One of the most surprising pieces of news out of Frankfurt today (or least, depending on your propensity to believe gossip), was Audi's announcement that it's working on a full hybrid-drive system for the new Q7. The system, developed with with papa Volkswagen and (cousin twice removed), Porsche, is set to appear in 2008. It uses Audi's sweet 4.2 FSI V8, supplemented by a Nickel Metal Hydrate (NiMH) electric motor in full-hybrid dress, taking over for the V8 in, say, city traffic, as well as boosting zero-to-62 time to 6.8 seconds (not bad for an SUV). The company expects a 13% improvement in fuel economy, which is modest — though considering the extra powerplant and fixtures will add around 300lbs to the bruiser (or 5,313lbs total), we're not exactly surprised. Watch to see if Porsche makes a similar announcement tomorrow.
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