Michael Dick, Audi’s head of R&D, says that the Q7 Hybrid has been indefinitely put on hold as the German automaker shuffles its engineering sources into developing it lithium-ion battery technology. Speaking with AutoCar, Dick said that Audi has put its nickel-metal hydride Q7 hybrid plans on hold and is working on a hybrid version of the new Q5 instead.
“We have decided to make lithium ion a priority,” Dick told AutoCar. “It”s clear this technology will become increasingly important in coming years and we want to make sure we are at the forefront when it comes to market.”
The Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, both which share components with the Q7, will go on with hybrids model as planned. Dick said that Audi will build a very limited number of Q7 hybrid models for internal testing and won’t be sold to customers any time soon.
The Q5 hybrid, according to Dick, will be build around its lithium-ion battery system. AutoCar says that the Q5 hybrid will use a 3.2 liter V6 gasoline engine and will go into production as a 2010 model year. Expect an official debut at the next Frankfurt Auto Show.
The upcoming Audi A1 is also expected to use the new lithium-ion batter technology.
2009 Audi Q5: