Audi Q5 55 TFSI e Quattro – the first of many to come

A while ago, we learned that Audi would be launching four new hybrid models in the coming months/years. The first of them has just been revealed and will be the first new plug-in hybrid Audi to hit the road – the all-new Audi Q5 55 TFSI e Quattro.

Before we talk about the car, can we quickly talk about its name? Audi needs to figure out a better naming structure because that name is just a messy jumble of letters and numbers. But I digress, I apologize. Now, on the car.

The new Audi Q5 TFSI e is a plug-in hybrid version of the standard Q5 and the first of many upcoming models. The Audi A6, A7 and A8 will follow, all bearing the “TFSI e” badge. The Audi Q5 is the first to be revealed, and is the only SUV among them.

Powering the Audi Q5 TFSI e will be a combination of the brand’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine (this part is “TFSI”) and an electric motor (there is an “e”). The petrol engine itself produces 252 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque, the same as the standard Audi A4 and Q5. The electric motor will produce 140 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. When you combine it all with the complex math (it’s not as simple as just adding the numbers together) you get 367 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. This actually makes it more powerful than the Audi SQ5. Though, it won’t be as fast as the SQ5. According to Audi, the Q5 hybrid will take 5.3 seconds to reach from 0-60 mph.

However, it will be more efficient than SQ5. Much more efficient. With a combined 98.0 – 112.0 US mpg, it’s a very efficient powertrain capable of saving its owner a lot of money on fuel. It also gets an all-electric range of 40 kilometers (25.9 miles). It’s not much but it’s more than enough to head to the store quickly and grab some groceries. So there will be days in ownership of an Audi Q5 55 TFSI e where you don’t burn a drop of fuel.

The lithium-ion battery is located in the trunk of the car and is small. At just 14.1 kWh, the battery in the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e dwindles favorably compared to the hefty 95 kWh battery in the Audi e-tron SUV. But the car has some clever tricks up its sleeve. For example, a high-efficiency heat pump is used to take the waste heat generated by high voltage systems and use it to heat the cabin. So it can generate 3 kilowatts of heat using only 1 kilowatt of power.

Like most hybrids, the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e allows the driver to choose which way he wants the powertrain to switch between gas and electric. There are three modes: Hybrid, EV, and Battery Hold. Hybrid is the normal mode and the car uses its brain to know when to use the electric motor and when to turn the engine off. It also changes based on the navigation route, so once it knows its destination and route, it can optimize when to turn off the gasoline engine and when to use only the battery. EV mode is just as it sounds, as it keeps the car running on pure battery power for as long as possible or until the driver smashes the throttle. Battery Hold mode holds the battery in a charging state so it can be used later. So if you’re taking a long road trip but know you’ll be in a tight urban city at some point, you can save your battery for city use.

It ships very quickly too. One 400V industrial outlet, it can be charged from empty to full in 2.5 hours. Very fast enough to charge at work or at the charging station. On a 220-volt home charger, it would take about six hours, which is enough to get the job done all night while you sleep.

Orders are now accepted in German, with the market introduction starting in the third quarter of 2019, and prices starting at €60,450.

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