Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New 2012 Audi A8 Hybrid Revealed


A little over a year after the presentation of its A8 Hybrid Concept at the 2010 edition of the Geneva Salon, Audi is introducing the final production version of its frugal four-cylinder limousine, which goes on sale in 2012.

Confirming our suspicions that the concept label was misleading, Audi made very few changes to the production model such as the smaller (18" instead of 21") but same design alloy wheels and the more conventional looking engine cover.

There are no changes under the hood with the car featuring a parallel hybrid powertrain that combines a modified 2.0-liter turbocharged TFSI gasoline engine delivering 211HP and 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of torque, with a disc-shaped electric motor that develops 40 kW (54HP) and 210 Nm (154.89 lb-ft).

Audi says the short-term system output is rated at 245-horsepower and 480 Nm (345.03 lb-ft) of torque.

The electric motor is mounted in the space usually occupied by the torque converter in front of the modified eight-speed tiptronic transmission, which guides power to the front wheels. Electric energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery, which weighs 36.7 kilograms (80.9 lb) and is located in a crash-proof area in the trunk.

In terms of performance, the A8 Hybrid goes from standstill to 100 km/h (62mph) in 7.7 seconds and has a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph).

Its fuel consumption in the EU cycle is said to be under 6.4 liters per 100 km (36.8mpg US or 44.1mpg UK), and CO2 emissions below 148 grams per km (238.2 g/mile).

In addition, the A8 Hybrid can travel on electric power alone at speeds of up to 100km/h (62mph) and for a distance of up to three kilometers or 1.86 miles at a constant 60km/h (37 mph).

The driver can choose from three different modes including "EV", in which priority is given to the electric drive, "D" where the system controls both the engine and the electric motor, and finally the "S" mode for a sportier driving style.

Visually, the A8 Hybrid sports some subtle differences over the standard model including the turbine rotor-style alloy wheels (18-inch standard, 19-inch optional), special badges on the outside, an available, exclusive Arctic Silver finish and a bespoke instrument panel.

Pricing and availability are expected to be announced at next month's 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

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