Audi A8 Saloon L 60 TFSI e Quattro Sport 4dr Tiptronic Car Leasing
Image for illustration purpose only
Ten Second Review
Audi delivers PHEV technology to its largest saloon, the A8 - but at quite a price premium. Still, successful boardroom-level executives may not care too much about that given that someone else will probably be paying. And that this car can go over 28 miles on all-electric power and (theoretically) deliver over 100mpg. For urban driving, it's a tempting proposition.
If you're buying a boardroom level large luxury saloon, and it's quite possible that you may not much care about saving the planet. But eco-friendliness has to start somewhere - and this Audi A8 TFSIe plug-in model is as good a place as any. You might be surprised to learn that plug-in technology is quite commonplace in the full-sized luxury saloon segment. Versions of the BMW 7 Series (the 745e) and the Mercedes S-Class (the S560e) have offered it for some time. Audi introduced this A8 TFSIe plug-in model only as recently as late 2019.
Being somewhat late to the party in the PHEV part of the big luxury saloon segment, Audi has had plenty of time to check out what rivals BMW or Mercedes are offering here - and try to deliver something better. In the case of this A8 60 TFSIe, that means a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine with 340PS mated to an electric motor with 100KW. That means a total combined output of 449PS, sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox. Even given the weight of this car, you might expect that to translate into a pretty potent set of performance figures - and that's how it turns out. The 62 mph sprint from rest occupies just 4.9 seconds - which is quicker than either a Mercedes S560e or a BMW 745e. Top speed is limited to 155mph - but if it wasn't, you could probably crest 170mph. Of greater interest here though, is the all-electric driving range, quoted at 28.6 miles - that's better than the Mercedes but about the same as the BMW. There's an 84mph all-electric top speed - but obviously if you regularly approach that, your battery charge won't last very long. This isn't much of a driver's car of course - it isn't intended to be. Instead, strengths include superb refinement and an exceptional quality of ride from the standard air suspension.
Design and Build
There are few visual giveaways of this PHEV A8's plug-in status, unless you happen to notice the 'TFSIe' badging and/or the addition of a charging flap. This fourth generation A8 signalled the beginning of a new design era for the entire Audi brand. The front end with its wide, upright Singleframe grille and the fluid, muscular body both aim to convey power, elegance, sophistication and modernity. As with other A8 variants, two body styles are available here, the 5.17-metre 'standard' version and the A8 L, which has a 13cm-longer wheelbase. There's a big boot space penalty with the PHEV variant - the normal 505-litre trunk size falls to just 390-litres. In the cabin, occupants relax in sublime surroundings, with every detail radiating superlative bespoke quality - from the perforation in the seat upholstery to the electrically opening and closing shutters on the air vents. The most sought-after seat in long wheelbase model could quite possibly be the rear left - the optional relaxation seat in the A8 L that comes with four different adjustment options and a footrest. In this seat, the passenger can warm and massage the soles of their feet on a unit with multiple settings incorporated into the back of the front-passenger seat. Up-front, the instrument panel is largely free of buttons and switches. At its centre is a 10.1-inch touchscreen display which, when off, blends almost invisibly into the high-gloss black surround thanks to its black-panel look.
Market and Model
There's only one A8 TFSIe plug-in model, the 60 TFSIe quattro, and it only comes in one trim level - 'Sport'. You'll need the best part of £85,000 for one of these (or well over £87,000 for the long wheelbase version). That represents a £13,000 premium over, say, a 'Sport'-trimmed 50 TDI Quattro diesel-engined A8, so you've really got to want the PHEV drivetrain here. At least you get expect plenty of kit for the money. Standard trim includes 19-inch '5-arm Turbine'-style cast alloy wheels, LED front and rear lights and power closing doors that click into place if not shut properly. There's also climate comfort seats in valcona leather, a head-up display and the brand's 'Parking system plus' set-up with a rear view camera. In addition, there's Audi's 'MMI Navigation plus and MMI touch' infotainment system - and of course the Audi virtual cockpit instrument binnacle screen. Many customers will want to pay the extra for the optional 'Comfort and Sound Pack' which, for £2,000 more, gives you a Bang and Olufsen premium sound system with 3D sound, 17 loudspeakers and a 730-watt output. The Pack also includes a 360?? camera, a multi-coloured extended LED interior lighting pack and a 'Park assist with parking aid plus' system that will steer you into spaces.
