The Audi flagship A8 is now offered for the first time with electric drive.
The new A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro brings electric driving to the luxury class – a plug-in hybrid that offers up to 46km of pure electric propulsion, but absolutely no compromise on the pure luxury of the A8.
21 October, 2019
The flagship of the Audi range, the sublime A8, has joined the brand’s e-assault with a plug-in hybrid version unveiled in Germany. The new A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro, combines a A 3.0 TFSI V6 engine that produces 250kW and 500Nm of torque, with an electric motor with a peak output of 100kW and a peak torque of 350Nm serves as the electric drive.
This combination adds up to a system power output of 330kW and system torque of 700Nm to give the luxury sedan all the power it needs for every scenario – including up to 46km of purely electric driving, and with a top purely electric speed of 135km/h.
Power is harnessed through an eight-gear tiptronic, which transmits the power to all four wheels via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Torque is available from as low as 1250 rpm, which is just above idle speed and when both motors work together in boost mode, the A8 L from 0 to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds on the way to a governed top speed of 250km/h. Yet thanks to its hybrid drive, the large luxury sedan consumes just 2.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.
The A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro can travel up to 46km on purely electric drive, and has a top electric speed of 135km/h
The driving strategy of the plug-in hybrid drive is designed so that drivers can cover the bulk of of their daily journeys on electric power
The driving strategy of the plug-in hybrid drive is designed so that drivers can cover the bulk of of their daily journeys on electric power. The ‘EV’ soft key in the lower of the two MMI displays allows them to decide whether and how they want to adjust the interaction of the two motors at any time. The A8 starts in ‘EV’ mode, where it drives on purely electric power and the combustion engine is engaged only when the driver depresses the accelerator pedal beyond a specific resistance.
The ‘Hybrid’ system offers two operating modes – ‘Auto’ and ‘Hold’. In ‘Auto’ mode, the predictive operating strategy is activated automatically when route guidance is started in the MMI navigation plus. In addition, the battery charge is spread intelligently and optimally along the route, with large electric portions in the city and in stop-and-go traffic. Generally speaking, the predictive operating strategy endeavours to drive as far as possible on electric power and to use the available battery charge completely by the time the destination is reached.
The ‘Hold’ mode attempts to keep the available charge state of the battery at this current level with just minimal fluctuations by means of recuperation and by shifting the load point.
The operating strategy of the Audi A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro uses various pieces of data to plan the management of the drives. The main focus here is always on optimising ride comfort and energy consumption, as well as keeping CO2 emissions to a minimum. When it comes to planning long-distance journeys, the strategy takes the length and profile of the route as well as online traffic information and the driver’s driving style into account. In the short-term forecast, the standard predictive efficiency assist (PEA) system contributes information from the immediate environment taken from the navigation data – like speed limits, types of roads and uphill and downhill gradients. The data from the camera and radar that monitor the traffic ahead is also included here.
The phases in which the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal are also important for peak efficiency. The PEA takes over the regulation in such situations. In addition to the navigation data, it also takes the distance to the car in front into account and then decides between freewheeling with the engine switched off and coasting recuperation, where the A8 can recover up to 25kW of power through coasting recuperation.
The electric motor also performs all light and medium brake operations up to 0.3 g, which make up more than 90 percent of all brake operations in everyday customer driving. Thanks to sophisticated fine tuning, the transition, also known as ‘blending’, between the electric and hydraulic brakes is virtually imperceptible achieves up to 80kW of recuperation power while braking.
The electric motor also performs all light and medium brake operations up to 0.3 g, which make up more than 90 percent of all brake operations
The Audi A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro is equipped with a synthetic e-sound to alert pedestrians and cyclists in city traffic
When the adaptive cruise control (ACC) is active, the PEA assists the driver not only with decelerating but also with fuel-efficient acceleration. If the ACC is switched off, the driver receives prompts that indicate when it would be sensible to take their foot off the accelerator.
In the Audi virtual cockpit and on the display of the standard operating system MMI touch response, the driver can view a variety of information on electric driving – power meter, range and the current energy flows of the two drive units.
In addition to the ‘EV’ soft key, ride character can be adjusted with the Audi drive select system. With the ‘comfort’, ‘efficiency’, ‘auto’, and ‘dynamic’ modes, the driver can select the setup of the drive, air suspension and steering.
When the selector lever is in position ’S’, the electric motor assists the 3.0 TFSI with a very pronounced boost function to increase dynamics and agility. In this case, freewheeling in overrun mode is blocked and the electric motor recuperates whenever the foot is taken off the accelerator.
In accordance with EU legislation, the Audi A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro is equipped with a synthetic e-sound to alert pedestrians and cyclists in city traffic – its acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) producing a distinctive ‘Audi sound’ up to 20km/h that gradually fades out as the speed increases.
Of course, inside, the driver and other occupants are cocooned in an environment of complete luxury, just as you’d expected from Audi A8. This A8 L model can be ordered with the famed relaxation seat with myriad possible settings and a heated footrest with a foot massage function. A plug-in A8 with the standard wheelbase will also be produced, and while it won’t have the wheelbase for the massage seat, it will also be available with more than 30 driver assistance systems, as well as the exclusive 19-inch aluminium wheels with fiver-arm turbine design optimised for greater aerodynamics.
The new A8 e quattros also share the distinctive light signature, which is based on the all-electric Audi e-tron, and the wealth of luxury functions that define the Audi A8 as the brand’s top of the range model. In fact, from a driver or a passenger’s point of view, all the characteristics, performance, handling and appointment of the A8 e models are just as you would expect of the existing models, save for the whisper quiet of the all-electric mode and of course the extraordinary fuel economy.
At time of writing, the A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro was still being evaluated for Australian distribution.
The new A8 e quattros also share the distinctive light signature, which is based on the all-electric Audi e-tron
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