Audi's new petrol-electric drivetrain could find its way into Flying Spur and Arnage
17 October 2007

Audi unveiled a hybrid version of its quattro transmission at the Frankfurt motor show in September — and it could be used in future Bentleys.Audi engineers have fitted an electric motor inside the eight-speed tiptronic transmission housing, saving weight and bulk. In many current hybrid designs, the motor is sandwiched between the engine and the transmission.The quattro hybrid can operate as a purely electric vehicle driving all four wheels, or the electric motor can kick in to assist the petrol engine, providing extra performance. Audi says it will run at 30mph for almost two miles purely on battery power. This is important, because many car makers fear that European cities will adopt emissions-free zones within the next few years.When the car is travelling using the petrol engine, the motor can act as a generator, charging the boot-mounted battery pack. The whole package adds just 100kg.The set-up on display hooked up a 2.0-litre turbo engine with 210bhp and 221lb ft to the hybrid transmission. Audi says the electric motor adds 44bhp and another 170lb ft of torque, offering potentially huge performance as well as up to 30 per cent better economy.While this layout will almost certainly find its way into the next-generation Flying Spur and Continental, Bentley could choose to adapt the hybrid system being developed for the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7. That system is basically a rear-drive format, with a power take-off and propshaft to drive the front wheels.A simplified rear-drive version of this system could underpin the next-generation Arnage. Adoption of a hybrid transmission could make it much easier for the firm’s classic 6.75-litre V8 to meet Euro 6 emissions regulations, as well as offering very rapid acceleration.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK