Luxury cars don’t have to be gas guzzlers in order to deliver power and performance. Would most people interested in vehicles like the Audi A4 even consider it if it couldn’t get out of its own way on the highway?
The next generation of the Audi A4, due to be released in 2015 in the UK, to compete with the likes of the BMW 3-Series. With regards the fuel economy, the A4 will be built on a new chassis, featuring weight-saving designs, such as aluminum panels, reducing the overall weight to just 2,900lb for the base model. Weight goes up accordingly for powerful options.
Conventional powertrains for the new Audi A4 will include gasoline and diesel versions ranging in power from 140hp to 340hp, equipped with cylinder deactivation technology to increase fuel economy on the highway when full engine power isn’t needed.
What’s really good to see is Audi’s development of a new plug-in hybrid powertrain that embeds a 110hp electric motor in the eight-speed automatic transmission. Since the motor is in the transmission, this gives the Audi A4 some flexibility with choice of engine and drivetrain without modifying the transmission, including both rear- and all-wheel drive systems. The plug-in hybrid will be available with total system power up to 360hp and an electric-only range of up to 31mi.
No word yet on fuel economy ratings, but we’d like to see how much power and distance Audi can squeeze out of a drop of fossil fuel. The 180hp 2.0ℓ diesel plug-in hybrid Audi A4 looks like the most promising option for the fuel-conscious driver of this compact executive. Not sure if we’ll see this car here in the states, though.
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