Cost of Ownership
As with any PHEV, to get the most out of this A8 TFSIe, you'll need to keep the car charged up and make the absolute most of the potential all-electric driving range, rated at 28.6 miles. If you don't do that, you'll essentially end up with a heavier version of the conventional 55 TFSI petrol A8 variant - and take it from us, one of those isn't going to be cheap to run. This SUV's lithium-ion battery is made up of 104 prismatic cells and stores 14.1kWh of energy with a voltage of 381 volts. And the car is supplied as standard with a compact charging system plus a Mode 3 cable with Type 2 plug for use at public charging stations. The compact charging system comprises cables for household and industrial outlets, plus a control unit. The system features an LED status display and safety functions such as temperature and residual current monitoring. Audi also offers an optional charging clip, a lockable wall-mounted holder for the charging system. The integrated charger charges the lithium-ion battery with a maximum power of 7.4kW. Even at a 220V household outlet, an empty battery can be fully and conveniently recharged overnight in roughly six hours. Using a 7kW garage wallbox, you should be able to reduce that to around two and a half hours.
Whether as an A8 buyer you'd really want this plug-in version depends on the type of driving you (or your chauffeur) is likely to do. If you'll be covering huge motorway mileage, then it'd be better to go for the 50 TDI diesel version. But if a lot of your driving is done in cities, then this 60 TFSIe variant makes a massive amount of sense. It's smoother than the diesel, extremely economical and it'd be far cheaper to tax. Yes there are a few drawbacks - less boot space and quite a high price hike come with the PHEV package. But if you can live with those, then for a boardroom-level executive conscious of his or her eco footprint, this plug-in Audi might be a tempting proposition.
Porsche Taycan Saloon
350kW 93kWh 4dr RWD Auto
per month inc. VAT
Mercedes-Benz C Class Diesel Saloon
C300d AMG Line Premium Plus 4dr 9G-Tronic
per month inc. VAT
BMW 7 Series Diesel Saloon
730d MHT 4dr Auto
per month inc. VAT
BMW 7 Series Saloon
740i  4dr Auto
per month inc. VAT
Mercedes-Benz E Class Saloon
E300e AMG Line Premium 4dr 9G-Tronic
per month inc. VAT
Mercedes-Benz E Class Diesel Saloon
E220d AMG Line Night Edition Prem+ 4dr 9G-Tronic
per month inc. VAT
Vehicle maintenance packages are provided to you by the finance company and generally include and exclude the following elements. This cover is an addition to the standard full UK manufacturer’s warranty and roadside assistance that comes with all new vehicles.
Please note: Terms and conditions of vehicle maintenance packages can vary slightly depending on the finance company. Full details of the maintenance contract provided on your chosen vehicle will be forwarded to you with your quotation once you have enquired.
Maintenance Contract includes:
- Mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements, including associated parts and labour
- Bulbs, Batteries, Exhausts, Wiper Blades, Alternators & Starter Motors (dependent upon finance provider)
- Tyre repair and replacement
- Breakdown assistance
- No recharges for punctures or damaged tyres (dependent upon finance provider)
- MOT tests (if applicable)
What are the key benefits of a Maintained Contract?
- Planned fixed monthly cost
- No unexpected maintenance costs
- Protection from rising inflation costs
- Dedicated qualified technical team to deal with any problematic vehicles
- VAT is 100% recoverable on the Maintenance element of your contract for VAT registered businesses
What are the exclusions?
- Repairs or replacements due to driver error or driver induced faults
- Repairs due to accident damage
- Missing or Broken items e.g. Bent Aerials, Missing Hub Cabs
- Vandalised and Stolen Wheels and/or Tyres
- Damaged windscreen and/or glass replacement
- Lubricant and Fluid Top Ups between service intervals (e.g. Oil Top Ups, Screenwash Top Ups)
- A relief vehicle is not guaranteed as part of your maintenance package. However, this may be available at an additional cost, dependant on your finance provider
What is WLTP?
The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) replaced the NEDC test procedure for establishing official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for all new cars and became mandatory from September 2018. WLTP is a more accurate way of reading the statistics of an engine’s economy outputs based on realistic driving on an every day basis. The cycle of WLPT is divided in to 4 sections which fall under different average speeds of the vehicle being at low, medium, high and more high. It also includes various driving scenarios such as breaking accelerating and stops.
How will this effect me?
From 1st April 2020 the first registration tax for new cars will be higher. If you currently have a car on order which has not yet been registered then the price will increase and this will vary depending on the cars. If the new car you have on order is being taken on finance or lease then your monthly payments will increase by the amount the first registration has gone up. The new payments will be displayed on the finance documents you receive to sign before delivery of the vehicle.
In addition, from the 6th April 2020 company car tax known as benefit in kind, increased as a response to the WLTP new testing procedure.