Audi will reportedly introduce an e-tron version of its flagship A8 limousine, set to debut sometime next year as a 2016 model.
According to Auto Express, the A8 e-tron will be a full plug-in hybrid that uses Audi’s new 3.0-liter diesel V6 as its heart, rather than the gasoline V6 currently used in the regular A8 Hybrid, which should mean better efficiency than before. Peak output is rumored to be around 370 horsepower and well over 500 pounde-feet of torque, and the A8 e-tron should be able to travel around 30 miles in electric-only mode. Without electric assist, that engine currently produces 240 horsepower and 428 pounds-feet of torque in various Audi products.
Both upcoming plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class will retain their gasoline V6 engines, which should give Audi the edge in fuel efficiency and potentially CO2 emissions ratings as well.
Having already confirmed or introduced e-tron versions of the compact A3, mid-size A6 and R8 supercar, the company has promised to make electrified versions of every model it sells by 2020. The new diesel hybrid system will most certainly appear in the aforementioned A6, along with the next Q7 SUV.
The current 2014 A8L TDI gets a combined 29 mpg and starts around $82,500, so should the e-tron version come to North America, the easy money says there should be a sharp hike both in fuel efficiency and in price.