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2011 Audi A8 – To Hybrid, Or Not To Hybrid?

Mar 3

Audi has never really accepted the Hybrid as one of its main focuses, preferring diesel as its green go-to. However, these pictures and article say it may be positioning itself to dabble in the product line-up; of course, while waiting for full-blown electric vehicles to pave the way for the future. Check out the article below and some pictures of what could be Audi’s version of competition amid hybrid hysteria!
Audi A8 Hybrid
Though Audi still believes hybrid vehicles are merely a stopover on the way to full-electrification, the company is somewhat reluctantly building several hybrid models that it hopes will lead the way to full-electric vehicles in the future. One of the first results of this plan is the upcoming Audi A8 Hybrid.
Audi A8 Hybrid
Based on the 2011 Audi A8 (pictured), which itself just broke cover a few months ago, the A8 Hybrid is expected to be a full two-mode hybrid capable of moving itself under engine power, electrical power or a combination of both. While Audi plans to bypass “mild” hybrids that can’t move under electrical power, the A8 Hybrid is not expected to be a range-extened electric vehicle, one that uses its gasoline engine only as a generator. The A8 Hybrid’s engine will most likely still be connected to the wheels.
Audi A8 Hybrid
Which engine Audi will use to power the hybrid is as of yet unknown. In Europe, the car carries both V-6 and V-8 diesel engines and both V-6 and V-8 gasoline engines. To date, nearly all hybrids have used gasoline engines, but Audi could decide to break that trend. Given that the U.S.-market A8 comes with a gasoline V-8 only, it’s the most likely choice of engine for this application.
Audi A8 Hybrid
Little else is known about the A8 Hybrid, but we expect it will be offered both in Europe and the U.S. and possibly other markets. It’s also expected to carry a premium price over a base A8, itself an expensive model as the brand’s flagship, which could limit appeal.

Doesn’t electricity cost money too? I just think if I got an electric car I would need to plug it in somewhere.

Is there any graphs that compare cost analysis of gas vs charge? Yes gas is probably worse for the environment – but if people actually cared about the environment we would have killed Paris Hilton a long time ago.

Am I an idiot?


From Mr. Diggles on March 3rd, 2010

Hybrids are almost entirely a selling point IMO. The Yukon hybrid is a perfect example. Strip out the weight the battery system adds to a stock Yukon and it actually gets BETTER mileage than the hybrid.

Selective applications where it’s being used in addition to regular fuel systems (such as the new F1 cars ‘boost’ feature) make sense because the car has such high power to weight ratio that the weight of the system itself doesn’t really affect it’s performance compared to the added benefit of more power on demand.

The new TDI motors that are being developed are where I think VW is really onto a great idea that is much simpler and overall better for the environment than any current hybrid could hope to be. It would be great if they actually put them in the US versions of Audis. Until there are better, more efficient battery systems created there is no way they can offset their impact on the environment. Which, really that and the ‘fashion’ of owning one, is why most consumers buy one in the first place.

Hybrid systems in smaller cars at least make a little sense because they can create enough power to run everything on electric, part of the time. I really doubt Audi can create a system to run everything in an A8 solely on electric power for any reasonable length of time considering how many bells and whistles they have now. Coming back to the Yukon example, its’ system only powers the electronics, nothing that actually moves the vehicle, which is just ridiculous.

And to address Mr. Diggles point, electric cars do indeed cost more to create power for. Fossil fuels are simply the most efficient fuel we currently have and there’s really no way around that. Most consumers don’t realize that the magical wall outlets in their house have electricity that is (in the US) usually powered by a powerplant that has to burn fuel (usually coal) to create energy that they charge you quite a lot for compared to pump gas.

In the end I think Audi has to create hybrids because that’s what the market wants. People shopping for $80k+ luxury sedans usually do so because it fits the image they want to appear as. Hybrids are rapidly becoming part of that image. I’m sure you’ve seen the huge increase in hybrid vehicles rolling around the Westside/downtown these days, a lot of which are luxury sedans & suvs. It’s also to maintain Audi’s image of being an industry leader in technology, it’s just a shame that it’s driven more by public opinion and marketing than actual science.

Side note: Another fun topic to research is what happens to these hybrid systems when the batteries need to be replaced. That’s a whole other mess unto itself.

From Schroeder on March 3rd, 2010

Thank you so much for this amazing comment I could not have said it better my self. The perfect amount of fact and info left me saying “Who would ever buy a hybrid?”

Thank You Again

Scott Mitchell
I Am Audi

From Scot Mitchell on March 3rd, 2010

Schroeder = smart. Marketing goes a long way.

From Mr. Diggles on March 4th, 2010

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