RS PHEVs will have “top figures” for power
Audi says up to 50 percent share for PHEV in some markets
During a tech talk about the brand’s plug-in hybrid models, and after noting that sales of some PHEV vehicles are reaching 50 percent of total volume, Audi confirmed that there would be PHEV versions of its RS models and that yes, they will be exactly what you want from an Audi RS.
Without getting into the details of the power figures, or which cars would arrive first, the Audi execs said that the RS models would have “a level (of power) that you expect,” and called them “top figures.” The RS PHEV cars would be “born and bred RS models as the customer expects.”
Audi is going big on plug-in hybrids and said that the company feels they are a long-term sustainable option because they offer a zero-emission urban experience along with a more efficient extra-urban use of fuel.
The automaker is offering two current PHEV options, a four-cylinder with 299 hp and a six with 367 total system output for vehicles that need to be a bit more dynamic. Using large electric motors allows for more time on the battery instead of on gasoline, increasing efficiency in real-world use, Audi says. The vehicles also use Predictive Efficiency Assist, which adjusts the driveline’s use of power based on the road immediately ahead, for example allowing more regen when coasting toward intersections or lowered speed limits, and Predictive Operating Strategy, which looks at an entire route to tell you when to lift and coast and to best manage predictive regeneration.
Audi acknowledges, though, that PHEV models aren’t for all use cases. They give the example of customers driving more than 30,000 km a year. Those customers might be better served with a diesel model, at least in Europe where those are offered. The average commute in Germany is 16 km for urban drivers, not far off of the Canadian average, and so Audi says the up to 59 km range its vehicles offer is ideal. Larger batteries with longer ranges would increase cost, make implementation more complex, and make the vehicles less usable day to day.
Aside from the RS models, Audi is planning three new plug-ins in the near term. The A3, Q3, and Q8 will all get a PHEV variant, though Audi did not confirm which ones might come to Canada.