Audi's range of plug-in hybrids has only been on sale for about a year now, but already the Ingolstadt firm is upgrading the batteries in its A6, A7, and Q5 TFSI-e plug-ins to give them more electric-only range.
Now with a 17kWh battery
Previously all three cars had a 14.1kWh battery pack, but that has now been upgraded to a 17kWh pack. The effect on range is pretty profound - for instance, the new 50 quattro version of the A5 TFSI-e can now go for a claimed 73km in electric-only mode on the WLTP test.
The charging capacity of the battery has also been upgraded, and now runs at 7.4kW so that if you plug it into a public charger, it'll fully recharge in two and a half hours.
Same physical size
Cleverly, Audi has been able to squeeze in the extra battery capacity without making the battery physically any bigger, so the luggage and cabin space of each car is unchanged. While they're all a little less practical than their petrol-or-diesel-only brothers, the A6 Avant estate TFSI-e can offer 405 litres of luggage space, while the Q5 TFSI-e has a 465-litre boot. That expands to 1,535 litres (A6) and 1,405 litres (Q5) when you fold the back seats.
That new 50 quattro version of the A6 TFSI-e is also packing some serious performance - 299hp and 450Nm of torque mean that it should be pretty brisk. The electric motor alone has 105kW, which is equivalent to 142hp, so it's not going to be slow even in electric mode. There's also a higher-power 55 quattro version, with 367hp - both 50 and 55 models are available in the Q5 and A7 as well.
Charge while you drive
These plug-in hybrids have another new feature: In addition to the familiar operating modes "EV," "Auto," and "Hold," there is now a fourth operating mode called "Charge" mode. It allows the battery to be charged by the combustion engine while driving if necessary, for example before driving into environmental zones.