Audi A6 hybridAudi has withdrawn the petrol-electric A6 Hybrid model two years of worldwide sales saw just 4000 models delivered.

Car and Driver says the firm will instead now concentrate on plug-in hybrid models under its e-tron branding.

The A6 Hybrid was different to other executive hybrid cars in combining an efficient direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine to an electric motor; BMW and Mercedes-Benz use six-cylinder motors instead.

The Audi’s 2.0-litre turbo engine actually came from the Volkswagen Golf GTI. It could accelerate to 62mph from rest in 7.3 seconds – impressively, under electric power alone. The batteries offered a full EV driving range of two miles before the engine kicked in.

Despite this high-tech running gear, the model could only average a middling 45.6mpg, and emitted 145g/km CO2. The launch of the facelifted A6 range highlights just how uncompetitive this was: Audi now offers a 2.0 TDI ultra diesel that, in S tronic automatic guise, can average 67.3mpg and emits just 109g/km CO2.

Audi will thus now concentrate on its next-generation hybrids as it continues its strive to catch up with the competition; the replacement platform for the A6, called, MHB, is being optimised to take plug-in hybrid systems, just as the smaller MQB architecture has been.

The withdrawal of the A6 Hybrid means Audi’s only hybrid model on sale is the new A3 e-tron. This has a full EV range of more than 30 miles and its 204hp system output will take it to 62mph from rest in 7.6 seconds. What’s more, thanks to the vagaries of the official NEDC combined cycle, the A3 e-tron officially emits just 35g/km and averages 188mpg.

Not entirely realistic, but it’s still much more impressive than the A6 Hybrid’s figures…