Audi can boast many years of experience with hybrid vehicles – the brand with the four rings has been pioneering developments in this area for 15 years. Throughout this entire period, Audi engineers have created landmark developments that have advanced the progress and maturity of hybrid vehicles.
First generation of the Audi duo
Audi unveiled the first generation of the Audi duo experimental vehicle, based on the Audi 100 Avant quattro, as far back as 1989. This car had a 12.6 bhp electric engine, which drove the rear wheels instead of a propeller shaft. A nickel-cadmium battery supplied the energy. The front-wheel drive was powered by a 2.3-litre five-cylinder engine with an output of 136 bhp.
Second generation of the Audi duo
Two years later, Audi unveiled the second duo generation – likewise based on the Audi 100 Avant quattro. Once again this featured an electric motor, a 28.6 bhp three-phase machine, driving the rear wheels. This time, however, the rear wheels were additionally powered via the Torsen differential from the main engine compartment, which housed a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.
Third generation of the Audi duo – volume production
In 1997 Audi became the first – and to date only – manufacturer in Europe to take a hybrid vehicle into volume production: the Audi duo based on the A4 Avant. This version was powered by a 90 bhp 1.9-litre TDI in conjunction with a 29 bhp electric motor. Both power sources drove the front wheels. A lead-gel battery at the rear stored the electrical energy.