THE all-new Audi A8 range which makes its world debut next month will be the first in the brand's history to feature an electrified drivetrain as standard.
The combustion engines powering the next generation of the flagship luxury saloon will be equipped with mild hybrid technology based around a 48-volt electrical system which features as the primary electrical system for the first time.
According to Audi, the technology will work in favour of the running refinement and performance that are so crucial at this level, and also in the interest of greater efficiency.
The mild hybrid drive comprises two main components. There's a water-cooled 48-volt belt alternator starter (BAS), complementing the conventional pinion starter which will only be required for cold starts in the new A8.
There's also a lithium-ion battery in the luggage compartment which acts as an energy accumulator with a 10 Ah charge carrier capacity and a 48-volt system.
The fourth-generation A8 can enter the noiseless coasting mode at speeds between 34 and 99mph, and can then coast with zero emissions for up to 40 seconds with the engine off altogether. As soon as the driver depresses the throttle pedal again, the BAS prompts a swift, very smooth restart. In addition, start/stop operation is active from 14mph.
The start/stop function in the new model is smarter than most previous systems and can distinguish between different traffic situations and even includes predictive starting. As soon as the vehicle in front of the new A8 moves, the engine starts even if the brake is still pressed with the control strategy concluding that the driver will fall in with the flow of traffic.