Audi is finally introducing the production version of its A8 hybrid concept, which goes on sale in 2012. Like the concept which was presented at the 2010 Geneva Salon, the greenest version of the A8 will feature a parallel hybrid power train that combines a modified 2.0L turbocharged TFSI gasoline engine delivering 211hp and 350 Nm of torque, with a disc-shaped electric motor that develops 54HP and 210 Nm. The A8 Hybrid goes from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds with a top speed of 235 km/h.
Electric energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery, which weighs 36.7 kilograms and is located in a crash-proof area in the trunk. The car’s fuel consumption in the EU cycle is said to be under 6.4L/100km and CO2 emissions is below 148g/km. In addition, the A8 Hybrid can travel on electric power alone at speeds of up to 100km/h and for a distance of up to 3km. The driver can choose from three different modes including "EV", in which priority is given to the electric drive. The other 2 modes are “D” and “S” whereby the “S” mode provides a sportier driving style.
Compared with the Lexus LS Hybrid 600L, which features a 5L V8 engine, the new A8 hybrid is much more road tax-friendly. Although the German saloon’s century sprint timing is less impressive than its Japanese counterpart, I believe most hybrid drivers would not mind it.