(Note: some info here is repeated from another post I made)
I think this is a trend that we will see much more in the future.
See also the Volkswagen Cross Coupe concept:
Both the BMWi8 and the VW Cross Coupe are based on the following concept which gives performance AND low fuel consumption:
- downsized combustion engine which reduces fuel consumption during constant speed.
- electric motor/generator for acceleration and energy recovery, reducing fuel consumption.
- Easy integration of 4wheel drive and traction control.
People would expect a very high cost, but maybe it must not be like that. See following hypothetical consideration based on present Audi prices:
Audi Q5 has options for different engines, all-wheel-drive and hybrid. So let us look what it costs (price list from Germany).
Engine downsize and eliminate all-wheel-drive: compare 6-cylinder 3.0TDI quattro 49'200Euro (torque 500Nm) with 4-cylinder 2.0TDI 34'850Euro (torque 320Nm).
Saving: about 14'000Euro.
Additional hybrid cost:
Compare 2.0 TFSI quattro 43'900Euro with 2.0TFSI quattro hybrid 53700Euro. Electro motor has a torque of 210Nm.
Additional cost: 10'000Euro.
So in total, there is still a saving, and the torque loss of the engine downsizing is compensated by the electric motor torque.
So all in all, I think it is a very interesting concept for the future. What I do not care about is the all electric drive: battery is bigger, and is the grid electricity low CO2?
Many people who look for low fuel consumption might think of diesel. But think of diesel under future low emission legistlation, very likely requiring SCR selective catalytic reduction using adblue urea (NOx reduction), a diesel particulate filter with a regenerative burner and an oxidation catalyst to reduce volatile hydrocarbons.
I hope I have given some food for thought.