Midweek newsbriefs

August 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Audi’s to start production of the A8 hybrid next year. This combines a 2.0 TFSI petrol engine and electric motor to deliver 245hp and 345lb ft; it’ll return around 44.1mpg and emit less than 148g/km of carbon dioxide. It’ll also accelerate 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds and reach 146mph; its electric-only range, boosted by brake energy recuperation, is about 3km and top speed 37mph. Drivers can select three modes: EV, prioritising electric-drive, D (default) and S (sport). More detail at Green Car Congress.

Mazda has started using recycled material from old bumpers for new ones; this increases the proportion of material from end-of-life vehicles which can be reused. As yet, only the Biante MPV features the recycled plastic, but the process will be rolled out further across the Mazda line-up. More at Green Car Congress.

  • All versions of the new Toyota Camry – a longstanding US best-seller – give better fuel economy and lower emissions, and the Hybrid now returns 49.2mpg despite its 13hp power gain. All the facts and figures at Green Car Congress (again).
  • Chinese car-buyers aren’t keen on hybrids and EVs, despite their government’s ambitious plans, reports The Guardian. Worrying, since the Chinese car market is now the world’s biggest, and still growing rapidly.
  • Debate continues on personal rapid transport (PRT) and podcars (mini-monorail systems) at Treehugger.

Geneva Motor Show: Audi A8 hybrid

March 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

At one end of the Audi range is the A1 e-tron, at the other, this A8 hybrid. It combines the familiar VW Group 2.0 TFSI engine (211bhp) with an electric motor to give a total 245bhp/480Nm, delivering performance on a par with a conventional V6 yet returning up to 45.6mpg and emitting 144g/km of carbon dioxide. Acceleration 0-62mph comes up in 7.6 seconds, to a top speed of 146mph; in electric-only mode it can do up to 40mph for over 2km. Eight-speed Tiptronic auto transmission is fitted, and this A8 remains front-wheel drive.

Audi describes this car as a ‘concept’, but it’s a safe bet it’s on its way to production soon. The same powertrain will feature in the Q5 hybrid, confirmed for launch later this year.

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