MUNICH — Audi’s latest A8 sedan, which is to go on sale in the U.S. next year, will have a standard mild hybrid system with a 48-volt lithium ion battery and a belt-driven alternator/starter that recaptures energy during braking and stores it in the battery.
Audi will unveil its fourth-generation A8 this summer. The system will be standard on all A8 models.
Audi will use a 48-volt mild hybrid system to improve fuel economy and lower emissions, Alexander Kruse, the automaker’s head of mild hybrid systems, said last week.
Audi plans to “very quickly” extend the system’s use on its larger model lines, Kruse said at a technical day at the Audi Forum here.
The new generations of the A6 and A7 will have the technology. The A7 is to debut in September at the Frankfurt auto show and the A6 is to launch next year.
Kruse said Audi’s smaller models will not use a 48-volt lithium ion battery but will have a lighter, more conventional battery that provides less torque for shorter periods.
Automakers are turning to 48-volt mild hybrid systems to help meet stricter fuel economy and emissions targets as the cost of adapting diesel engines to meet tougher regulations is rising. Others using 48-volt technology include Mercedes-Benz, which will offer a 48-volt power system on its face-lifted S-class flagship arriving this summer.