Audi has just introduced its new flagship model -- the 2018 Audi A8 (D5) – following a slew of teaser photos and short videos in the past few months. Aside from its gasoline (petrol) and diesel versions, the new Audi A8 flagship will also be offered as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) – as the A8 L e-tron quattro -- but a later date. But as to when the PHEV would arrive in the United States, it is reportedly going state-side not this year or in 2018, but sometime early 2019.
According to a report from InsideEVs, a spokesperson from Audi disclosed that the A8 L e-tron quattro is likely to be available to US clients in 2019, although an official decision over the matter has yet to be made, or to be disclosed. As expected, the A8 L e-tron quattro would have its debut in Europe in the middle of 2018. Audi also intends to sell the plug-in hybrid version of its new flagship model in the Far East, particularly in China, at around the same time as in the US (2019).
As Audi announced, the German premium carmaker will initially offer the new A8 two extensively reengineered turbocharged V6 engines – a 3.0-liter TFSI gasoline mill and a 3.0-liter TDI diesel unit. The 3.0 TFSI V6 engine is tuned to deliver 460 hp (338 kW) while the 3.0 TDI mill is engineered to generate 435 hp (210 kW). These V6 engines will be followed soon by two eight-cylinder units: a 4.0 TFSI gasoline engine that delivers 460 hp (338 kW) and a 4.0 TDI diesel unit that generates 435 hp (320 kW). Topping the range is a 6.0-liter W12 mill. All of these engines will be complemented by a mild hybrid technology, an extended start/stop function and an energy recovery output.
Then the A8 L e-tron quattro would follow. Its powerful plug-in hybrid drive makes use of a 3.0 TFSI engine and an electric motor to develop a total system output of 449 hp (330 kW) and total system torque of 700 Nm (516.3 lb.-ft.). Featuring wireless charging as standard, the plug-in hybrid drive gets its juice from a 14.1-kWh battery pack, which offers around 50 kilometers (31.1 mi) of pure electric driving.
To recharge the battery the uncommon yet more advanced way, Audi Wireless Charging (AWC) employs an inductive charging pad (weighing 40 kilograms or 88 pounds) on the garage floor. The floor pad induces an alternating current in the secondary coil installed in the A8 L e-tron quattro, located under the front axle. The charging process only commences when the A8 L e-tron quattro is positioned above the floor pad. The pad is raised to reduce the distance from the A8 L e-tron quattro, thereby helping achieve a high charging efficiency of over 90 percent.