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Plug-in Hybrid Q8 (uncomfirmed rumor)

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Plug-in Hybrid Q8 (uncomfirmed rumor)

 
Old 05-06-2019, 11:51 AM
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Default Plug-in Hybrid Q8 (uncomfirmed rumor)

Context: We live in Cincinnati. We drive weekly to Columbus (200 mi round trip). We have had nearly three-dozen Audi's since 1977 (our first a 1978 Audi 5000). We have been to the Audi factory (in Ingolstadt, Germany) six times and taken the Audi Driving School in Seefeld, Austria four times. We currently have a 2018 S4 and 2019 Q8. We had two of the bays in our three-car garage wired with Level-2 Charging units (240 volt/40amp 10Kw "JuiceBox" brand units.) We're ready to be electrified. We had looked at the e-trons when early models were on display (but not to be driven) earlier this year. We had just purchased the Q8 and decided to wait and see.

We took an e-tron out for a drive this weekend. The dealership has two of the yellow-brake-caliper'ed first edition models (but they were not available to test drive, but they were unsold as of Saturday.) We took off in the e-tron and noticed many similarities to the Q8: both are very quiet, the e-tron virtually silent other than a slight and "cool" electric motor whine. I did not, initially just floor the thing, but what struck me immediately was the sense that the thing had, almost literally, "relentless" power. Once I reached the Interstate ramp leading to I-275 around the Cincinnati metro area, I did (from a stop) floor the vehicle and it went into to what I guess I would call "super-boost" mode which was a rush that felt like an S6. Huge rush of power, no drama, no issues, just pushed back into the seat until the next thing (if it had been possible) would be for the seat to be ripped out of the floor from the accelerative forces. I stopped pressing and looked down -- to an indicated 97 MPH. Whew! Now, I say to myself, this felt perhaps even more like the RS5 I had taken out earlier this year: woooooosh!

OK, so I'm now just a few miles into this drive and I notice such things as the regenerative (reverse battery drain) effect. Rush forward and lose 5-miles of battery life but gain one back when "coasting" -- more when braking.

I reset the ADS to INDIVIDUAL, and I set power to "balanced" and the suspension to "dynamic" and the steering to "comfort," just to see what would happen. The e-tron (like my 2003 allroad) lowered its air suspension and I made a "run" (ok, maybe not a "run" per se, more like a canter) through some very twisty roads (this model had 20" wheel/tires.)

The whole thing was everything I had hoped it would be, maybe more. I did miss a head's up display, but I know one can be had on a Prestige trim model.

I had been informed that the anticipated 248-mile range had come in at 204 miles -- so it wasn't a surprise (or shock) to see the miles to empty (so to speak) drop to below 150. Then we switched drivers and my wife drove. She liked the nimbleness improvement over her Q8 with it's 22" wheels and tires and liked the total and complete lack of "lag" of any kind. She wondered, why not make one of these (and the Q8) in a plug-in hybrid model and recognize that a 204-mile range is, despite Aud's protestations, simply not able to cut it for our weekly 200-mile round trip to Columbus. An $85,000+ "commuter" car, she quipped. Not acceptable range, not acceptable charging time, not adequate enough charging locations and no one is going to want to stop and wait 25+ minutes to get the range to 160-miles.

So, a "lovely" damn near awesome experience that, in the above context, would not get us to part with 50% of the MSRP (which wouldn't even be possible anyhow.)

I made the Audi of America argument that "only 2% of trips exceed 50-miles," but, frankly those are marketing words, despite their verisimilitude.

The dealer rep (ours for years) said, "just wait, there's a plug-in hybrid Q8 coming -- that's the one to get" (in OUR context.)

"Zero 'turbo' lag, double the mileage of the regular Q8, you may not even miss an SQ8 once the plug-in e-trons get here."

Food for thought (in OUR context, perhaps not YOURS.)

A plug-in hybrid Q8, now THAT's the ticket!
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:25 PM
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After about an 8 month wait I've declined my e-tron reservation and will be looking at a Q8 but am sure interested in the plug-in Q8. I'll wait till this Fall and see what's out there. There are a number of articles claiming the battery will add somewhere between 37 to 70 miles to the range of a TFSI Q8 engine.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:02 AM
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Nice Review! I'm sure the E-Tron will be a great SUV if you want to go full electric.

I'm still in complete shock that my Q8 gets 14-15 MPG. Maybe they made it that way so it entices people to go electric. Either way, a plug in hybrid Q8 would solve most concerns.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:06 AM
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I have ONLY my own suspicions, NOTHING from any official source:

Context: Q7 had two flavors 3.0T (supercharged) and 2.0T (turbocharged). I had, too many times, a 2.0T Q7 as my loaner car while my car was in for service. The first time I had one, I thought it was broken it was such a slug. The 3.0T was a horse of a different color.

Our Q8 is very good in the power department, but it feels like it needs a bit more twist from a full-stop. I ALWAYS drive in "S" mode which helps since the engine RPM is a couple of hundred higher which somewhat to mostly mitigates the time (the fraction of a second) it takes for the torque to reach full-boil. The notion of an SQ8 has seemed something to look forward to, other than the fact that there will be another $15,000 asked for another 100HP (and worse fuel mileage.)

