Audi Previews New Hybrid Quattro

Audi released photos of its new e-Tron Quattro system frolicking on (what’s left of) the winter ice.  The prototype hybrid system is based on the current Audi A5, but earns its “Quattro” moniker not with a conventional all-wheel-drive system, but with what Audi is calling an “electric rear axle”.

The innovative new hybrid Quattro system is markedly different from what companies like Honda and Toyota are offering in that it isolates the production-standard internal combustion engine with Audi’s usual transaxle, set up (in this instance) for front-wheel-drive “only” use.  The center tunnel – which usually houses a prop-shaft that taxes motive force to the rear axle – is filled with batteries that power an electric motor which, in their turn, can power the Audi’s rear wheels “on demand”.  The Audi also features a second electric motor placed between the gasoline engine and FWD transmission, which adds another 40-ish hp to the front wheels.

The Audi’s clever layout is illustrated in Audi’s diagram, below.

Click to Enlarge

Audi claims overall fuel-economy to be in the 85 + mpg range (2.7 liters/100 km), and that the hybrid Quattro can sprint to 60 mph in under 6 seconds, on its way to a top speed in excess of 140 mph.

No word yet regarding the car’s Geico-inspired graphics … or whether or not that amazing mpg number is some kind of early April Fool’s joke.

SourceWorld Car Fans.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.