Audi on Tuesday unveiled the first plug-in hybrid powertrain options for its Q8 flagship SUV. Unfortunately, they won't be coming to the U.S. "at this time," according to an Audi spokesman.
Two plug-in Q8s will be offered, badged Q8 55 TFSI e and Q8 60 TFSI e, respectively, and both will come with a new battery with 17.8 kwh of capacity. Most of Audi's existing plug-in hybrids only have a 14.1-kwh battery, meaning the Q8 plug-in hybrids should deliver more electric range.
Both plug-in hybrids also have a similar powertrain, specifically a 3.0-liter V-6 mated to a single electric motor integrated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Drive is to all four wheels, with the all-wheel-drive system able to send up to 85% of the drive torque to the front wheels or 70% to the rear wheels when necessary. In normal conditions the split is 40-60 front-rear.
2021 Audi Q8 60 TFSI e
System output is 375 horsepower and 422 pound-feet of torque for the 55 TFSI e, and 455 hp and 516 lb-ft for the 60 TFSI e. Performance is brisk for both, with the 60 TFSI e able to sprint to 62 mph from rest in as little as 5.4 seconds. Top speed for both models is limited to 149 mph.
Like all modern electrified Audis, the Q8 plug-in hybrids will come with the automaker's predictive efficiency assist feature which automatically increases brake-energy recovery or puts the vehicle into coasting mode (switches off the engine) whenever the driver lifts their foot off the gas. The actions are based on a number of factors such as the speed of a vehicle in front, the incline of road, or certain navigation data.
The new Q8 plug-in hybrid models start sales in Europe later this year.
Update: This story has been updated to note that the Q8 plug-ins won't come to the U.S.