Audi’s electric onslaught is coming. Already the company has confirmed that by 2020 three new e-tron models and two new Q SUVs will join the lineup. By 2025, Audi estimates that 30 percent of its sales will come from either pure electric or hybrid electric vehicles.

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In an effort to further promote that green way of thinking, Automotive News Europe suggest that the company’s new A8 flagship sedan could come with some form of an electric powertrain. A 48-volt lithium battery will reportedly pair with a belt-driven alternator that regenerates energy during braking and stores it in the battery. The setup is said to boost fuel economy and performance.

The system will come standard on all A8 models, and Audi plans to extend it to its larger models "very quickly," says Alexander Kruse, Audi’s head of mild hybrid systems. The next-generation A6 and A7 will adopt the technology, but smaller models like the A3 will not use the same battery, instead adopting a lighter, more conventional hybrid setup.

Gallery: 2018 Audi A8 New Spy Photos

Apart from the 48-volt lithium battery, we know that the upcoming A8 will come with a number of new features, including level 3 autonomous driving – or what Audi calls "Traffic Jam Pilot" – as well as a new chassis that promises to be 24 percent stiffer.

Power is expected to be delivered via the same 6.0-liter W12 found on the Bentley Bentayga, with the option of a 4.0-liter biturbo V8, and as mentioned, the 48-volt hybrid battery system. The rear seats will gain 1.1-inches (28 millimeters) in legroom over the outgoing model, while rear passengers will also make do with an extra .55 inches (14 millimeters) of headroom. 

Overall, the A8 will gain around 100 pounds "due to the need to accommodate new alternative powertrains," said body engineering Tim Hammerle. The new A8 will make its debut next month at the Audi Summit in Barcelona on July 11, 2017.

Source: Automotive News Europe

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