2012 Audi A8 Hybrid

2012 Audi A8 Hybrid

We first saw the 2012 Audi A8 Hybrid back at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show but at the time Audi was short on details and coy about when the car might be launched.

We can now confirm that the A8 Hybrid is set for sale in Europe next year, complete with its four-cylinder and electric motor hybrid combo and gas mileage of 36.75 mpg (European combined cycle figure stated).

Remember, the A8 is a full-size luxury sedan and in hybrid guise delivers a healthy 245 horsepower and 345 pound-feet of torque. CO2 emissions are 238.18 grams per mile.

Audi has gone with a parallel hybrid setup for the A8 Hybrid, meaning either its four-cylinder engine or electric motor can power the vehicle.

The electric motor, mounted inside the transmission housing, is rated at just 54 horsepower, though it can power the car solely at speeds of up to 60 mph. On electric power alone, the total driving range is only 1.86 miles.

The four-cylinder engine, meanwhile, is a 2.0-liter TFSI unit rated at 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

A multi-plate clutch that operates in an oil bath connects or disconnects the electric motor and the TFSI engine. Note, drive is sent to the front wheels, and not all four as is the case with the rest of the A8s sold in the U.S.

Powering the electric motor is a smallish lithium-ion battery that ways around 80 pounds. It is located in a crash-proof area in the trunk. It provides 1.3 kWh of nominal energy and up to 54 horsepower (40 kW) of power.

A brake energy recovery system is also fitted to help top up the battery.

Performance numbers are impressive for a car of this size, with the 0-60 mph coming up in 7.7 seconds and top speed rated at 146 mph.

2012 Audi A8 Hybrid

2012 Audi A8 Hybrid

In visual terms, the A8 hybrid is distinguished by subtle details. The ten spokes of its alloy wheels--which have a diameter of 18 inches as standard and 19 inches as an option--are designed to mimic turbine blades.

Additionally, the body features hybrid badges, and Arctic Silver is available as an exclusive paint finish. Metallic paint finish, three-zone automatic air conditioning, LED headlights and a Bose system all come standard. Stay tuned for pricing details closer to next year’s sales launch.

Sadly, there's been no mention of a U.S. sales launch.

For full details on the regular 2011 Audi A8, click here, and for info on its long-wheelbase A8 L sibling, click here.