Audi, already at the forefront of integrating hybrid electric technology with its fleet of luxury vehicles, is a company that is firmly looking to the future. Specifically, an electric future, with more and more research and development focussed on emerging powertrain technology.
While stopping short of saying the death of the internal combustion engine was imminent, Alexander Riedel, head of technical development for the new Audi Q5, told CarAdvice the company will be seen as an ‘electrification company’ in the not-too-distant future.
At the global launch of the new 2017 Audi Q5, discussion turned to the direction Audi will be taking in future and with future technology.
“In 10 to 15 years, yes, Audi will be an electrified company,” Riedel said. “There is potential for the Q5 to have electrification, the Q7 e-tron is the same platform for example.
"The idea for us will be to have more powerful cars, with no fear of the range of the battery pack,” he said.
Above: the Audi e-tron quattro concept, revealed last year
CarAdvice posed the question as to what was more important going forward: range, or charging time?
“Both are equally important, depending on the buyer,” Riedel said. "Pure electric range around 500 kilometres is the aim for our next electric car, and it’s not necessary to have that car with a rapid charge for example."
"If you want to use it as a long-distance car, however, you have the possibility to charge it very quickly, so you have both possibilities with the new technology."
Riedel went on to explain that a city car with a lesser range would mean owners would be interested in faster charging times so they could top up rapidly whenever they wanted to. It seems, though, that Audi has an eye firmly on an electric future. “There will be an electric version of the Q5,” Riedel said.
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