When Audi’s new flagship A8 sedan goes on sale in Europe later this year every model in the range will come equipped with 48 volt mild hybrid technology, according to reports.
Audi will join other European automakers, including Mercedes-Benz and Renault which have both introduced 48 volt systems on some models.
A 48 volt system is able to store energy recuperated under deceleration or braking for use under acceleration which it can provide a short boost of up to 12kW and 60Nm, reducing load on the combustion engine and lowering fuel consumption by as much as 0.7 l/100km on the official European test cycle.
The report, outlined by Automotive News Europe, indicated that Audi will then quickly spread 48 volt systems across its range, with the next-generation A6 and A7 also earmarked for the technology from their 2018 debut.
Audi’s head of mild hybrid systems, Alexander Kruse, outlined some key details of the system at a recent technical forum in Germany.
Amongst the detail shared; the system will not use a lithium-ion battery, but instead employ a lighter battery pack leading to a slightly lower capacity.
By monitoring navigation route data and analysing surrounding traffic conditions via a front-facing camera the system will be able to decide whether to coast with the engine turned off, or harvest energy as the vehicle slows, with the coasting function able to shut the engine down for up to 45 seconds at speeds between 30-160 km/h.
When the engine is required to spring back to life the 48 volt starter/alternator will be capable of spinning the combustion engine up to speed before engaging it, creating a smoother transition.
The higher-voltage electrical system will only operate the hybrid-drive functions, with a separate 12 volt system used for traditional vehicle systems including lights, windows, seats, and the engine control and diagnostics systems.
Audi will give its first preview of the next-generation A8 at an event in Barcelona in July.
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