Coinciding with September's show, Ford unveiled the company's plans to produce 250,000 hybrids annually for the global market by 2010 &endash; with more than half of the Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury range having hybrid capability.
Ford currently produces about 24,000 hybrid vehicles annually. Ford is still the only American car company to produce hybrids and was the first in the world to offer an SUV hybrid, the Escape. Ford announced it would accelerate the production schedule for its second hybrid, the Mercury Mariner, for which it began taking orders in July.
Audi is the only European manufacturer to have brought a production hybrid vehicle to market. The Audi Duo, an A4 Avant powered by a 90 PS, 1.9-liter TDI engine and an electric motor (which adds a further 29 PS), was launched in 1997. At Frankfurt, Audi delivered a concept that focuses on the power of hybrid systems for large, luxury sport utility vehicles.
The Q7 hybrid concept study combines a 4.2-liter V8 petrol engine that incorporates economy-boosting FSI injection technology with an electric motor, reducing overall fuel consumption by almost 13% compared to a conventional equivalent.
The concept vehicle's acceleration capability is 0 - 60 in 6.8 seconds. The fifth gear overtaking increment between 50 mph and 75 mph is claimed to be 7s. This concept would give the Q7 powerful performance while raising fuel economy to 23.5 mpg.
The motor, located between the engine and the six-speed automatic transmission's torque converter, is supplied by a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery system concealed beneath the luggage compartment floor. The complete system adds 140 kg to the total weight of the Q7, a 7% increase.
A separating clutch links the FSI engine and the electric motor, and enables the two power sources to operate individually or in unison.
The electric motor can power the vehicle on its own at speeds of up to 18 mph. When the accelerator pedal is fully depressed, electric and V8 power are combined and up to 44 PS and 200 Nm of torque are added, raising performance beyond that of a standard V8 Q7.
Idle/stop technology shuts the vehicle down after three seconds at a standstill.