The shift to electrified vehicles is definitely on, but it doesn’t mean you’re getting some (silently) snarling beast that explodes off the line leaving that guy next to you at the light in a pile of dust — unless it’s one of Audi’s new offerings.
Audi’s looking to make sure it retains its reputation as a premium brand by ensuring its new plug-in hybrids come with plenty of pop, as is the case with the 2021 Q5, A7 and A8 TFSI e hybrids. The new models bring “torque-rich, powerful plug-in performance and all-electric driving to Audi customers,” the brand claims.
These new hybrids not only provide plenty of power, but they’re also eligible for federal tax incentives exceeding $6,700, in some cases. They also push Audi toward its goal of electrifying at least 30% of its U.S. lineup by 2025.
Updated on the outside for 2021, the Q5 TFSI e starts with a 2.0-liter TFSI engine paired with an electric motor, resulting in 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The ute sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 5 seconds, which is on par with the Audi SQ5. It’ll also travel up to 19 miles in all-electric mode and gets an estimated 50 MPGe.
Because it’s a PHEV, some states allow it to use HOV lanes, no matter how many folks are in the ute. Between the performance and the special road access, drivers may get to their final destination sooner. They may also arrive with a smile on their face and more money in their pocket as it’s eligible for as much as $6,712 in federal tax incentives, Audi officials note.
The A7 sedan is powered by the same 2.0-liter set up and is eligible for similar tax incentives. Both the Q5 and A7 PHEV models use the 7-speed S tronic transmission that takes advantage of Audi’s renowned quattro all-wheel drive technology.
The sedan does 0 to 60 mph in a slightly slower 5.7 seconds, but it also travels farther in all-electric mode, 24 miles, and boasts a better fuel economy rating at 68 MPGe, which is the best of the trio. All three models use a 14.1 kWh battery pack that sits under the rear cargo area.
They’re equipped with an integrated heat pump that uses battery heat to efficiently warm the cabin. Their onboard 7.7 kW charger allows them to replenish battery power from empty to 100% in just 2.4 hours when using a 240-volt outlet.
Separating itself a bit from the pack is the A8, powered by 6-cylinder engine in concert with an electric motor that jointly put out 443 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. It boasts the best 0-to-60 time at 4.9 seconds, but the worst electric-only range at 18 miles. It gets an estimated 53 MPGe, according to Audi.
Naturally the three models come with a slew of advanced driver assistance tech and convenience features. Pricing for the Q5 TFSI e starts at $51,900 and reaches $61,700. The A7 starts at $74,900 and jumps to $80,250. The A8 is $95,900 and none of those include the destination charge of $1,045 for the sedans and $1095 for the Q5.