New Audi Q8 TFSI e plug-in hybrid joins the range

Audi Q8 TFSI e gets plug-in hybrid power and a 28-mile electric range; prices start at £73,860

This is the Audi Q8 TFSI e quattro, a plug-in hybrid version of Audi's flagship couple-SUV. The seventh model in Audi's range to get plug-in hybrid technology, the Q8 TFSI e goes up against the Porsche Cayenne hybrid; UK sales begin in late October and prices start from £73,860.

Power comes from a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine and an electric motor, with two available outputs. Drive is fed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox; the Q8 55 TFSI e produces 376bhp and 600Nm of torque, while the more powerful Q8 Competition 60 TFSI e – priced from £85,760 – manages 456bhp and 700Nm of torque.

Claimed performance figures are impressive: 0-62mph takes 5.8 seconds in the 55 TFSI e, or 5.4 seconds in the Competition 60 TFSI e. Top speed is limited to 149mph in both cars. Both models can travel up to 28 miles on a full charge of their identical 17.8kWh batteries. Audi points out that this battery is 0.5kWh larger than that found in the Q7 TFSI e, while also being around 40kg lighter.

Official fuel economy for the Q8 55 TFSI e is quoted as 100mpg, while the 60 TFSI e manages up to 97mpg. Getting close to these figures with such a powerful plug-in hybrid SUV will require a light right foot and a regularly topped-up battery, however. CO2 emissions sit at 65 to 66g/km, depending on specification.

Charging cables for both domestic and public chargers are provided, while a maximum charging capacity of 7.4kW means a home wallbox will suit most owners best. Audi claims a full charge will take around two and a half hours. Charging and other car features can be operated using the 'myAudi' smartphone app.

A number of driving modes are available to make the most of the car's plug-in hybrid system, with modes for automatic hybrid operation, as well as for holding onto the battery's charge or having it recharge as you drive – this latter 'Charge' mode is set to be added to the Q7 TFSI e when the Q8 arrives. The car automatically starts in EV mode, with the petrol engine only kicking in when the accelerator is pressed beyond a certain point. 

A predictive efficiency assist system also features; this can choose whether coasting or regenerative braking is most efficient when you lift off the throttle. This system also works on the accelerator when adaptive cruise control is activated; with cruise control off, the car prompts you when to lift off using a visual cue and pulses through the throttle pedal.

Audi Q8 TFSI e specifications

Full UK specification has not been released, but Audi has confirmed that both Q8 TFSI e models will be available in top-spec Vorsprung trim. There's no detail as to which of the existing trim line-up will be offered with the new hybrid drivetrain, but standard equipment looks to be impressive. 

Valcona leather upholstery, LED matrix headlights and adaptive sports air suspension all feature, along with Audi's latest MMI touch-screen infotainment system running across two central screens and a 12.3-inch driver's display. Voice control also features, along with WiFi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. 

Vorsprung trim adds black exterior detailing with S line body styling, powered soft-close doors, ventilated super-sport seats with a massage function and an Alcantara headlining. A Bang & Olufsen sound system is also added, along with a head-up display and an extended package of leather interior trim.