Audi is also setting standards for hybrid technology. The A8 hybrid, which debuts this spring, is the world’s most efficient luxury-class hybrid sedan and also the only European full hybrid in the segment. It has an all-electric range of up to three kilometers.
The Audi A8 hybrid combines the performance of a six-cylinder with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder model. With 180 kW (245 hp) of system power, the 2.0 TFSI and the electric motor deliver powerful thrust, yet the brand’s flagship consumes just 6.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (37.34 US mpg). The ultra lightweight aluminum body plays a major role in this efficiency.
The Audi A8 hybrid is a parallel hybrid – a high-efficiency concept. Its 155 kW (211 hp) 2.0 TFSI and the electric motor are mounted one directly behind the other and are linked by a clutch to work together, when necessary. System output is 180 kW (245 hp) and peak system torque is 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft). The power is delivered to the front wheels via a highly modified eight-speed tiptronic. The lithium-ion battery in the rear provides 1.3 kWh of energy, and its sophisticated air cooling system switches between two stages as needed.
The Audi A8 hybrid combines the performance of a six-cylinder with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder model. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes just 7.7 seconds, and top speed is 235 km/h (146.02 mph). In the standard cycle, the large sedan consumes just 6.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (37.34 US mpg) on average – a CO2 equivalent of 147 grams per km (236.57 g/mile), and easily the best in its class.
In all-electric mode, the Audi A8 hybrid can cover roughly three kilometers (1.86 miles) at a speed of 60 km/h (37.28 mph). Top speed in this mode is 100 km/h (62.14 mph). The driver can choose between three driving programs, on the basis of which the hybrid manager – the control unit in the drivetrain – selects the best suited of five operating modes.
With a curb weight of 1,870 kg (4,122.64 lb), the Audi A8 hybrid is by far the lightest hybrid sedan in its class. This top value is due in part to the fact that the additional components weigh in at only around 130 kilograms (286.60 lb) and also to the ultra lightweight body. Featuring an aluminum Audi Space Frame (ASF), it tips the scales at just 231 kilograms (509.27 lb).
The chassis of the A8 hybrid also benefits from Audi’s expertise in ultra lightweight construction, combining excellent ride comfort with sporty handling. The links are made of a lightweight alloy; the power steering uses a special electromechanical drive. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system and adaptive air suspension with damping control are standard. The large 19-inch wheels sport a special hybrid design.
Timeless and distinctive: the design
The exterior design of the large sedan is one of timeless elegance. The standard LED headlights give the front end an unmistakable expression. The Audi A8 hybrid is 5.14 meters (16.86 ft) long; the long-wheelbase A8 L hybrid is 13 centimeters (5.12 in) longer.
The interior features sporty and lightweight lines, simple controls and a finish of handcrafted quality. The driver can read all key information about the hybrid drive on special displays. The seats are available with optional ventilation and massage functions, while the ambient lighting package uses LEDs to set subtle accents. Other features include a continuous center console and a folding table.
Audi offers a wide range of infotainment systems for the A8 hybrid. The Bose surround sound system is standard, with a high-end system from Bang & Olufsen available as an option. The optional navigation and infotainment system MMI navigation with MMI touch includes a touchpad for entering letters and numbers.
The ideal complement to this media center is the online Bluetooth car phone, which connects to the Internet via UMTS. Passengers can use its integrated WLAN hotspot to surf and e-mail. For the driver, the system delivers the services of Audi connect to the vehicle, including up-to-the-minute Audi traffic information online.
The assistance and safety systems that Audi offers in the A8 hybrid are also state of the art. These include the night vision assistant with highlighting of detected pedestrians and a parking system that supports the driver with four small cameras. The safety system Audi pre sense basic is also standard.
The Audi A8 hybrid will launch in Europe in May. The standard-wheelbase version has a base price of €77,700, while the long version lists for €85,400.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.