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Next-gen Audi A8 scores mild hybrid tech

Audi releases teaser video for self-parking A8, MHEV set for full reveal next month


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13 Jun 2017

AUDI has released a slew of details about its fourth-generation A8 ahead of its reveal next month, with the luxury limo confirmed to employ mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) powertrains.

Every engine option that has six or more cylinders – including petrol and diesel – will come standard with a 48V vehicle electrical system, which the German car-maker says can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres for a V6 petrol.

Alternatively, 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder units will use a traditional 12V set-up, but still offer MHEV capabilities – albeit more limited.

Audi says ride comfort has improved in 48V variants thanks to a coasting function that turns the engine off between 55km/h and 160km/h for up to 40 seconds when the accelerator is not engaged.

Furthermore, the start-stop system will automatically activate when speeds of 22km/h or lower are reached. Power and torque outputs from the alternator are said to be 12kW and 60Nm respectively.

Regenerative braking sometimes offers greater efficiency than coasting, thus the A8 can intelligently determine which will perform best in specific situations. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery is located in the luggage compartment for both versions.

Audi has also reaffirmed its plans to roll out MHEV technology – which debuted in the Q8 Sport concept from the Geneva motor show in March – to more of its models in the coming years.

The manufacturer has also engineered a new space frame for the A8, which features the use of four materials for the first time in an Audi product.

According to the brand, the body structure is lightweight and rigid, while offering greater performance, efficiency and safety.

Accompanying these latest details is a short teaser video demonstrating the A8’s self-parking function – dubbed Audi AI remote parking pilot – which sees the limo with no driver inside guide itself into a garage. Similar tech first appeared in the current-gen BMW 7 Series.

Audi's video also provides glimpses of the A8's final design for the cockpit, rear seats and bonnet, as well as the front- and rear-end.

Additionally, two darkened images of the A8 were released, providing another subtle hint of its evolved look – which Audi says launches a new design era for the company.

The first of the pair shows the limo’s silhouette, while the second depicts a rear 3D tail-light that seemingly features LEDs with all-new graphics.

A8 sales have lagged this year due to anticipation for the new model. Audi has sold 10 units to the end of May and is trailing the 7 Series (73), Mercedes-Benz S-Class (64) and Maserati Quattroporte (17), but remains ahead of the Lexus LS (3).

The next-gen A8 will officially debut on July 11 at the Audi Summit event in Barcelona, Spain, with the new model set to go on sale in Australia next year.

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