2013 Audi A8 L Hybrid


Audi released further details and pricing for the hybrid version of its flagship saloon, the A8.

Available in standard and long wheelbase versions, the Audi A8 hybrid combines the performance of a six-cylinder with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder model. With 180 kW (245 hp) of system power, the 2.0 TFSI and the electric motor deliver powerful thrust, yet the brand’s flagship consumes just 6.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (37.34 US mpg). The ultra lightweight aluminum body plays a major role in this efficiency.

It will be arriving at dealers in Germany and all other European countries in May 2012. The standard-wheelbase version has a base price of €77,700, while the long version, which will follow a short time later, costs €85,400. A large share of the production is intended for export markets, primarily China.

2013 Audi A8 L Hybrid 2013 Audi A8 L Hybrid

Complete details in Audi press release below:

Timeless and distinctive: the design

The exterior design of the large sedan is one of timeless elegance. The standard LED headlights give the front end an unmistakable expression. The Audi A8 hybrid is 5.14 meters (16.86 ft) long; the long-wheelbase Audi A8 L hybrid is 13 centimeters (5.12 in) longer.

The interior features sporty and lightweight lines, simple controls and a finish of handcrafted quality. The driver can read all key information about the hybrid drive on special displays. The seats are available with optional ventilation and massage functions, while the ambient lighting package uses LEDs to set subtle accents. Other features include a continuous center console and a folding table.

Audi offers a wide range of infotainment systems for the A8 hybrid. The Bose surround sound system is standard, with a high-end system from Bang & Olufsen available as an option. The optional navigation and infotainment system MMI navigation with MMI touch includes a touchpad for entering letters and numbers.

The ideal complement to this media center is the online Bluetooth car phone, which connects to the Internet via UMTS. Passengers can use its integrated WLAN hotspot to surf and e-mail. For the driver, the system delivers the services of Audi connect to the vehicle, including up-to-the-minute Audi traffic information online.

The assistance and safety systems that Audi offers in the A8 hybrid are also state of the art. These include the night vision assistant with highlighting of detected pedestrians and a parking system that supports the driver with four small cameras. The safety system Audi pre sense basic is also standard.

The Audi A8 hybrid will launch in Europe in May 2012. The standard-wheelbase version has a base price of €77,700, while the long version lists for €85,400.

Drivetrain

The Audi A8 hybrid is designed as a parallel hybrid – a straight-line concept with high efficiency. Its combustion engine and the electric motor are located one directly behind the other and are linked by a clutch to work together, when necessary. The interplay between the combustion engine and the electric motor briefly results in a peak system output of 180 kW (245 hp) and a maximum system torque of 480 Nm (354.03 lb ft).

The Audi A8 hybrid combines the performance of a six-cylinder with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder model. The sprint to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes 7.7 seconds, and top speed is 235 km/h (146.02 mph). In the standard cycle, the luxury sedan consumes just 6.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (37.34 US mpg) on average – a CO2 equivalent of 147 grams per km (236.57 g/mile) and easily the best in its class. For the Audi A8 L hybrid, these figures (all figures provisional) are 7.9 seconds, 228 km/h (141.67 mph), 6.4 liters per 100 km (36.75 US mpg) and 149 grams of CO2 per km (239.79 g/mile). The 75 liter (19.81 US gallon) tank gives both versions a long range.

The 2.0 TFSI displaces 1,984 cc and produces 155 kW (211 hp). Its maximum torque of 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) is available between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. The four-cylinder engine, which has been chosen as Engine of the Year five times in a row, combines gasoline direct injection with turbocharging – typical for the Audi philosophy of downsizing, which replaces displacement by forced induction.

The Audi valvelift system (AVS) further increases power, torque and efficiency by switching the stroke of the exhaust valves between two stages depending on the load and engine speed.

The 2.0 TFSI has been overhauled in some respects for use in the Audi A8 hybrid. The mechanical belt drive for the auxiliaries was eliminated; it was electrified for the hybrid. A secondary air system at the cylinder head makes sure that the exhaust gas treatment cuts in particularly fast after cold-starting.

Quiet on board: Active Noise Control

The Audi A8 hybrid comes standard with Active Noise Control (ANC). This innovative system eliminates intrusive engine noise by broadcasting a precise antiphase sound to the cabin through the sound system’s speakers. This principle is known as interference: If two waves of the same frequency are superimposed, their amplitudes cancel each other out provided that they are equal and 180 degrees out of phase from one another.

A highly modified eight-speed tiptronic transfers the power to the front wheels. Instead of a torque converter, it includes the disk-shaped electric motor, which is combined with a multi-plate clutch operating in an oil bath. The clutch connects and disconnects the electric motor and the TFSI very precisely and gently.

With its eight widely spaced gears, the comfortably and fast-shifting hybrid transmission contributes significantly to the efficiency of the Audi A8 hybrid. When the 2.0 TFSI is deactivated, an electric pump maintains the oil pressure in the hydraulic system to safeguard the convenient start-stop feature.

The power electronics, connected to the battery and the electric motor by high-voltage cabling, are located in the plenum chamber of the engine compartment. They serve as a controller between the battery, which outputs direct current, and the electric motor, which operates on alternating current. Innovative technologies keep the volume and weight of the component low, with cooling provided by a separate water-filled circuit. The power electronics include a DC/DC converter that connects the consumers in the 12 V electrical system to the high-voltage network.

