Audi has confirmed a production Hybrid version of its A8 luxury saloon.
The Audi A8 Hybrid combines a 2.0-litre TFSI turbo petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver a total system power output of 241bhp with CO2 emissions of less than 148g/km.
Want to know more about the new Audi A8? Read the full Which? Car review here.
Audi A8 Hybrid: 44mpg and 148g/km CO2
Existing Volkswagen Group hybrids – such as the Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid and the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid – are powered by a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 Audi engine working in combination with an electric motor.
For its first production hybrid, Audi has chosen to use a much smaller 2.0-litre turbo engine – the first time a four-cylinder unit has ever been fitted into an Audi of the A8’s size. Working in combination with a disc shaped electric motor that slots in between the engine and the eight-speed automatic gearbox, this gives the front-wheel drive A8 Hybrid a theoretical combined economy figure in excess of 44mpg.
This is yet to be fully homologated, but equates to sub-148g/km CO2 emissions – remarkable for a premium luxury car.
0-62mph in 7.7 seconds, 146mph
Helped along by the A8’s lightweight aluminium structure this also enables the drivetrain to achieve a predicted 0-62mph of just 7.7 seconds, and a top speed of 146mph.
Yet the A8 Hybrid can also travel at 62mph on electric power alone; doing so will significantly dent the electric-only range, however, which stands at just 1.86 miles at a constant and optimal 37mph. The lithium ion battery that allows this is located in a crash-proof area of the boot.
The system can disengage the electric motor altogether when not in use to reduce friction and improve cruising efficiency.
On sale in 2012
The Audi A8 Hybrid is distinguished by ‘turbine’ style 18-inch alloy wheels (19-inch equivalents are optional), hybrid badges and a new and exclusive Artic Silver paint finish.
Pricing and full specification is yet to be announced, but standard equipment will include a Bose stereo, three-zone climate control, LED headlamps and the metallic paint.
Production commences in 2012, with the first UK cars set to arrive later in the same year. Which? will bring you more details as they are revealed.
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