Audi is about to launch a bunch of plug-in hybrid cars at the Geneva Motor Show - and what's more, they'll all be on sale this year.
The brand has been busy realigning itself behind electric vehicles, with the fully-electric e-tron being the biggest example, coming to a street near you in 2019. The latest phase of this move sees new petrol-electric hybrid (PHEV) models coming to the A6, A7 Sportback, A8 and Q5 lines.
These vehicles will all be badged TFSI e and will be plug-in hybrids (the e-tron label will be for pure electric). The A6, A7 Sportback and Q5 TFSI e models available in two different versions, each with different specs and levels of equipment - a comfort model (50 TFSI e) and a higher-performance variant (55 TFSI e or, for the A8 specifically, 60 TFSI e).
Electric-only ranges will be over 25 miles, says Audi although, because it's a hybrid you won't run out of juice or, as Audi puts it you have "freedom from range anxiety" when driving long distances.
25 miles is, of course, plenty enough for most journeys - according to the UK Government's National Travel Survey, 24% of trips were under a mile, and 68% under five miles. Although those figures are from 2017, they demonstrate why ranges don't need to be extraordinary for everyday domestic use.
Energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery beneath the luggage compartment, while the electric motor can support the combustion engine during acceleration. Audi says this gives you high performance from start-up and helps with acceleration. The TFSI e also uses the same recuperation tech to reclaim energy used by the e-tron. Most light to medium-force braking can be taken care of by the electric motor and up to 80 kW can be recovered.
The Audi A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro has 3.0-litre, six-cylinder TFSI combustion engine, which together with the electric motor provides 330 kW (449 horsepower) of power and 700 Nm of torque. The Audi A6 and A7 Sportback PHEV models use the same powertrain, but there's a four-cylinder 2.0 TFSI petrol engine.
Both models are available in two output levels with different boost performance. For the 50 TFSI e, the system output is 220 kW (299 horsepower); for the 55 TFSI e, it is as high as 270 kW (367 horsepower). Peak system torque is 450 and 500 Nm respectively.
The Q5 PHEV will be available as a 50 TFSI e quattro with 220 kW (299 horsepower) system output and as a 55 TFSI e quattro with 270 kW (367 horsepower).
Audi adds it will have 20 electrified models join its range by 2025.