European Automakers Pursue Hybrid Vehicles
September 21, 2005
European automakers have discovered the hybrid vehicle: At Europe's largest auto show, being held in Frankfurt through September 25th, automakers unveiled new hybrid vehicle prototypes and plans to build future hybrid vehicles. Audi introduced its new sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Q7, at the Frankfurt Auto Show and brought along a hybrid concept version that combines a 32-kilowatt electric motor with a 4.2-liter V8 engine. The vehicle can run on electric power only when coasting with no pressure on the gas pedal. Porsche announced plans to build its own hybrid SUV, a hybrid version of the Cayenne, by the end of the decade. The Cayenne hybrid will also be able to run in all-electric mode, and will achieve a fuel economy of about 20 miles per gallon, an improvement of about 17 percent over the standard Cayenne. And Volkswagen announced prior to the show that it will build a hybrid version of its minivan, the Touran, in China. Teams in both Germany and China will develop the hybrid minivan, which will be ready in time for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. See the Audi Q7 Web site and the press releases from Porsche and Volkswagen (PDF 71 KB). Download Adobe Reader.