The current A8 is almost the perfect luxury car but so far it lacked any kind of hybrid model. Audi is planning to solve that with the 2016 Audi A8 E-Tron which is expected to come later this year on the market.
Just like the normal model, it will feature all the luxury equipment you could think of and a bit extra. However, instead of the usual diesel, petrol or even petrol-electric motor, Audi will go for a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain. This will not only be more efficient than the equivalent petrol powered hybrid but also a lot cheaper to run as well as it will offer a lot more torque which is essential in a luxury car.
However, there won’t be changes only to its engine but the exterior body-shell will also suffer a bit of changes as well. These are meant to differentiate it from the rest and to make the A8 E-Tron even more slippery through the air in order to maximize efficiency and also to reduce running noise to a bare minimum. While there are a few other hybrid models from Audi, none of them will be able to achieve its performance and smoothness which is quite normal considering it is a luxury car.
The Engine range
Engine wise, the 2016 Audi A8 E-Tron will get a 3 liter twin-turbocharged diesel V6 which by itself can provide around 270 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. You would think that it should be more than enough but Audi went forward and gave the car an extra electric motor which ups the power to 368 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque which translates in a limited top speed of 125 MPH which can be raised via the S model to 150 MPH and a 0 to 60 MPH time of under 6 seconds, making it quite a bit faster than the competition.
Thanks to the big battery pack and the efficient electric motor, the A8 can run only on electricity for 30 miles which is just above its main rival, the hybrid Panamera. After that, the diesel comes into life and it will power the four wheels via a 7 speed dual-clutch gearbox which is not only smooth but also incredibly fast.
As far as fuel consumption goes, the new A8 will most likely get at least 40 MPG on average which is quite incredible in this class. It is however quite normal considering the main power-plant is a diesel rather than a petrol powered engine.
Styling – Inside and Outside
Inside the 2016 Audi A8 E-Tron things remain pretty similar to the usual model. It does offer leather upholstery, satellite navigation, triple zone automatic climate control as well as all the usual commodities of a car. Its exterior though is going to be quite a bit more different that the normal model. For starters, the front end of the car is going to receive a new bumper with a slightly slimmer intake while the headlights and the grille will feature air directing vents in order to minimize the drag coefficient.
Just like a top end petrol powered model, the hybrid will get 20 inch alloy wheels but this time coupled with low rolling resistance tires as well as a different set of mirrors which are there in order to reduce wind noise at speeds over 70 MPH. The back on the other hand will remain unchanged over the usual European diesel model.
2016 Audi A8 E-Tron Price
The price will be a bit of a premium, so expect to pay around 100.000 dollars for a base model while the fully equipped one is likely to top out at nearly 140.000 dollars. This not only makes it more expensive than the Panamera hybrid, but it makes the A8 the most expensive hybrid car in the luxury car market.
The key competitors are: Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid and Audi A8.