The hybrid Audi A8 saloon has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The A8 Hybrid employs a four-cylinder 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine with a powerful lithium-ion battery. Fitted for the first time in an Audi model at this level, the A8 produces 207bhp and 350Nm of torque from the petrol motor.
Along with the 40kw battery, total output on the hybrid A8 comes in at 241bhp with 480Nm of torque, which is delivered to the front wheels through a fast-shifting hybrid transmission.
Three drive modes are available: ‘EV’ gives priority to electric power, ‘D-mode’ is a combination of electric and petrol powered driving, while ‘S’ provides a livelier combination of both powertrains for increased performance.
It's exactly the same drivetrain used the Audi A6 Hybrid concept we drove this month.
The Audi A8 hybrid can drive at up to 62mph purely on electric power, and is capable of reaching 62mph in 7.7 seconds with CO2 emissions of 148g/km. Combined fuel economy is in excess of 44mpg, so still someway behind the firm's diesel offerings.
Visually, the hybrid A8 is almost identical to the standard car, with only subtle details such as its 18-inch or optional 19-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels, small hybrid badges and an exclusive Arctic Silver paint finish setting it apart.
Given the green light for series production beginning in 2012, and reaching the UK late next year, the A8 is one of the lightest saloons in its category thanks to its lightweight aluminium space frame chassis, but the added cost of the batteries and extra fuel-saving technology is likely to make it one of the more expensive models in the line-up.