Plug-in hybrid is as far as this generation will go.
Hot off the launch of its new flagship limousine, Audi has clarified that it has no intentions of bringing a fully-electric A8 this time around, sticking to internal-combustion engines (with forced induction) and going only as far as a plug-in hybrid.
Peter Fromm of Audi’s large-car division spoke to Autocar, and said unequivocally:
“For this model, we do not plan an electric A8. But in the future [A8 models], yes.”
This means that we shouldn’t expect to see a fully-electric A8 until around 2024, when the current model undergoes either a model-update or a full-model change. Interestingly, that is also the year when we expect to see an A9 e-tron join the family, which is also billed as a large luxury saloon. The marque’s first new ‘e-tron’ EV will come next year on the form of the E-tron SUV, which will pack a range of just under 500km on a single charge, before two more e-tron models come about in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
On the E-Tron, Audi’s UK director Andrew Doyle had this to say:
“We might not have been the first to market, but we will have the best EV on the market. It’s not going to be huge-volume from the beginning.”
Audi’s foray into electric mobility is well-timed, as France begins the charge to ban the sales of new internal-combustion cars by 2040. Doyle commented on that as well, saying that by 2040, “we’re going to make it [all-electric].”