Audi Give Some Insight Into Their Future
With all the talk in the motoring industry about emissions, manufacturers are working to come up with all sorts of solutions for the future to make motoring more effficient. Always looking at ways to advance, Audi are developing ideas to make cars greener and kinder to the environment.
Their three time Le Mans 24 hour winning R18 e-tron quattro has hybrid technology that made it ultra efficient and it was this that was used in a road car last year when Audi launched their A3 e-tron sportback. With emissions as low as 37g/km of CO2 and a staggering 176 mpg figure it has become so popular that Audi have had to increase production, leading on to them now launching the e-tron into the new Q7.
A lot of people look at large SUVs as being gas guzzling vehicles, but the Q7 will now manage to avoid that tag as it now boasts just 46g/km of CO2, has up to 34.8 miles in pure electric range and a staggering total range of 870 miles. As the world’s first plug-in hybrid with quattro drive and a six-cylinder TDI engine, it is no slouch either with the V6 producing 258hp and 600 Nm of torque.
Audi have also come up with some clever technology so drivers can get more from the Q7 e-tron. Any waste heat from the electrical drive components can be used in the interior, therefore not utilising the electric range to heat or cool the car. Very clever...
Working in conjunction with the Virtual cockpit, with it’s visually stunning and standard issue 12.3-inch display, the Predictive Efficiency Assistant will help drivers to drive efficiently by using the navigation to signal to them when to take their foot off the accelerator on approaching roundabouts, speed limits or bends. This works up to 1.9 miles ahead and using Hybrid mode it will decide how it should be powered.
There are four modes: EV, Hybrid, Battery Charge and Battery Hold. When driving in traffic it makes sense for the Q7 to be driven in pure electric EV mode, but steep hills will require more power so having it in Hybrid mode will make the decision as to whether the engine should pull you up the hill. A route that we drove was analysed and of the total distance we drove, 64% of it was on zero emissions. Result.
Audi Wireless Charging
Charging a plug-in hybrid still takes quite awhile, the Q7 e-tron will take around two and a half hours for a full charge, in the future Audi want to speed it up and will even look to make it as quick as you would when filling up your car with fuel. Another innovation is Audi Wireless Charging which they hope to release in 2017, all the driver needs to do is position their car over a charging plate and it will charge.
A future, exciting model for Audi is the e-tron quattro concept which is a sporty, all-electric SUV. Launching in 2018 it will have a 310 mile range, a top speed of 130 mph and get from 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds. After seeing the prototype close up it will definitely have a long list of potential buyers, and it produces zero emissions.
For those that don’t want an electric vehicle then Audi have also produced a hydrogen powered A7 Sportback h-tron quattro. They started development of it back in 2004 with an A2 and now have developed the first premium hybrid fuel cell vehicle worldwide that has a 310 mile range. Impressive to drive and so quiet, unfortunately the infrastructure just isn’t ready for this type of car which is a shame. Hopefully that will change over the next five years, but until then Audi will continue to develop this further, so watch this space for more innovative and technological advances.