With the future of all vehicles under a constant environmental spotlight, Audi has committed that all of its vehicles in the future will feature some kind of hybridisation — whether it's a mild hybrid, PHEV or full electric vehicle.
A discussion with Ulrich Hackenberg, board member for technical development of Audi and head of cross-brand research and development, uncovered Audi's interest in ensuring all of its vehicles in the future feature some form of hybrid technology, including specifically the next-generation RS 4.
"There will be a specific hybridisation in every car in the future. That includes electric turbo, we will have recuperation and we can make this based on electric generators. We will have micro hybrids and very sporty hybrids, for example. Electrification in a specific way will be standard in the future," said Hackenberg.
"With our brands we have defined that Audi is going in the direction of an SUV and Porsche is going in the direction of a very sporty super sedan and Volkswagen [with GTE] is more on the side of a volume car."
On the topic of greener motoring, Hackenberg was asked whether V8s had a future within the Audi brand.
"We will have V8s for the big cars, C-segment cars and SUVs and we won't have V8 for the A4. There's a trend that the engines will be smaller and the question is how will we turn our core values into new technologies for example if you take sportiness and electromobility, it's not going different ways."
"There's big torque with electric motors in a car. You have high acceleration so you can make a very sporty vehicle but make it different to the sportiness of today. If you want a car to go high speeds on the highway for a long time, maybe an electric car isn't the best to do the job."
"If you transfer the sportiness and acceleration to overtake somebody like the American sportiness, the electric concept is the winner."
The future appears much greener for Audi, but it also means a move away from traditional motoring. Here's hoping that the increases in efficiency don't affect weight and drivability, both factors that currently make Audi vehicles appealing propositions.