Time was, if you said hybrid, everyone thought “Prius”. While this remains true to an extent, the hybrid category has expanded far beyond the uniquely styled Toyota. There are now hybrid luxury cars, sports cars, exotic sports cars, and crossover SUVs. What’s more, all of these categories contain all-wheel drive models and are offered by some of the most noted brands in the industry. The following is a guide to all-wheel drive models offered for the 2015 model year, plus one very extraordinary concept car (from the likes of Lamborghini!), fully demonstrating how robust all-wheel drive hybrids can be.
2015 All-Wheel Drive Hybrids
Audi Q5 Hybrid
Audi’s Q5 Hybrid benefits from a total system output of 245 horsepower and 350 ft-lbs of torque. Its gasoline engine displaces 2.0-liters and is good for 220 horsepower. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 54-horsepower electric motor. EPA fuel economy is rated at 24 miles per gallon in the city, 30 on the highway, and 26 combined. Among the complement of luxury features for the handsome Audi hybrid crossover SUV are a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, blind spot monitoring, navigation, and voice controls. Pricing for the 2015 Audi Q5 hybrid starts at $51,900.
Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD
The top of the line Acura model is luxurious, engaging, and remarkably fuel-efficient for its class—thanks to its all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain. Teaming three electric motors with a seven-speed automatic transmission and Acura’s 310-horsepower V6, the RLX boasts a total system output of 377 horsepower. Fast and efficient, the Acura flagship is rated at 28 miles per gallon in the city, 32 on the highway and 30 overall—impressive for a mid-size luxury sedan. A surround audio system, text to speech capability, and tri-zone automatic climate control are numbered among the Acura’s standard features. Pricing starts at $59,950.
Photo Credit: BMW
A technological tour de force, and proof hybrid doesn’t mean boring, the BMW i8 is a high performance plug-in hybrid GT car offering 357 horsepower and 420 ft-lbs of torque—from a 228-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a 129 horsepower electric motor. The gasoline engine powers the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission while the electric motor drives the front wheels through a two-speed automatic. According to BMW, the innovative i8 is capable of traveling up to 22 miles—or at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour—on electric power alone. Pricing starts at $135,700.
Infiniti Q50 Hybrid AWD
The follow-up to Infiniti’s highly vaunted G37 series of cars, Infiniti’s Q50 hybrid teams a 296-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 making 255 ft-lbs of torque with a 67-horsepower electric motor good for 199 ft-lbs and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The combined system output is 354 horsepower. Offered in both rear-drive and all-wheel drive, the AWD powertrain is estimated at 28 miles per gallon in the city, 35 on the highway, and 30 combined. Standard equipment includes adaptive steering, dual-zone automatic climate control, Infiniti’s In Touch electronics interface, and a 14-speaker Bose audio system. 2015 Q50 Hybrid AWD pricing starts at $46,200.
Infiniti QX60 Hybrid AWD
Offered with a choice of rear-drive and all-wheel drive powertrains, the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid pairs a supercharged 2.5-liter inline four with a 15 kW electric motor to produce a system output of 250 horsepower and 243 ft-lbs of torque. A continuously variable transmission completes the all-wheel drive propulsion system. Fuel economy is rated at 25 miles per gallon in the city, 28 on the highway, and 26 combined. Standard equipment includes automatic bi-xenon headlights, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a power liftgate. Options include remote start, navigation, and front and rear parking sensors. Pricing starts at $46,500.
Lexus RX 450h AWD
Here’s an interesting bit of trivia. In Japan, the Lexus RX was originally called the Toyota Harrier—like the jet. The first luxury hybrid crossover SUV to market, the Lexus RX 450h teams a 3.5-liter V6 capable of 245-horsepower and 234 ft-lbs of torque with a continuously variable transmission and three electric motors. Total system output is 295 horsepower. Fuel economy is rated at 30 miles per gallon in the city, 28 on the highway, and 29 combined. Standard features include a 12-speaker audio system, a power liftgate, and dual-zone automatic climate control. RX 450h Pricing starts at $49,020.
