Audi, for the time, has introduced a plug-in hybrid to its flagship A8 range. The brand introduced a hybrid variant back in 2011 but was met with a lukewarm response. With a hiatus spanning almost half decade, Ingolstadt reckons it’s time the limousine got with the program.
The A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro utilises a drivetrain much like the one found in its sister company’s family tree, namely the Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid (and Bentley Bentayga Hybrid) which combines a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 mill with 250kW and 500Nm and an electric motor that lives within its 8-speed tiptronic gearbox.
The electric motor is fed by a battery pack that lives under the boot floor and consists of 104 lithium-ion cells divided into eight modules. Together, they store 14.1kWh of electricity, which when applied to the permanently excited synchronous motor, produces 100kW and 350Nm of torque, meaning this plug-in hybrid can travel some 46km purely on electricity.
Combined, both engines produce a total system output of 330kW and 700Nm of twist. That said, when measured on the combined WLTP cycle, the large saloon only sips 2.7l/100km. Impressive.
Additionally, the A8 has multiple driving modes, including (obviously) “EV” mode which is the car’s default drive profile at lower speeds. The petrol engine only engages once the driver demands more power. “Hybrid” mode is followed up with two configurations namely, “Auto” and “Hold”. The former will maximise usage of the electric motor and minimise usage of the engine while latter will ‘hold’ the electrical charge in the battery and uses the engine only such as on long highway journeys and reserving stop-start driving for the electric motor.
Apart from that, the A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro is just like any other luxury saloon with helpings of leather and polished trim on the inside. The exterior gets HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lights and 19-inch alloy wheels. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Audi Australia hasn’t yet to confirm when the A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro will be available on our shores. Stay tuned to this space.