German Hybrids: Coming Thick And Fast

Just five years ago, only Toyota and Honda offered hybrid gas-electric vehicles—the Prius and Insight, respectively. Now, there are more than a dozen carmakers—including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen—that offer, or have plans for, hybrids. Here’s a roundup of news just over the last few days about hybrids coming from the homeland of Rudolph Diesel.

Audi Q5 Hybrid (2010)

At last month’s Detroit Auto Show, Audi announced that it would offer a Q5 Hybrid. Hybrid versions of the Q5 and Q7 have been on and off the table several times in the past year. Now, it’s back on. The new small sport utility goes on sale in the US next month with a gasoline engine; the hybrid will follow for 2011. Audi still strongly prefers diesels to cut consumption and emissions, since they cost less to develop and build than hybrids. Its lukewarm attitude surfaces in a quote from Wolfgang Hatz, head of powertrain development for the VW group. “We have to do hybrids to show people that we are able to do them,” he said, noting the Q5 would compete with the Lexus RX450h. We’ll see if Audi takes its hybrids seriously.

BMW 7-Series ActiveHybrid

The maker of “ultimate driving machines” will offer a mild hybrid sedan, the

  • Lost Prius to wife

    With a quick look at the quoted percent increases in mpg, if everyone would buy one of these or something comparable, the USA could cut it gas consumption by ~15% and still have people providing taxes revenues through speeding tickets.

  • Shines

    except for the BMW 7 $erie$ mild hybrid these are all SUVs.
    Everyone is alot of people to be buying SUVs…
    Will any one of these cost less than $50000?

  • Boom Boom

    I guess the Germans are betting that wealthy Americans can still afford SUVs but will want to feel a little “greener” about their conspicuous consumption. I think they’re probably right.

  • MM

    Germans are quite good on publicity.

    None of these is to be mass produced.

  • qqRockyBeans

    We need more fun station wagons!

    I still want Mercedes-Benz to bring over the E320 BlueTec wagon!
    and four-cylinder models as well!

    BMW needs to bring over
    M5 wagon
    M3 wagon
    335d wagon
    535d wagon
    four-cylinder models
    4-door hatchback 1-series

    GM needs to make
    Two-Mode Malibu hybrid
    Two-Mode Cobalt with 5-speed and sunroof and folding backseat
    Two-Mode Aveo5

    we need these cars NOW!

  • richard k

    DIESEL HYBRID PLUG IN W/ SOLAR PANEL ON ROOF —

    The above described vehicle seems to me —
    would get maximum fuel and energy efficiency.

    Does anyone know — if this type of vehicle
    is being worked on????