Skip to main content

Free at last! Audi’s electrified A8 L is ready to cut the cord

2018 Audi A8 L W12
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
The plug-in hybrid Audi A8 L will be available with wireless charging, Digital Trends has learned. Offered as an extra-cost option, the technology promises to send the charging cord as we know it to the history book, and make sure it stays there.

On paper, Audi’s wireless charging technology is similar to wireless chargers for smartphones. Electricity is transferred inductively from a floor plate hooked up to a power source to a receiving coil and channeled to the 14.1-kWh battery pack. The coil is located right under the long-wheelbase A8’s front axle and the MMI display embedded in the dashboard takes the guesswork out of positioning the car over the floor plate by displaying helpful guidelines.

When the two components are perfectly aligned, the floor plate automatically rises up until it gets to within a few sixteenths of an inch away from the coil and begins charging the battery. The pack stores enough electricity to power the A8 L on its own for approximately 30 miles. When it runs low, the car’s 3.0-liter TFSI V6 engine rumbles to life. The gasoline-electric system makes 442 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, so you know it will never feel like it is low on power and it spins all four wheels via an automatic transmission and the company’s time-tested quattro all-wheel drive system.

An Audi spokesperson told Digital Trends the company has not decided whether the plug-in powertrain will be made available to buyers who order the standard-wheelbase car. Theoretically, it can be moved from the A8 L to the A8 without requiring any major modifications. However, the final decision largely depends on buyer demand. The plug-in model’s main markets will undoubtedly be the United States and in China, where buyers are more likely to pay extra for the additional inches of sheet metal.

Even without a plug, every variant of the A8 will be a hybrid. The sedan boasts a 48-volt electrical system that replaces the alternator with a starter/generator unit. It’s an evolution of the technology used in the SQ7, but we’re told it’s much more advanced. Notably, it lets the car coast with the engine off between 35 and 100 mph in order to save fuel.

Audi’s electrified A8 will begin arriving in showrooms next year. Look for a pricing announcement before then. And, expect the wireless charging technology to trickle down to other members of the Audi lineup, including the all-electric e-tron-badged models the brand will launch next year.

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
Best electric car charger deals: $100 off home charging stations
The handle of the Grizzl-E EV charger plugged into a vehicle.

While they may not dominate the market just yet, electric vehicles have become pretty massive in the past few years, with many people seeing them as the perfect alternative to traditional combustion engines. Of course, because EVs aren't as widespread, that means that there aren't always a ton of charging stations around, and sometimes those have inoperative or full chargers, leading to quite a few issues down the road. Luckily, you can get some excellent car chargers at home, which is why we've collected our favorite car charger deals for you below to save you trouble.
Seguma 16Amp Level 1/2 EV Charger -- $120, was $160

If you need a more basic charger, this Level one and two charger from Seguma is a solid option and can deliver 16 amps and 3.84kW, which is pretty substantial. It also comes with a NEMA 6-20 plug and a standardized J1772 connector, which should work on most EV vehicles out there except for Tesla, which has its own connector. There are also some intelligent charging features, which include things such as protection against things like under and over voltage, leakage, and lighting, and it has an automatic cut-off when your EV is fully charged.

Read more
Revamped Lucid Air shows this luxury EV’s bandwidth
Front three quarter view of a beige 2024 Lucid Air Touring.

If you’re only going to sell one car, you’d better make it count.

The Lucid Air electric car finally took flight in 2020 after years in financial limbo. While Lucid plans to launch an SUV called the Gravity and a line of smaller, more mainstream models, the Air remains Lucid’s sole product nearly four years after its launch. The Air has evolved in that time, adding multiple configurations that allow this one car to fill several niches.

Read more
With 1,800 horsepower, Bugatti’s Tourbillon brings plug-ins past the Prius
The Bugatti Tourbillon is a plug-in hybrid.

Plug-in hybrid technology has reached the automotive industry’s upper echelon. Bugatti has unveiled the Tourbillon, the long-awaited successor to the Chiron, with a gasoline-electric drivetrain rated at 1,800 horsepower, 3D-printed parts in the suspension, and an unusual sound system that has no speakers.

Bugatti developed the Tourbillon on a blank slate. The big coupe’s proportions are relatively close to the Chiron’s because the two cars need to fulfill a similar mission: cruise safely and comfortably at jaw-dropping speeds. Bugatti hints that hitting 250-plus-mph is well within the Tourbillon’s scope of capabilities. For context, the Chiron set a speed record and became the first car to break the 300-mph barrier when it reached 304 mph in 2019, so the brand knows a thing or two about speed.

Read more