Audi goes electric

Audi tells us the forthcoming new A8 model will feature an electrified powertrain as standard for the first time in the company’s illustrious history.

The new A8, which will be unveiled in Barcelona next month, is to be the flagship model within Audi’s next-generation range and will also feature combustion engines equipped with mild hybrid technology.

For customers, this means refined running and enhanced performance, coupled with greater efficiency. For the first time, the 48-volt electrical system will feature in the new Audi A8 as the primary electrical system.

Audi says the mild hybrid drive comprises two main components: The water-cooled 48-volt belt alternator starter (BAS), which complements the conventional pinion starter. The latter is only required for cold starts in the new Audi A8.

Then, there is the lithium-ion battery in the luggage compartment to act as the energy accumulator for the MHEV (mild hybrid electric vehicle) with a 10Ah charge carrier capacity and a 48-volt system.

We are told the new drive combines efficiency with comfort in a special way: The fourth-generation A8 can enter a noiseless coasting mode within the speed range of 55kph-160kph. The car can then coast with zero emissions for up to 40 seconds with the engine completely off. As soon as the driver presses on the accelerator again, the BAS prompts a swift, smooth restart. On top of that the start/stop operation is actually active from 22kph.

The new Audi A8 makes its debut at the first Audi Summit in Barcelona on July 11.


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