New 2022 Audi A8 plug-in hybrid executive limousine unveiled

The plug-in hybrid BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class rival gets updated styling and infotainment for 2022

Audi has refreshed its flagship A8 executive limousine, with the luxury saloon receiving sharper styling and a revised infotainment system. It continues to be available in long-wheelbase form and with plug-in hybrid power.

The plug-in hybrid 60 TFSI e powertrain offered in the updated A8 and A8 L couples a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with an electric motor and produces 456bhp and 700Nm of torque – enough to push the saloon from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds. 

While the previous model used a 14.1kWh battery, the updated version sees the battery size increased to 17.9kWh. Audi has yet to confirm how far the new A8 will be able to travel on electric power alone however, so we don’t know how much of a difference that'll make over its predecessor’s 29-mile range.

For reference, the latest iteration of the rival plug-in hybrid Mercedes S-Class can cover more than 60 miles on a full charge, but uses an even larger 28kWh battery. The plug-in BMW 7 Series, meanwhile, has a maximum range of 32 miles.

There are four driving modes specifically for the plug-in hybrid A8. ‘EV’ focuses on fully electric driving and ‘Hybrid’ combines power from the petrol engine and electric motor, while ‘Hold’ conserves battery charge for use later in your journey and ‘Charge’ uses the combustion engine to recharge the battery.

The updated A8 also gets a larger front grille, as well as redesigned side skirts and bumpers. Plus, the rear now features OLED tail-lights as standard; these illuminate if the car is stationary and it detects another vehicle coming within two metres of it from behind. 

Inside, there are two central touchscreens – one 10.1-inch screen you can control the car’s media functions from and a smaller 8.6-inch screen below that’s just for the climate controls. There's also a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display behind the wheel; the updated A8 gets new software for its trio of displays.

There are also new options specifically for rear-seat passengers, with the A8 now available with a pair of 10.1-inch touchscreens; these can be linked to users’ smartphones, allowing them to play content from video and audio streaming services.

Other options include a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, four-zone climate control, massaging seats and a refrigerator. Customers can also tweak their car’s styling further with the ‘chrome exterior package’ and ‘S line exterior package’.

There are also several additional driver assistance systems available, which Audi has bundled together into optional ‘Park’, ‘City’ and ‘Tour’ packages. The ‘Park’ package includes remote parking assistance, which can manoeuvre the five-metre-plus A8 into and out of parallel or bay parking spaces, even if the driver isn’t inside.

The updated A8 goes on sale in Europe in December 2021, with prices starting from €99,500 (roughly £84,000) in Germany. Audi hasn’t yet confirmed whether the revised version of its range-topping saloon will be available in the UK at the same time, or exact pricing for this country.

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