself, the electric motor makes 45 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. The lithium-ion battery system doesn't have a huge effect on the cargo capacity, Audi says.
There are five drive modes and a large display on the navigation screen can show the operating states and power flows of the hybrid with "elegant graphics."
Visually, not much has changed but the 19-inch 10-spoke wheels are hybrid-exclusive and there are plenty of badges to remind you this is Audi's hybrid Q5. The tailgate and hood are now made from aluminum to minimize curb weight, which is 4409 pounds.
We'll have more on the Q5 Hybrid Quattro next week from the Los Angeles Auto Show. Can't wait that long? Check out this 11-minute video of the Q5 posing and driving for the camera.