Even as the automaker prepares to launch its first U.S. fleet-test of a plug-in hybrid, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is confirming expansive new plans for a range of battery-based vehicles from some of its smallest to its sportiest offerings.
That electric assault will begin in 2014, Stadler announced at Audi’s annual news conference, when it begins offering a plug-in “e-tron” option for the new A3 subcompact. The battery-based A3 will begin field testing in four U.S. markets this month, as TheDetroitBureau.com reported earlier this week. (Click Here for more on the fleet test.)
Among other models that will get plug-in and other advanced hybrid options are the
Meanwhile, the maker will tap into its Le Mans racing program, where it has long dominated with its Quattro all-wheel-drive and diesel technologies, and where it has introduced a new flywheel-based hybrid system on the R18 race car. That technology – which stores energy in a fast-spinning wheel, rather than a battery – is expected to show up on a version of the maker’s A4, dubbed the B9, in the next several years, according to Britain’s Autocar.