Before touching on the news about every future flagship A8 will in fact be a hybrid, let’s soak in the beauty and grace of this superb range-topping luxury car. The new A8 is slightly longer, narrower and incredibly distinguished. And yes, the rear light treatment also reminds me of Lincoln…
On the technology front, the A8 is first car to bring Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities (start, accelerate, steer and brake on any road) at speeds up to 59 km/h. These capabilities are not entirely unexpected from such a highly evolved car however a 48-volt hybrid unit on each one built is.
Volvo just recently announced that it will be electrifying all of its new cars starting very soon and it’s clear that Audi’s likely going in the same direction. The 48-volt system is fed by a belt alternator starter (BAS) and is linked to a lithium-ion battery located beneath the luggage compartment floor. This setup allows the A8 to coast silently from 55 through 160 km/h without the aid of the ICE. The BAS also recovers power through regenerative braking as part of the system’s functionality.
This new mild hybrid technology obviously exits to improve overall efficiency. Fuel consumption improves by as much as 0.7 liters per 100k in real driving conditions. Canada’s powertrains should consist of the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 (340 horsepower) and the turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 (460 horsepower). A plug-in e-tron A8 L is also in the works for the near future.