German carmakers are very well known for their love of diesel and now Audi is talking about adopting its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology to offer an A8 plug-in hybrid diesel. After news of a PHEV for most cars, Audi now plans a diesel PHEV, the holy grail of the hybrids.
Audi plug-in hybrid diesel for the A8
Technology and price concerns are what are holding back the development of what seems to be a no-brainer. Match the frugality and higher efficiency of a diesel engine to a hybrid platform, and voila, you have the best of both worlds with the Audi A8 plug-in hybrid diesel. But the best of both worlds comes with a price bump, something Audi’s clientèle is usually capable of handling.
Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg announced the new diesel PHEV powertrain will happen first on the company’s flagship A8 sedan. The Diesel Plug In Hybrid A8 e-tron will use the company’s 3.0-liter TDI diesel V6 and will be coupled to an electric motor that should produce even more power than what will be found in the A3 e-tron.
Technicalities of the Audi plug-in hybrid
The diesel plug-in hybrid A8 should boast 363 HP, much more than the regular 3.0-liter gasoline V6 in the current A8. But we know that PHEVs give you a certain amount of range and autonomy and for that, Audi says he PHEV A8 should give you an electric-only range of about 30 miles. Although, the high-performance, yet frugal flagship A8 e-tron should appear sometime in early 2015, we can’t help but wonder if the diesel plug-in hybrid system is what the company will be using for most its e-tron line up. It doesn’t sound feasible, at least at this stage of the game. As we mentioned earlier, coupling the already expensive diesel technology with another expensive technology, plug-in hybrid, means the diesel PHEV A8 will come at a premium. Still, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see the Audi diesel PHEV platform find its way into other e-tron versions, such as the A6, A7, and Q7.
As far as U.S. sales, the plans will be revealed after the A8 e-tron’s debut, which we hotly anticipate. While Audi has a big diesel advantage on the U.S., we eagerly wait to see how BMW and Daimler will respond to this. The latest news of BMW and Daimler working together on battery technology, as well as inductive charging means the two will be keeping a close look at what Audi is working on.
In many ways, Audi is finally putting its past electric battery investments and its diesel technology to good use. Audi is now trying to make the most of its green and diesel technologies with a diesel plug-in hybrid we will hopefully see in the A8.