Damn!

So the e-tron battery situation for those of us in fly-over country where one-way trips of 100 miles or more are "normal" isn't -- yet -- acceptable.

What could be done?

Well, there are several ways to get a bit more off-the-line urge:
  1. Possibly a 9-speed transmission with the current engine would work.
  2. Possibly using the mild-hybrid (like Mercedes does) to provide a bit of off-the-line torque (up to 20 KPH) could get rid of the fractional hesitation
  3. Raising the idle speed in "D" to be the norm that we currently use "S" mode for . . . but I would think this would be unpopular as it might decrease gas mileage and increase carbon. . . bla, bla, bla
  4. Until the ev battery life and charging time and locations meet our expectations: plug-in hybrid (thinking like a Volvo S60 T8)
  5. Twin-charging -- probably something Audi could do better than Volvo -- would give us the best of both worlds and in conjunction with that raise the HP of the current V6 to equal the output of the same engine that is in the S4 and S5 and SQ5.
Number 4, plug-in hybrid is likely to be adopted as a bridge to full ev-dom.

The FEAR, with no data to support it, I have: Audi will offer us a plug-in hybrid Q8 with the 2.0T + one or, hopefully, two electric motors. The result: better mileage, for sure, probably no lag of any kind from a full-stop, but lower overall sensation of power and torque.

My hope would be: #4 and #5 and keeping the 3.0 V6. I'd be good with only #4 + one or two electric motors for additional HP and instant torque from a full-stop.

BUT, my unsubstantiated "fear" is that we'll get a Plug-in Hybrid Q8 with the 2.0T ICE.

I am: OFTEN wrong, but NEVER uncertain.
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by markcincinnati View Post
I have ONLY my own suspicions, NOTHING from any official source:

...
Number 4, plug-in hybrid is likely to be adopted as a bridge to full ev-dom.

The FEAR, with no data to support it, I have: Audi will offer us a plug-in hybrid Q8 with the 2.0T + one or, hopefully, two electric motors. The result: better mileage, for sure, probably no lag of any kind from a full-stop, but lower overall sensation of power and torque.

My hope would be: #4 and #5 and keeping the 3.0 V6. I'd be good with only #4 + one or two electric motors for additional HP and instant torque from a full-stop.

BUT, my unsubstantiated "fear" is that we'll get a Plug-in Hybrid Q8 with the 2.0T ICE.

I am: OFTEN wrong, but NEVER uncertain.
Audi had their 4 new PHEV models for 2019 at the Geneva motor show in February. You must have missed it.

Q5, A6, A7, A8 models. Called TFSIe. The first 3 are using the 2.0 engine, the A8 is using the V6. They are also re-releasing the A3 and Q7 PHEV, but not sure of specs. There will be plenty more in 2020. The downside of PHEV is the considerable weight penalty. By example, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid weighs around 2.4 tonnes / 5,300lb.


Source: Audi Media
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:46 PM
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What are the specific outputs of the 2.0T + ev and the A8, which one would assume could be the same for the Q8 V6 +ev?
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:12 AM
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^^

Two versions of the 2 litre engine used in the Q5, A6 and A7: 50 model with 299hp / 450Nm, a 55 (Sport) version with 367hp / 500Nm. The V6 as per the A8 is a 60 model, with 449hp and 700Nm torque.

https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/...7-and-a8-11334

https://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/...-a8-q5-tfsi-e/

https://www.drivingelectric.com/audi...d-q5-announced

https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/audi/1...5-a6-a7-and-a8

https://www.greencarguide.co.uk/2019...ug-in-hybrids/
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:07 AM
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Thank you!
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by shugs View Post
Nice Review! I'm sure the E-Tron will be a great SUV if you want to go full electric.

I'm still in complete shock that my Q8 gets 14-15 MPG. Maybe they made it that way so it entices people to go electric. Either way, a plug in hybrid Q8 would solve most concerns.
How hard are you driving it? Even in city driving I am getting around 20ish. Highway around 25MPG. Combined on last tank of gas was 23.6. Which imo is pretty good for a 5000 pound vehicle.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:38 AM
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As for Electric range. This is an engineering\cost problem that will work itself out. I'd expect subsequent generations to increase mileage. The eventual goal would be to have an electric with a 400 mile range I would think. Hybrids can bridge the gap for awhile until the engineering\costs catch up for pure electric. I admit the Q8 is probably the last gasoline powered car I will buy for myself. Depending on where the Q5 is in 3.5 years when I buy one for my wifes 50th birthday. She may get a gasoline or electric. I would had jumped on the E-Tron this round except the Q8\Q7 is the size of car I wanted. E-Tron splits Q8 and Q5.

The range was ok for me since I literally drive 3 miles a day to the train station. Summer time we go up north and that drive is 110ish miles each way. So the E-Tron would have enough range for that. Anything longer and we will still have the Mazda CX-5. But the E-Tron just wasnt the size I wanted. The Q8 was and had the electrical gear that brought it ahead of the pack imo.
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