Audi has confirmed that their next-generation flagship model, the Audi A8 will feature a hybrid powertrain as standard across the range. The new A8, as Audi coins it, will be a Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV), supporting the combustion engine with enhanced performance and greater efficiency.
The MHEV powertrain features two main components: a water cooled 48-volt belt alternator starter (BAS) and a 48-volt 10 Ah lithium-ion battery pack. The BAS enables the A8 to coast between 55 km/h to 160 km/h for up to 40 seconds with the engine completely shut off. Should the driver require additional propulsion, the BAS restarts the engine immediately and accelerates without delay. The BAS is permanently connected to the combustion engine.
Start/Stop function has also been greatly improved from the previous systems with the clever Predictive Convenient Starting. It uses radars to detect traffic and will restart the engine as soon as the car in front moves, even if the brakes are applied. This allows the A8 to follow the flow of traffic more efficiently.
To achieve greater efficiency, the new A8’s powertrain management uses navigation data and radar sensors to decide whether to go into coasting or energy recuperation mode. The system also works in tandem with other active safety systems to recover energy during emergency braking. This collectively give the A8 MHEV greater comfort and reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 litres per 100 km.
Full details of the new Audi A8 will be revealed when the car makes its world debut at the Audi Summit in Barcelona on 11 July 2017. Previously, Audi Malaysia has announced plans to begin CKD operations here in Malaysia. If the A8 gets assembled here, we’re sure it will receive the same tax break incentives as the BMW 740Le xDrive and Mercedes-Benz S400h.