Though Audi still believes hybrid vehicles are merely a stopover on the way to full-electrification, the company is somewhat reluctantly building several hybrid models that it hopes will lead the way to full-electric vehicles in the future. One of the first results of this plan is the upcoming Audi A8 Hybrid.
Based on the 2011 Audi A8 (pictured), which itself just broke cover a few months ago, the A8 Hybrid is expected to be a full two-mode hybrid capable of moving itself under engine power, electrical power or a combination of both. While Audi plans to bypass “mild” hybrids that can’t move under electrical power, the A8 Hybrid is not expected to be a range-extened electric vehicle, one that uses its gasoline engine only as a generator. The A8 Hybrid’s engine will most likely still be connected to the wheels.
Which engine Audi will use to power the hybrid is as of yet unknown. In Europe, the car carries both V-6 and V-8 diesel engines and both V-6 and V-8 gasoline engines. To date, nearly all hybrids have used gasoline engines, but Audi could decide to break that trend. Given that the U.S.-market A8 comes with a gasoline V-8 only, it’s the most likely choice of engine for this application.
Little else is known about the A8 Hybrid, but we expect it will be offered both in Europe and the U.S. and possibly other markets. It’s also expected to carry a premium price over a base A8, itself an expensive model as the brand’s flagship, which could limit appeal.