Audi’s new Q5 Sportback coupe-SUV is the latest model in the range to get plug-in hybrid power, with the arrival of the new ‘TFSI e’ variants. The new models also come with “battery boosting” technology, which has also been fitted to other cars in the Q5, A6 and A7 line-ups.
Customers can choose between two different power outputs – the 295 bhp 50 TFSI e and the 362 bhp 55 TFSI e – but both essentially offer variations on the same powertrain. Both combine a 2-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, sending their power to all four wheels via an automatic gearbox.
With a charging port on the car’s flank, the on-board battery can be charged to provide up to 37 miles of zero-emission, electric-only motoring. When the battery runs flat, drivers can either recharge or simply switch to petrol power, allowing the car to operate like any other petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle. The petrol engine can also be used as an on-board power station, charging the battery while you drive.
Thanks to this powertrain, the plug-in hybrid Q5 Sportback has CO2 emissions of between 42 and 45 g/km, depending on specification. That means you’ll pay 10 percent in BiK company car tax for vehicles registered before April 1. For cars registered after that date, that rises to 11 percent.
But that efficiency is matched with performance. The 295 bhp 50 TFSI e will get from a standstill to 62 mph in 6.1 seconds, while the more powerful 55 TFSI e cuts that time to 5.3 seconds. Both are electronically limited to a top speed of 148 mph.
Buyers will be able to specify their 50 TFSI e in S Line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung trims, while those opting for the 55 TFSI e will get the choice of Competition and Competition Vorsprung variants. Prices start at £53,435 for the 50 TFSI e S Line.
The Q5 Sportback’s battery technology has also been incorporated into the Q5 SUV stable, offering increased electric-only range for plug-in hybrid variants. And the A6 and A7 TFSI e models have also benefitted, with the A6 now managing up to 43 miles on a single charge, while the A7 will cover up to 42 miles before the battery runs dry.
“I’m proud of the fact that we produce some of the world’s finest internal combustion engines, but also delighted that in the new Q5 Sportback TFSI e models our experts have gone to even greater lengths to consign petrol power to the role of understudy,” said the director of Audi UK, Andrew Doyle. “The significant increases in electric-only driving range made possible by the improved battery in these newcomers will bolster their environmental integrity and financial viability, particularly in terms of BiK taxation for business users, and the same will of course apply to the fleet-oriented A6 and A7 models that have also benefited from the upgrade.”