Audi considering hybrid RS models but current battery technology is an issue

Article by Christian A., on January 22, 2015

Back in June 2014, Audi introduced the RS5 TDI Concept, a vehicle powered by a V6 biturbo diesel engine that also used an electric turbocharger that provided a staggering power when starting off. Apparently, the next step for Audi will be hybrid RS models, but don’t expect it too soon as the manufacturer will not introduce them until battery technology is improved.

According to Stephan Reil a.k.a. Quattro GMBh chief, Audi investigated the possibility of adding a hybrid RS model but the added mass of the battery outweighs the benefits. Still, Reil admitted that the battery technology continues to be developed and that the next-generation will get smaller and lighter. As a result, he doesn’t rule it out and this means that the hybrid RS models are getting closer.

Before the hybrid RS vehicles will arrive we might see those fitted with an electric turbocharger, as seen on the RS5 TDI Concept. For those who don’t know, the RS5 TDI model unveiled by Audi last year offered a 3.0-liter V6 biturbo diesel engine with 385 hp (283 kW) and 750 Nm of torque available between from 1,250 to 2,000 rpm.

As we said, the vehicle featured an electric turbocharger that provides as much as 2.4 bar of relative boost pressure. According to Audi, the RS5 TDI Concept is able to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.0 seconds, to 200 km/h (124 mph) in less than 16 seconds, while top speed is limited at 280 km/h or 174 mph.

The performances are quite impressive, but you also have to know that fuel consumption is just 5.3 l/100 km/h (44.4 US mpg), while CO2 emissions are less than 140 g/km.

The RS5 TDI Concept also comes with a separate 48-volt electrical system connected to a conventional 12-volt electrical system via a DC/DC converter, which stores energy in a compact lithium-ion battery. [source: topgear.com]

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