Audi A8 L flagship with mild hybrid system officially launched in Malaysia

Audi’s fourth generation flagship saloon, the A8 L 3.0 TSFI quattro is now officially available in Malaysia at a price of RM 879,900. As the model name denotes, it comes in long wheelbase form and the drivetrain of choice is a 3.0-litre turbo-charged V6 aided by a 48-volt mild hybrid system, with all-wheel drive of course.

If the price of the Audi is eye-popping compared to the BMW 745Le (RM 595k) and the Mercedes-Benz S560e (RM 659k), do bear in mind that the A8 L is made in Audi’s Neckarsulm plant in Germany and fully imported, whereas both the BMW and Mercedes-Benz limos are CKD and enjoy tax exemptions as locally assembled hybrids. Without tax relief, the 745Le would cost over RM900k.

48-volt mild hybrid system centered on a belt alternator starter motor and 10Ah lithium-ion battery pack.

In terms of performance, the A8 L 3.0 TSFI runs close to its German rivals, courtesy of 340 hp and 500 Nm driving all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic. Idle to 100km/h takes 5.7 seconds, along with a limited top speed of 250 km/h. The mild hybrid system is based on a belt alternator starter and a 10Ah lithium-ion battery located under the trunk, the system allows engine-off coasting between 55 km/h and 160 km/h and up to 40 seconds of zero emission operation.

Features on the A8 L include Matrix LED headlamps with dynamic turn signals (fore and aft), surround view cameras, panoramic glass roof, Virtual Cockpit driver’s instrumentation along with MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system with haptic touch control, heads up display, B&O premium audio and a portable touch control tablet for passengers to fiddle with the comfort settings. The A8 L seats three across at the back by the way.

The A8 L isn’t fond of buttons, prefers virtual controls with haptic feedback.

Adaptive air suspension is standard on the A8 L as are all-wheel steering, lane departure warning, lane change assistance and rear cross traffic alert. There is however no adaptive cruise control or any semi-autonomous features to speak of.


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