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Audi A6 Hybrid will arrive in mid 2012

Sun, 24 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Audi A6 Hybrid - arrives in the UK & Europe mid 2012

Audi released all the bumph on the 2011 A6 at the end of 2010, and we’d expected that they would deliver up the Audi A6 Hybrid by the end of this year at the latest.

After all, car makers need to have an eco-halo car in each of their model ranges to be squeaky-green (or so they seem to think), and with all the hybrid gubbins for the A6 being nicked from the Q5 hybrid we thought it would a racing certainty that Audi would bring it to market this year. But it’s not happening.

In fact we now learn that the A6 Hybrid won’t hit the UK and Europe until the middle of 2012 and, for some reason we can’t fathom, it won’t hit the US until at least 2014 – if at all.

The surprise over the delay in taking the A6 Hybrid to America is simple; it’s surely a far more viable place for Audi to garner sales of the hybrid A6? Odd assertion? We’ll try to make the point stick.

The Audi A6 hybrid gets the Q5 hybrid’s setup, which means a 2.0 litre TFSI lump producing 208bhp and a 33kW electric motor which kicks in an additional 44bhp. That translates in to a 0-60mph of about 7.3 seconds and economy of 44.1mpg and emissions of 146g/km of CO2. All very good and, as Audi claims, the performance of a V6 with the economy of a four-pot.

We think the A6 Hybrid is going to cost getting on for £40k – which is a lot for a modest A6 – but  you’re saving the planet by buying the A6 Hybrid so it’s OK to charge over the top. But really, are there enough buyers in Europe willing to spend more on an A6 that offers less than other cars in the same range - except a green halo? We think not.

Take for example the bog-standard 3.0 TDI quattro A6. That’s the one with the 201bhp – not the even more appealing 243bhp lump – and will do 0-60mph in 7.0 seconds and average 55mpg. Yes, it has higher emissions, but it’s probably £5k less than the hybrid, quicker and more economical.

Even the more potent 243bhp – with a 6 second 0-60 and 48mpg – will probably cost no more than the A6 Hybrid, so who in Europe is going to buy the ‘Green’ A6. Not many, we’d guess. But in America…

America still doesn’t ‘Get’ the modern diesel. For them it’s still the fuel of the Devil – not to be used in proper, grown-up cars. So they have little choice for the new A6 and the A6 of choice in the States is the 3.0 TFSI Quattro, which is a very good lump, gets to 60mph in under 5.5 seconds and around 37mpg.

But there is no economical alternative; no high-performance diesel option that can give economy and half decent performance. Which makes the A6 Hybrid a potentially very good seller in the US, especially if fuel prices keep on rising.

So maybe Audi should take the A6 Hybrid to the US first, and bring it here in 2014?

 


By Cars UK