Audi Confirms A8 Hybrid for Production

In spring of 2010, Audi and parent company Volkswagen AG joined a growing group of carmakers planning to integrate hybrid and electric drive into their model lineups. Among the several plug-in and hybrid-electric vehicles Audi unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show was the A8 hybrid. Though details about the car were scarce at the time, Audi this week confirmed it for production and revealed a wealth of new information about the forthcoming luxury hybrid sedan.

In a press release, Audi announced that the A8 hybrid will enter production in 2012, and will carry a 211-horsepower four-cylinder engine supplemented by a 54-hp electric motor. Combined, the powertrain will net a maximum 245-hp and provide 345 lb-ft of torque. The car can run on electric power alone at speeds of as much as 62 mph for up to 1.8 miles, and has five distinct operating states: gas-only, electric-only, gas-electric, battery recuperation, and power-boosting. Twin displays will show what state the car is operating in, giving the driver a choice between pure-EV mode when the battery is charged, D mode for maximum gas-electric efficiency, and S mode for more power.

Audi claims the A8 will achieve slightly less than 37 mpg in overall fuel efficiency, though because the car is yet to be confirmed for U.S. production that number is likely to result from the far more generous European test cycle. Currently, the most fuel-efficient A8 available in the United States is the 8-cylinder model, which achieves a combined EPA-rated 21 mpg.

Audi is in the process of diversifying its powertrain options, and will offer five different versions of the A8 in Europe beginning next year. American customers can look forward to diesel versions of the A8, A6, and Q5 sometime in the next two years, with the A8 TDI delivering an estimated 35.6 mpg (also under the Euro test cycle.) Audi is rumored to be considering adding a plug-in hybrid version of the A4 to its lineup as well, though that car would also be unlikely to initially be available in the U.S.

Why are Audi and other luxury European carmakers so reluctant to immediately bring hybrid and plug-in electric versions of their cars stateside? Because they don’t have to. Europe is several years ahead of the United States in escalating its fuel economy standards—meaning that companies like Audi can, for the time being, meet the American CAFE mandate with more efficiently tuned gas cars and a smattering of new TDI models. If consumer demand for fuel economy rises in U.S., it’s likely that many of these manufacturers might speed up their plans to bring their hybrid and electric models here. Otherwise, Americans may have to wait until rising government standards catch up with Europe.


  • Jess

    < "The car can run on electric power alone at speeds of as much as 62 mph for up to 1.8 miles, and has five distinct operating states: gas-only, electric-only, gas-electric, battery recuperation, and power-boosting. Twin displays will show what state the car is operating in, giving the driver a choice between pure-EV mode when the battery is charged, D mode for maximum gas-electric efficiency, and S mode for more power."> Whoa, this looks a lot like an Infringement of Toyota’s HSD Patents? Did Audi license their Hybrid System from Toyota?

  • MrEnergyCzar

    A little late to the party….. no hybrids yet…

  • marco

    The powertrain will be similar to the hybrid porsche, brand owned by VW.

    This hybrid system has some lack of features, for example the excess of binary may nort bre converrted into energy as happens in toyota.

  • Davykurniadi

    I bought the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid in September 9, 2010 thru Porsche dealer in Indonesia. Love the car at first sight.

    However, who sat on the rear passenger seat complaint about temperature in the rear compartment. Later we smell burning fume in the cabin. All windows close and outside air circulation was shut. So where the heat and burning smell came from??? We stop on the highway and did some check:
    A. Hot air is gushing out from the subwoofer grill In the luggage area !!!
    B. Hot air is gushing out from a ventilation grills placed on the side-backed windows next to passenger shoulders, both left and right sides !!!
    C. Burning smell also flowing along with hot air !!!

    We reported this to Porsche dealer and they immediately brought the car back to the service center.

    Latest update from Porsche dealer, they ran a temperature test this week. Running at 3,000RPM, AC was set at AUTO 16 celsius (outside temperature was 35 celsius): Front driver seat at 20 celsius, mid-section 25 celsius and rear passenger seat 30 celsius!!! They reported that the battery temperature were normal – running in accordance to Porsche manual standard (no details). Now they are re-visiting the battery exhaust duct as to why the exhaust hot air from the battery blower gushing out through every holes available in the rear compartment, including subwoofer grill and rear-side windows grills (both left and right sides).

    Porsche Indonesia decided to take back the hybrid. They (include Porsche Indonesia, Porsche AsPac Singapore and Porsche Germany Leipzig) cannot find the solution to the heating problem and they told me that all hybrid orders in Asia Pacific are put on hold.

    Speaking from my own experience, it would be very wise to stay away from the Porsche hybrid.

  • Davykurniadi

    I bought the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid in September 9, 2010 thru Porsche dealer in Indonesia. Love the car at first sight.

    However, who sat on the rear passenger seat complaint about temperature in the rear compartment. Later we smell burning fume in the cabin. All windows close and outside air circulation was shut. So where the heat and burning smell came from??? We stop on the highway and did some check:
    A. Hot air is gushing out from the subwoofer grill In the luggage area !!!
    B. Hot air is gushing out from a ventilation grills placed on the side-backed windows next to passenger shoulders, both left and right sides !!!
    C. Burning smell also flowing along with hot air !!!

    We reported this to Porsche dealer and they immediately brought the car back to the service center.

    Latest update from Porsche dealer, they ran a temperature test this week. Running at 3,000RPM, AC was set at AUTO 16 celsius (outside temperature was 35 celsius): Front driver seat at 20 celsius, mid-section 25 celsius and rear passenger seat 30 celsius!!! They reported that the battery temperature were normal – running in accordance to Porsche manual standard (no details). Now they are re-visiting the battery exhaust duct as to why the exhaust hot air from the battery blower gushing out through every holes available in the rear compartment, including subwoofer grill and rear-side windows grills (both left and right sides).

    Porsche Indonesia decided to take back the hybrid. They (include Porsche Indonesia, Porsche AsPac Singapore and Porsche Germany Leipzig) cannot find the solution to the heating problem and they told me that all hybrid orders in Asia Pacific are put on hold.

    Speaking from my own experience, it would be very wise to stay away from the Porsche hybrid.

  • Max Reid

    A8 model with V4 Hybrid engine. Awesome. Automakers have learnt to get so much power with V4 engine using a Motor & Battery.

    I believe this should have a Lithium battery. Now in USA, V4 engines have 43 % market share followed by V6 at 40% and V8 at 16%.

    2011 did not proved to be a good year for Hybrids. Lets hope atleast 2012 is.

    Auto sales in Japan and Prius sold only 83,000 units this year.
    http://www.made-in-japan.org/blog/car-sales-ranking-january-june-2011

  • marco

    Max,

    2011 needs to be viewed by quarters.
    First quarter prius sold more 50% when compared to previous year.
    http://www.hybridcars.com/news/hot-car-summer-used-toyota-prius-29818.html

    Second quarter earrthquake in japan stoped the supply of most of hybrid parts.

    September prius and most hybrids will be 100% available, after the supliers get on track.

  • tapra2

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