For anyone that hasn’t driven a hybrid luxury car, you’re genuinely missing out. That might sound crazy coming from a car enthusiast but there’s something absolutely lovely about driving in a supremely luxurious car with either a hybrid powertrain or full electric drive. The reason for that is that electric motors are far better at offering smooth, punchy and silent power than internal combustion engines. So they make luxury cars that much more luxurious. Thankfully, we’re finally getting a hybrid version of the Audi A8.
This new plug-in hybrid Audi A8 (absurdly named A8 L 60 TFSI e Quattro) is the latest in Audi’s effort to start electrifying standard models. Under the hood lies a familiar 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 petrol engine, the same one currently offered in the standard A8, with 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That turbo-V6 is paired with an electric motor, which is integrated into the torque converter of the eight-speed automatic gearbox. The electric motor makes 134 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, bringing combined power up to 442 hp and a whopping 516 lb-ft of torque.
That’s a hefty amount of power. But it’s also fuel efficient. Audi claims a combined 87.1 – 94.1 US mpg, when you do the weird complicated maths of calculating combined hybrid fuel economy. Still, the hybrid Audi A8 is a fuel efficient luxury car. Not only that but it gets a healthy 46 kilometers (28.6 miles) of pure electric range. That’s obviously nothing by modern EV standards but it’s quite good for a heavy hybrid luxury car.
All of that means that not only is the Audi A8 fuel efficient and eco-friendly but it’s also quick. According to Audi, the new hybrid A8 can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds.
Like all other Audi plug-in hybrids, this new A8 comes with a few different driving modes. The car starts in pure EV mode when you first start it up. Then, once the driver presses the gas pedal enough, the turbocharged V6 springs to life. When that happens is dependent on the battery’s state of charge.
There’s also “Hybrid” mode, which allows the car to use its brain to select between hybrid and full EV driving. It uses several variables to figure out when to use which, such as using navigation information, elevation changes and traffic. This is the most normal driving mode.
In “Hold” mode, the car uses mostly the engine to keep the battery in a constant state of charge. This way, it can save its battery usage for a specific time.
What’s interesting is that the plug-in Audi A8 also comes with AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alert System), which uses a small electronic box in the right wheel arch to make a noise to alert pedestrians. This is mandated by EU guidelines for all electrified vehicles now, so they can make some extra noise to stop pedestrians from getting hit by cars they can’t really hear.
We’re excited to try the Audi A8 hybrid. Personally, I really like hybrid and electric luxury cars and think they make a lot of sense. And since I think the Audi A8 is one of the very best luxury cars on the market, a hybrid powertrain, if done right, should only make it better.