Audi has had its fair share of criticism from plug-in car fans, but the automaker now seems to be coming around to the idea of electric propulsion after some rather public dismissals of the technology.
Autocar reports the 2015 Audi A4 could come with not one, but three plug-in hybrid models--offering varying degrees of efficiency and performance.
In addition to the usual range of gasoline and diesel models, the A4 could use variants of a 2.0-liter, 220-horsepower gasoline engine, a 180-hp 2.0-liter diesel, and a 250-hp version of Audi's current 3.0-liter supercharged V-6.
The full hybrid power figures are likely to be higher than those above. For perspective, the A3 e-tron's plug-in hybrid drivetrain uses a 1.4-liter gasoline engine and electric motor to develop a combined 204 horsepower--not far from the 2.0-liter engine on its own.
Layout should also be similar. Autocar says a 110-hp electric motor will live within the gearbox casing, just as it does in the A3. In the A3, power is transmitted through a dual-clutch automatic transmission, but the new cars could use an 8-speed gearbox.
Regular gasoline and diesel models should see a step up in efficiency--the former are likely to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology--while heavier use of aluminum should see curb weight drop by as much as 220 lbs on the base model.
Styling should be more evolutionary than revolutionary--but intricate detailing and sharp body creases will be the order of the day.
Would you consider a plug-in hybrid A4?