Electric drive is a permanent magnet synchronous machine; it serves as an electric motor, as a starter and – during deceleration – as a generator. The electric motor, which delivers up to 40 kW (54 hp) of power and 210 Nm (154.89 lb ft) of torque, is integrated into the engine’s cooling system.

Energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery system weighing a mere 38 kg (83.78 lb). It is located in a crash-safe area of the trunk and protected by a separate housing. The battery consists of 72 cells; at 266 volts its normal energy is 1.3 kWh and its power 39 kW.

The lithium-ion battery is cooled by air in two ways. At low-temperature load, it draws temperature-controlled air from the vehicle interior by way of a fan. If its temperature exceeds a certain limit, a separate refrigerant circuit is activated. It is coupled to the main climate control system of the vehicle and uses a separate evaporator. This powerful active cooling makes Audi A8 hybrid superior to many other hybrid vehicles.

Driving states

The driver of the Audi A8 hybrid can use a button on the center console or the tiptronic selector lever to choose between three driving programs. The EV characteristic map gives priority to the electric drive; the D mode controls both motors efficiently; and the S mode as well as the touch control gate of the 8?speed tiptronic are designed for a sporty driving style.

The hybrid manager, a proprietary Audi development, is integrated into the control unit of the 2.0 TFSI and manages the transition between the modes. The Audi A8 can be driven in five different modes. Driving with the combustion engine alone, with the electric drive alone or in hybrid mode is possible, as are recuperation and boosting. None of its European competitors in this segment offer such a broad spectrum.

Both drive sources are deactivated when the vehicle is stationary. In this convenient start/stop mode, the automatic air conditioning remains active – its compressor has a high-voltage electric drive and is supported by a separate auxiliary heater.

Once the driver releases the brake, the Audi A8 hybrid starts rolling. It can drive at up to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in all-electric mode. At a constant 60 km/h (37.28 mph), it has a range of up to three kilometers (1.86 miles) – enough for most residential areas. Top speed with the electric drive is 100 km/h (62.14 mph) – another best.

The TFSI becomes the power source as soon as the driver accelerates further. In many situations, the engine management system increases the load somewhat in order to operate at the ideal point with respect to fuel consumption. The excess energy flows to the electric motor, which uses it to supply on-board consumers and to recharge the battery. When accelerating quickly, or “boosting,” the electric motor operates together with the TFSI; at full throttle, the full system output is briefly available. The hybrid drive then supplies the propulsion power of a large, naturally aspirated engine, but with far more efficiency.

When the driver releases the accelerator, the electric motor recovers energy and stores it in the lithium-ion battery. In most situations the TFSI is then decoupled from the drive system and does not cause any drag losses. “Gliding” like this is possible up to 160 km/h (99.42 mph). If the driver only brakes slightly, the electric motor performs the deceleration itself; during more forceful braking, the hydraulic braking system is simultaneously activated. A complex control strategy adapts all braking actions to the conditions of electric driving and energy recuperation.

Well informed: the hybrid displays

The Audi A8 hybrid has a display concept on board for making the driving states of the hybrid drive tangible to the driver. A power meter replaces the rev counter in the instrument cluster; its needle indicates the drive’s total output on a scale of 0 to 100 percent. Color segments with green and orange sections show at a glance how efficiently the large sedan is currently operating. An additional instrument displays the charge level of the lithium-ion battery.

At the same time, the energy flow display clearly depicts the current mode of operation and active components of the hybrid drive. It can be called up via the driver information system and the MMI monitor. The large screen shows a bar diagram of the average consumption and presents the amount of energy recovered in five-minute increments.

Chassis

The Audi A8 hybrid combines luxurious ride comfort with sporty handling. Most of the components of its five-link front suspension and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension are made of aluminum. The wheel brakes are large. Based on a concept from sports car design, pins connect the internally vented, cast iron friction rings to the aluminum brake caps. The ESC stabilization system offers a sport mode and includes a tire pressure monitoring system.

The adaptive air suspension, which includes controlled damping, is standard. The system modifies the performance of the dampers depending on the condition of the road and the driver’s style. It adjusts the body’s ride height in multiple steps in line with the car’s speed and is also used to level the suspension. Audi also delivers the A8 hybrid with the optional adaptive air suspension sport, which features a standard ride height that is 10 millimeters (0.39 in) lower.

The adaptive air suspension is integrated into Audi drive select. This dynamic handling system enables the driver to switch the function of the engine management system, the hybrid transmission and the power steering between the four modes “comfort,” “auto,” “dynamic” and “custom.” The belt tensioners in the safety system Audi pre sense basic can also be adjusted via Audi drive select.

Anthracite-colored, semi-polished 19-inch wheels of “Turbine” design and fitted with 255/45 R19 tires are standard. Optional 20-inch wheels with a 10 parallel-spoke design and shod with 265/40-series tires provide even greater dynamics.

Two key chassis components have been modified for electric operation. The hydraulic power steering has been replaced by an electromechanical unit that adjusts its level of boost according to the vehicle’s speed.

Because it consumes no energy when the car is traveling in a straight line, it saves around 0.3 liters of fuel per 100 km. The electromechanical power steering is designed for a direct, sporty response.

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