A couple of years ago, Abt Sportline decided the world needed a 1000bhp Audi ‘RS6-E’. It teamed up the standard car’s twin-turbo V8 with a giant electric motor to great effect, developing a combined 952lb ft of torque.
Now, Abt is ready for its first customer hybrid vehicle, and it’s a lot more sensible. It uses the Q5 55 TFSI E as a starting point, with modifications limited to just the internal combustion side of the equation.
The Q5 55’s EA888 2.0-litre inline-four has been boosted from 249bhp to a more S3-like 306bhp via a software upgrade, which brings the total system power to 420bhp. The 14.1kWh battery pack means the top-spec hybrid Q5 isn’t the lightest thing, but 420bhp is more than enough power for some decent performance. As standard, the car can crack 0-62mph 5.3 seconds, but with the upgrade, we can expect this to happen under five seconds.
Owners of the lower-powered 50 TFSI e can get an upgrade too. This setup involves an identical inline-four but a smaller motor for the rear axle, so once again, you’re looking at an increase to 306bhp for the former part of the powertrain. Once you’re done, the total system power is 353bhp.
An Abt-fettled Q5 55 PHEV could almost be described as a sleeper, but if you’d rather shout about the extra shove, there is - of course - a snazzy wheel option. Along with the 20-inch Abt GR rims, it’s also possible to spec Abt entrance lights. Neat.