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Audi A8

New Audi A8 launches with 'mild hybrid' drivetrain offering engine-free coasting

The luxury saloon will be available for the first time with a standard electrified powertrain.

AUDI WILL UNVEIL its all-new A8 on July 11 at the Audi Summit in Barcelona, but ahead of that, the company has begun to reveal some of the technical details of its next flagship saloon.

While we don’t know exactly how the new car will look, Audi has confirmed that it will feature a hybrid powertrain as standard across all versions.

The car will utilise a 48-volt electric system, something that first appeared in the SQ7 last year, which allows for greater performance on many levels. A lithium-ion battery mounted in the luggage compartment acts as an energy accumulator for this mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) with a 10Ah charger carrier capacity. A water-cooled 48-volt belt alternator starter (BAS), can restart the engine when it is required.

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This MHEV system means the next A8 will have the ability to coast with the engine off at speeds up to 160km/h for as long as 40 seconds. During this time the energy consumption required for the vehicle is supplied by the battery onboard. When the combustion engine is required, the BAS can restart the motor in a smooth and near-seamless fashion according to Audi, giving the same performance effect of it having always been in use.

Being the company’s flagship saloon, the next A8 will come with a host of new technology including some predictive systems whereby the car can decipher its surroundings. A variety of cameras and sensors in addition to the car’s connected services will enable it to react more efficiently to traffic flows and reduce fuel consumption, as well as making life easier for the driver.

The new A8 is expected to have some advanced driver assistance systems including semi-autonomous hardware.

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