Despite a global push towards widespread electrification, Audi’s local division isn’t rushing to offer its ‘TFSI e’ plug-in hybrids Down Under just yet.
“We’re looking at PHEVs across the Audi range. We haven’t made any announcements yet,” said Shaun Cleary, corporate communications manager for Audi Australia.
“At this stage we’re still evaluating when is the right time to introduce some of those models.”
Mr Cleary’s comments were made during the media launch for the new Q5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback, which in Australia will offer a selection of diesel and petrol variants. Plug-in hybrid power is offered in overseas markets such as Europe.
It’s a similar story across the Audi line-up – the A3, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q7 and Q8 all offer ‘TFSI e’ PHEV options overseas, but none are currently on track to launch in Australia anytime soon.
In the case of the Q5 and Q5 Sportback, there are 50 TFSI e and 55 TFSI e models available in Europe, with 220kW and 270kW power outputs respectively, and claimed electric range of up to 61 kilometres from the 14.4kWh (net) lithium battery.
The 270kW Q5 55 TFSI e is almost as quick as the SQ5 TDI, claiming a 0-100 dash of 5.3 seconds (0.2s slower than the SQ5), and both PHEV options are capable of running on e-power at speeds up to 135km/h.
While Audi Australia says the models are ‘under evaluation’, part of the issue is likely in line with the wider VW Group, in that our market’s emissions standards – or lack thereof – mean electrified models are prioritised for markets like Europe where carmakers face significant penalties for not meeting fleet targets.
Audi has previously offered the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid in the early days of the previous-generation model, though slow sales and high prices killed it off here. So far, Spanish performance VW subsidiary, Cupra, looks set to pioneer the group’s plug-in hybrid rollout Down Under with the upcoming Leon hatch and Formentor crossover.
It’s worth noting certain States in Australia have introduced (Victoria) or plan to introduce (NSW and SA have deferred to 2027) road user charges on PHEVs as well as EVs, paid in lieu of fuel excise.
The German marque has also gone on record locally indicating it’s focusing on its all-electric e-tron range, currently only consisting of the e-tron quattro and e-tron Sportback quattro SUVs, with the hi-po e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback due to arrive early in 2022.
Audi Australia says its actively ‘working’ on getting the new dedicated-electric Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback Down Under, though it’s not able to indicate exactly when we’ll see the VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq relative in local showrooms.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know whether you’d be keen on an Audi PHEV in the comments.
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