Audi confirmed last December that it would eventually launch a new hybrid version of its Q5 SUV but since then we haven’t heard anything on the upcoming fuel miser apart from it having an early 2011 launch date. During that time however, Audi has unveiled the A8 Hybrid and a range of all-electric e-Tron concept cars and promised that it would strive to become the leader for alternative-powered vehicles in the luxury segment.

That still doesn’t tell us much about the Q5 Hybrid but reports coming out of Europe claim the gasoline-electric SUV will make its world debut this November at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show before going on sale in the U.S. early next year. Unfortunately the reports are incorrect. The Q5 won't be at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. It is scheduled for a debut sometime in 2011, however, according to Audi of America corporate communications manager Brad Stertz.

The hybrid system powering the vehicle is expected to be the same one found in the A8 Hybrid, which means a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine matched to an electric motor. Peak output should remain at 245 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.

Audi claims this combination delivers the same performance as a six-cylinder, while managing a solid 38 mpg. Importantly, either the 45 horsepower electric motor or the 211 horsepower four-cylinder mill can drive a vehicle--separately or together--making it a full hybrid. Pure electric mode, however, is only good for very short distances.

The good news continues with the knowledge that since the Q5 SUV shares much of its internals with the A4 and A5 models, the hybrid option may filter across to these as well. Additionally, after the launch of the Q5 Hybrid, Audi is then expected to introduce an efficient turbodiesel version as well.

[L’Automobile Magazine]