New Audi A8 Hybrid

New Audi A8 Hybrid

Audi and Mercedes are always locked in a battle for the number one high-performance, low-key sedan. The Audi A8 competes directly with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The Audi is about the same price. The Audi A8 comes in at around 5.99 million baht, so it’s hardly an economy model. The sticker price is never the point with either brand, but is the Audi A8 a better car than the S-Class?

The A8 Holds Its Own With the S-Class

The two cars are very similar, but the Audi A8 has a more rakish look than the Benz. The Audi has the usual brutalist cowcatcher grill that sets it apart from other more sedate upper-end sedans. The Audi A8 has a more rakish look overall than the somewhat contoured Mercedes, and it looks like it’s going forward even when it’s parked. A standard Audi A8 has various power plants available, including a non-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 monster that can deliver over 425 horsepower. Audi has put a governor on the Audi A8 to keep it from exceeding 250 km/hour, which it most certainly could do. Without it, the A8 wouldn’t have to yield to any luxury sedan, or even some hyper cars.

The Audi A8 Hybrid Gets Superb Performance From 4 Cylinders

That’s all different with the Audi A8 Hybrid. Audi needs to participate in the hybrid market as well as in the luxury four-door market. They’ve taken the same Audi A8 and dropped in a 4-cylinder, front-wheel-drive hybrid engine. This makes certain changes to the car necessary. Unlike the typical Audi A8, the hybrid runs on petrol, not diesel. While the engine is small, it is powerful for its size, putting out 211 horsepower to go with the 54 horsepower from the electric engine. All told, you can get 245 horsepower at 480 newton-meters of torque. While the Audi A8 Hybrid can’t hope to match the big V-8s in their non-hybrid cars, Audi still has to put on a governor to limit the car to 235 km/hour.

The Audi A8 Hybrid gets great mileage from the arrangement. It comes in at a best in class US-measured 37 mpg. The Audi A8 Hybrid has the same 8-speed automatic as conventional A8s, and the close ratios make gas mileage that much easier to achieve.

The A8 Hybrid Has One Drawback

The rest of the Audi A8 is the same inside. The interior is ergonomically designed and beautifully appointed, with all the bells and whistle of the upper-end business-class sedan. There is one big drawback to point out. The Lithium-ion battery packs are bulky, and Audi placed them behind the rear seat in the boot. The Audi A8 had a slightly undersized trunk as it was, and adding the battery pack makes it even more cramped. It’s the price you have to pay for all the savings you’ll enjoy on petrol. 

Posted: 26 February 2015