Audi has confirmed that production will begin on the Audi A8 hybrid in 2012 and will be available in the UK in late 2012.
The flagship model is a parallel hybrid, with a modified 2.0 litre TFSI engine developing 350Nm of torque between 1500 and 4200rpm and 211PS, which will work alongside a disc-shaped electric motor generating 40kW/54PS and 210Nm.
The permanent magnet synchronous motor will be mounted in the space normally reserved for the torque converter in front the eight speed tiptronic transmission which has also been modified. The multi-plate clutch operates in an oil bath and connects or disconnects the electric motor and the TFSI engine. The hybrid transmission will distribute power to the front wheels.
The Audi A8 hybrid's short term system output od 245PS and system torque of 480Nm to to provide strong response. The Audi A8 hybrid will achieve 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds with a top speed of 146mph whilst consuming 44mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 148g/km.
At speeds of up to 62mph, the Audi A8 hybrid can be driven purely on electric power with a 1.86 mile range at a speed of 37mph. Three modes are provided for the driver to choose: EV -with electric drive priority, D combines the use of engine and electric motor whilst S mode focuses on optimal acceleration. The hybrid has five operation states: TFSI engine alone, with electric drive only or in hybrid mode; recuperation and boosting are also possible.
A lithium-ion battery, weighing in at 36.7kg, is located in the boot, providing the electric motor with 1.3 kWh of nominal energy and up to 40kW of power. The battery will be air cooled either via air blown from the passenger compartment by a fan or a separate cooling circuit utilising the automatic air conditioning unit. These systems can therefore keep the battery at the optimal operating temperature.
External visual cues to distinguish the Audi A8 hybrid include 18 inch or optional 19 inch ten spoke alloy wheels reminiscent of turbine blades, hybrid badges and an exclusive Arctic Silver paint finish, which is included as standard, alongside three-zone automatic air conditioning, LED headlights and a BOSE sound system.
The body is made almost completely of aluminium, with ultra high strength steel used only for the B-pillars for optimum rigidity.
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