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Audi’s 2016 Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid may to ship to US with gasoline power

The 2016 Audi Q7 e-tron made a splash as the brand’s first diesel plug-in hybrid, but it may not be offered that way in the U.S.

While Europe will still get the diesel powertrain introduced at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the U.S. and China will get a gasoline version instead, reports Automotive News Europe (subscription required).

The word comes from Audi’s outspoken technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg, who made the announcement at a press event Monday.

So instead of the previously-shown 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, U.S. buyers will get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine. Hackenberg did not discuss how this will affect the Q7’s total power output or performance.

Audi claims a total system output of 373 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, allowing for 0 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph.

The company has already said it will offer a 2.0-liter turbo four with 252 hp and 273 lb-ft as the base non-hybrid Q7 engine in the U.S., so it’s possible the gasoline version of the e-tron will use it as well.

Audi could still add the diesel version to its U.S. lineup, Hackenberg said, noting that the brand’s diesel cars have done fairly well here.

The Q7 e-tron will go on sale in Germany in the spring of 2016, but Audi won’t say anything more specific than “next year” regarding the Q7 lineup’s U.S. launch.

Pricing isn’t being discussed either, but the e-tron is expected to be the top model in the Q7 lineup, at least until the rumored SQ7 and RS Q7 performance models show up.