Audi's new flaghsip, the luxury saloon with mild hybrid technology based around a 48-volt electrical system, will be unveiled on July 11th at the Audi Summit in Barcelona.

The new A8 will become the first model by Audi to feature an electrified drivetrain as standard in all its versions. Of course, these will not be actual hybrids - rather than that, all internal combustion engines will be equipped with mild hybrid technology, based around a 48-volt electrical system, which will be - for the very first time - a primary electrical system for all other e-powered elements in the vehicle.

The mild hybrid will feature two key components. The first component will be the watercooled 48-volt belt alternator starter (BAS) that will serve as an addition to the conventional pinion starter, in charge of cold starts of the motor. The second key component will be the lithium-ion battery in the luggage compartment. The mild hybrid will show its advantages especially during the noiseless 'coasting' mode, when the vehicle will be able to drive within the speed range of 55 kmh to 160 kmh for up to 40 seconds silently and with zero emissions. The start/stop operation will be active from 22 kmh.

A complex powertrain management will ensure efficient operation of the electric system and energy recuperation. With its highly networked set of sensors, which include the front camera, it will be able to detect what mode the vehicle is in - whether it is in coasting or recuperation mode - and adjust the system's operation accordingly. This way, the mild hybrid drive will reduce fuel consumption during customer operation by up to 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres.

June 15, 2017 Driving photo: Audi

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