2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid

2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid Credit: Handout

Audi confirmed  that the 2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid -- first shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and already on sale in Europe -- will head to our shores soon, according to an Audi spokesperson. The Audi Q5 Hybrid will be the luxury German automaker's first hybrid model for the U.S. market.

The Q5 Hybrid will be powered the same 211-horsepower, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder that's standard on the 2012 Q5, but the hybrid model will also have a 54-hp electric motor and a heavily modified eight-speed automatic transmission. The transmission gets rid of its torque converter for the purposes of the parallel hybrid system. The electric motor and turbo four-cylinder couple and decouple via a multiplate clutch, with the electric motor primarily used to aid the four-cylinder during initial startup or at slow speeds as most common hybrid systems do.

The hybrid system is promised to bring about 34 mpg average fuel economy, according to the automaker. The model will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds and will be able to tow more than 4,400 pounds.

Audi says its Q5 Hybrid will be able to operate on electric power alone at speeds of up to about 62 mph. The lithium-ion battery pack will be stored underneath the rear cargo area; Q5's available luggage space will be slightly reduced, according to Audi. The Audi Q5 Hybrid will feature a standard navigation system with 60 gigabytes of music space. It will ride on specially designed 19-inch aluminum wheels.

No word yet on pricing or a specific on-sale date.

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