Audi is hopping onto the electrified vehicle bandwagon with the announcement of plans for a new range of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric luxury vehicles and sports cars. Following the lead of parent company Volkswagen, Audi is striving to become the leader for alternative-powered vehicles in the luxury segment by the end of the decade.
The information comes directly from Audi's board member for technical development, Michael Dick, who revealed to Automotive News that the automaker plans to start off with several hybrid models, followed by more advanced plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.
The first will be the recently revealed Q5 and A8 hybrids, which are set for launch late this year and early next, respectively. These will be followed by a hybrid A6 towards the end of 2012 and potentially the automaker’s full lineup could go hybrid by the end of the decade.
By 2020, Audi wants to increase the efficiency of its internal combustion engines by 30 percent and wants 5 percent of the brand's lineup to be electric, Dick said.
After the hybrids will come the all-electric vehicles. Just like the separate quattro GmbH, Audi has launched a new division solely for the development of its future electric and hybrid vehicles starting in 2012. The name of the division is e-tron, which Audi used for a series of electric vehicle concepts unveiled over the past 12 months, and the first models are destined to be high-performance sports cars.
[Automotive News, sub req’d]