Audi is preparing to launch their all new Audi A8 flagship next month in Barcelona. A big change is that the A8 will feature the 48-volt circuitry as standard opening up a new range of possibilities.

The result is a standard electrified powertrain, also classified as a ‘mild hybrid drive’. It consists of two components, starting with the watercooled 48-volt belt alternator starter (BAS) which is supposed to help smoothen cold starts in the new A8, and second the lithium-ion battery in the luggage compartment which acts as an energy accumulator with a 10 Ah charge carrier capacity.

Concretely the BAS system mitigates the start-up delay, which especially comes in handy at red lights for example. The small battery and mild hybrid setup further enable partial zero CO2 coasting at speeds between 34 mph and 99 mph for 40 seconds at a time.

The convenient start/stop function in the new Audi A8 also 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.

Just as impressive is the A8’s sophisticated powertrain management module. The overarching system processes both route data and information from its highly networked set of sensors, which include the front camera. The powertrain 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; the Audi A8 also does so if it is in danger of getting too close to a preceding vehicle while coasting.

Altogether this new setup of standard technology in the A8, most of which was first introduced last year on for example the 2017 Audi SQ7, should ultimately lead to better fuel economy. Audi theorizes that the most efficient version of the 2018 A8 needs just 0.7 liters of fuel for 100 kilometers (62 miles).

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