Lexus LS 600h L
Quite possibly the world’s most luxurious hybrid automobile, the 2015 Lexus LS 600h L pampers passengers with every luxury feature imaginable. Power comes from a 389-horsepower V8 making 385 ft-lbs of torque feeding a continuously variable transmission. This is mated with two electric motors, for a total system output of 438 horsepower. Fuel economy is rated at 19 miles per gallon in the city, 23 on the highway, and 20 combined. While those numbers sound low for a hybrid, keep in mind this hybrid is a long wheelbase luxury sedan packed with luxury gear. Pricing starts at $120,060.
Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid
For the 2014 model year, Nissan went to a car-based crossover treatment for the Pathfinder, endowing it with considerably more comfort, smoothness, and a hybrid powertrain. Just as with Infiniti’s QX60 Hybrid, the electrified Pathfinder uses a supercharged 2.5-liter inline four with a 15 kW electric motor to produce a system output of 250 horsepower and 243 ft-lbs of torque. A continuously variable transmission completes the all-wheel drive system. Fuel economy is rated at 25 miles per gallon in the city, 27 on the highway, and 26 combined. Pricing for the all-wheel drive 2015 Pathfinder Hybrid starts at $36,900.
Porsche Cayenne S E Hybrid
Based on Porsche’s Panamera S E Hybrid’s mechanicals, the new Porsche Cayenne S E Hybrid is capable of running at speeds of up to 78 miles per hour in its electric mode. Porsche’s third plug-in model, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid boasts a total system output of 416 horsepower. Its gasoline fired 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine makes 333 horsepower, while its electric motor is good for 95. The model also features Porsche’s styling update for its bestselling model, most noticeable in the redesigned hood and front fenders. Pricing for the Cayenne S E Hybrid is expected to start at $76,400.
Porsche 918 Spyder
While it isn’t the first mid-engine hybrid sports car, the Porsche 918 Spyder is the first V8-powered mid-engine Porsche hybrid sports car. The 918 Spyder’s 608-horsepower V8 displaces 4.6-liters and operates in conjunction with a pair of electric motors to generate a total system output of 887 horsepower and 944 ft-lbs of torque. The gasoline engine feeds the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, while one of the electric motors energizes the rear wheels and the other feeds the front—making the 918 Spyder also the first all-wheel drive mid-engine Porsche sports car. Pricing starts at $845,00.
Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid
Subaru’s hot-selling little crossover SUV-let combines the venerable 148-horsepower 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four with a continuously variable transmission, all-wheel drive, and am electric motor for a total system output of 160 horsepower and 163 ft-lbs of torque. Its fuel economy is rated at 29 miles per gallon in the city, 33 on the highway, and 31 combined. Standard features include roof rails, heated mirrors, de-icing for the windshield wipers, automatic climate control, active grille shutters for improved aerodynamic efficiency, leather upholstery, and a rearview camera. Options include a sunroof, navigation, and smartphone integration. Crosstrek Hybrid pricing starts at $25,995.
The 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid teams a 3.5-liter V6 with an electric motor to generate a system output of 280 horsepower, while returning an estimated 27 miles per gallon in the city, 28 on the highway, and 28 mpg combined. The rear wheels are powered by the electric motor. The standard bill of fare includes an adjustable height rear liftgate, keyless entry and start, heated and ventilated front seats, and a unique voice amplification system for conferring with passengers in the rear seats. Options include Blu-ray entertainment, lane departure warning, and a heated steering wheel. Pricing starts at $47,500.
One of the most powerful hybrid models on this list, and certainly the most powerful hybrid SUV, the 2015 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid boasts a system output of 380 horsepower and 428 ft-lbs of torque from a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with a single electric motor. The VW employs an eight-speed automatic transmission and returns an estimated 20 miles per gallon in the city, 24 on the highway, and 21 combined. Admittedly soft on miles per gallon, it’s huge on smiles per gallon. The VW does 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. Pricing starts at $64,745.
Bonus: Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Concept
The Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Concept is remarkably conventional looking—for a Lamborghini. If you’re familiar with the marque’s nomenclature structure, you know the designation means the Asterion has a total of 910 horsepower, its engine is positioned longitudinally, and its powertrain is all-wheel drive. But wait, there’s more—the “I’ stands for Ibrido, which means hybrid in Italian. Thus, you’re looking at Lamborghini’s first plug-in hybrid. Three electric motors are teamed with the 5.2-liter V10 from the Huracan. Lamborghini says 0 to 60 in three seconds, and a 199 mph top speed. And yes, they’ll very likely build it.