New Audi A8 Features Mild Hybrid Technology | MHH International
The Technical Part
It is interesting how this hybrid science is evolving. The basis is a 48-volt electrical system, which features for the first time in the new A8. The mild hybrid drive, we learn, comprises two main components: first, the water-cooled 48-volt belt alternator starter (BAS), which complements the conventional pinion starter. The latter is only required for cold starts in the new car.
Then there is the lithium-ion battery situated in the boot to act as the energy accumulator for the MHEV (mild hybrid electric vehicle) with a 10 Ah charge carrier capacity and a 48-volt system. The advantage of the BAS becomes clear when the driver approaches a red traffic signal or a roundabout. If the traffic signal turns green during braking while the vehicle is coasting to a stop and the driver releases the brake, the combustion engine is started immediately and the car accelerates.
The new drive combines efficiency with comfort, Audi have said. The A8 can enter a ‘noiseless’ coasting mode within the speed range of 34.2 to 99.4 mph. The vehicle can then coast with zero emissions for up to 40 seconds with the engine off altogether. As soon as the driver touches the accelerator again, the BAS prompts a swift, very smooth restart. In addition, start/stop is standard.
The convenient start/stop function in the new Audi A8 differs markedly from previous systems. The high-connectivity luxury saloon can distinguish between different traffic situations. When the road ahead is clear, the BAS starts the combustion engine conveniently and promptly, letting the Audi A8 drive off swiftly. Additionally, after long standstill phases, if the driver wants to turn up the air conditioning, the combustion engine is started extra-smoothly and quietly.
It gets better still. Audi have added a new feature called predictive convenient starting. As soon as the vehicle in front of the Audi A8 moves, the engine starts even if the brake is still pressed, the thinking being that the driver will spontaneously fall in with the flow of traffic.
To achieve a high standard of efficiency, the new flagship car from the German brand comes with sophisticated power-train management. This processes both route data and information from its highly networked set of sensors, which include the front camera. The power-train management uses this equipment to decide whether the A8 is in coasting or recuperation mode. It recovers energy not just from brake applications or when coasting but also does so if it is in danger of getting too close to the vehicle in front while coasting.
It all adds up to technology that is beneficial not just to comfort but also when refuelling. In the A8, the mild hybrid drive is said to reduce fuel consumption during customer operation by up to 0.7L per 62.1 miles. The new Audi A8 makes its world debut at the first Audi Summit in Barcelona on July 11.