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Audi A8 Hybrid

Road Test

Audi A8 Hybrid driven

Driven May 2012

Additional Info

What's this? A German über-saloon in not-chasing-huge-horsepower shocker? Oh, hang on - this A8 is a hybrid. But even so, the fact that Audi has chosen to fit it with a tiny 2.0-litre petrol is still a punchy move, especially when few rivals use anything less than a V8.

But Audi has been bold because it wants to offer something different - a full hybrid like a Prius, with the lowest emissions in its class (147g/km) and a reasonable sticker price. Final costings aren't confirmed, but it'll be similar to the 3.0-litre TDI, so call it £60,000.

And the weedy engine size hasn't ruined the performance. Because the combined horsepower is 261bhp (208bhp from the petrol engine, 53bhp from the electric motor) and the torque is 354lb ft, the Hybrid A8 is actually fractionally quicker than the V6 TDI, getting from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds. It's also possible to run for nearly two miles on electric power only, but only up to 30mph.

But there's a downside to all this - it sounds like a Golf. Despite Audi fitting the A8 with noise-cancelling tech as standard, you can still hear that four-cylinder thrumming away. It's not what you expect from a German luxury car. Even one with a green tint.

Piers Ward

The numbers
1984cc, 261bhp, 354lb ft, 44.8mpg, 147g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 7.7secs, 146mph, 1870kg

The verdict
Clever engineering from Audi; the cleanest and cheapest eco luxobarge out there. We'd still have the diesel.

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