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Keep your hybrid

The folks over at Top Gear took a spin in the upcoming Audi A6 hybrid and wrote about it. People want to do their part without actually changing their habits so there’s no doubt that hybrids will become more and more popular. To that end, Audi says that with the A6 hybrid, you can enjoy the advantages of a six-cylinder engine while paying the environmental cost of a four-cylinder engine.

This petrol-electric A6, with its 2.0 TFSI engine and 53 bhp electric motor, generates a maximum 242 bhp and will reach 60 mph in 7.3 secs, returning a quoted 44.1 mpg and 146 g/km of CO2. Six for the environmental price of four.

So the hybrid is the Audi of choice is you want to minimize your environmental impact, right? Only if you don’t do your homework, or you want to wear the ‘hybrid’ badge as a status symbol.

But there’s another Audi engine that melds the performance of a V6 petrol with the economy of a four-cylinder: the V6 diesel. Even the less powerful of Audi’s two six-cylinder diesels gets to 60 mph a fraction quicker than the hybrid while officially using less fuel and emitting less CO2.

The environmental impact isn’t the only issue. The hybrid weighs about 200 lbs more than the gasoline model doing the car no favours in the performance department. According to the Car and Driver first drive:

It doesn’t take that much to reach the limits of adhesion in this A6, and the contrast between the A6 hybrid and, say, a conventionally powered A6 with Quattro all-wheel drive is severe. In true hybrid fashion, this Audi doesn’t like to dance.

If that’s not enough, and it darn-well should be, there is a significant price premium for the hybrid model. There is no US pricing yet, but the people who know such things expect the UK price for the hybrid to be about £45,000, a £10,000 premium over the diesel.

I’m just not seeing it.

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2 Comments

  1. Shawn

    I guess Audi drivers don’t wish to be seen filling up with diesel any more. Damn, that stuff is for redneck truckers! Someone at Audi should be slapped for even dreaming up this nonsense.

    • Rick

      That’s the part I really don’t understand…the marketing. Diesel is well established in Europe as a fuel for private cars. If Audi develops a hybrid, I would have expected it to be primarily or exclusively for the North American market. Heck, maybe even for the US market as diesel autos in Canada are far more popular than in the US. It’s a surprising move from Audi that seems to make little sense.

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