Audi is committed to launching plug-in hybrid versions of its mainstream models such as the A3, A4, A6 and Q7. A plug-in hybrid A3, the A3 Sportback e-tron, has already been revealed and is due in local showrooms early next year. Now, Audi has confirmed the launch of its second plug-in hybrid model, the A6 L e-tron, although this one is for the Chinese market only at present.

Audi first previewed the A6 L e-tron in concept form at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. The production version, like the concept, will be based on the long-wheelbase A6. It will be developed with Audi’s Chinese joint-venture partner FAW and is expected to be ready for sale within the next year. Production will take place at a plant in Changchun in northern China.

Audi hasn’t confirmed powertrain details for its production A6 L e-tron, but the original concept paired a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 211 horsepower in parallel with an electric motor with a peak output of 70 kilowatts (95 horsepower). A liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery was located at the rear of the vehicle and provided the car with an electric-only range of approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles). Audi says its production A6 L e-tron will have a similar range in electric mode.

The government in China is committed to increasing sales of electrified vehicles in an effort to reduce air pollution in major cities and recently announced plans to increase subsidies for the eco-friendly vehicles. This has led automakers to increase their own efforts to launch more electrified vehicles in the Chinese market. However, Audi has additional incentives to make China one of its leading markets for new models and technologies. The brand with the four rings sold 491,989 vehicles in China (including Hong Kong) in 2013, which is close to a third of its total sales for the year.


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