We’re getting into an period the place limousines must characteristic some type of electrification to be aggressive on each price and ethics. However whereas the BMW 7 Sequence and Mercedes S-Class have been doing battle in plug-in kind for a while, the most recent model of the Audi A8 has needed to make do and not using a full hybrid possibility. Till now, because the A8 60 TFSIe quattro has simply joined the vary.
The brand new providing mixes a three.Zero-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine (no diesels right here, thanks) with a 94kW (126bhp) electrical motor for a complete system output of 443bhp. There’s an eight-speed computerized gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive, too.
Audi hasn’t named any efficiency figures simply but however we’d count on Zero-62mph to take round six seconds, and the highest velocity to be someplace north of 140mph. You’ll be capable of select the TFSIe powertrain in normal and long-wheelbase Sport variations, and as a range-topping Vorsprung in long-wheelbase guise solely.
Maybe extra essential is the truth that the automotive’s 14.1kWh battery takes two and a half hours to cost by way of a 7kW wallbox, and that with it absolutely repleted, it could journey at the least 40km (26 miles) on electrical energy alone. And, Audi claims, at speeds of as much as 111mph. These numbers ought to put the 60 TFSIe Quattro on par with the Mercedes S 560 e and BMW 745 Le xDrive – and the Audi is, in principle, able to going faster on electrical energy alone than both of its rivals.
It really works properly in observe, too. The eight-speed auto is a easy performer and it helps the hybrid system glide between electrical energy, and a mix of the e-motor and the combustion engine. It’s doable in most common visitors conditions, although, to make use of the instrument panel indicator to maintain the throttle enter in examine and preserve progress on electrical energy alone.
Do you have to need to, you may power the A8 to remain on this setting by flicking an ‘EV’ button on the decrease of its two touchscreens. However for many, the best strategy might be to depart the automotive in Hybrid mode and permit it to make its personal selections on when petrol is required. On this configuration the automotive attracts information from a spread of sources – navigation, any particular route you’ve requested, stay visitors data, topography – and makes use of it to handle when the engine is required and when it could recuperate vitality that will in any other case be misplaced by braking.
It’ll even give your proper foot somewhat nudge by the throttle pedal if, say, you’re approaching a T-junction and it spots a chance so that you can raise off early and trickle somewhat further juice again into the battery. By the way, if you wish to make sure that there’s sufficient cost left in your cells for pure-electric operating on the finish of your journey, one other mode will preserve the extent – on the worth of upper petrol consumption, after all.
Both means, that 14.1kWh unit definitely seems able to matching that claimed determine primarily based on our check route, which took in a mix of motorway, A-road, empty nation routes and concrete streets.
And all of the whereas, the factor that’s more likely to impress you most is the refinement. The A8 might hardly be described as uncouth at the most effective of instances, however the electrical motor noise is properly suppressed – and even when the engine is operating, it’s uncannily easy.
The chassis isn’t fairly a match for this supreme powertrain. Physique management is mostly stored in examine, however the trade-off for that’s that the Audi joins the BMW 745Le in being a smidgen shy of the suppleness of the S-Class. That’s a pity, given the A8’s mission assertion.
We’ve fewer complaints concerning the cabin itself; it’s a beautiful house to spend time, both up entrance or within the again, with a variety of luxurious finishes and luggage of expertise to play with.
The jury’s nonetheless out on one of many centrepieces of this, although. Audi’s twin-display infotainment system seems fabulous but it surely makes use of haptic suggestions, that means you need to correctly press and maintain the on-screen buttons to make something occur. It’s onerous to see this as something aside from tech for tech’s sake, as a result of it solely serves to divert your gaze away from the street for longer. A easy touchscreen – or true, bodily buttons – could be simpler and sooner to function.
All that continues to be, then, is for Audi to publish the official WLTP effectivity figures for the A8 L 60 TFSIe Quattro. We’d count on them to be aggressive with rivals, guaranteeing that on the likes of Profit-in-Type tax and real-world operating prices, this might rapidly change into the decide of the A8 vary.