Audi has finally taken the veils off the plug-in hybrid Q8. It’s the seventh electrified Audi model and is available in two variants, starting with the Q8 55 TFSI e quattro that is priced from £73,860 (RM396k), and the Q8 60 TFSI e quattro at £85,760 (RM460k).

Both versions share the same 3.0 litre TFSI V6 petrol engine, which on its own produces 340 PS and 450 Nm of torque. This is augmented with a 100 kW electric motor that’s integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic gearbox.

Combined, the plug-in hybrid powertrain offers 381 PS and 600 Nm of torque for the 55 TFSI e quattro, which is good for a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 5.8 seconds. The 60 TFSI e variant, on the other hand, gets a healthier 462 PS and 700 Nm of torque, and would do the century sprint in 5.4 seconds. Both versions top out at 240 km/h.

A liquid-cooled 17.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides up to 47 km of pure electric range (based on WLTP test cycle). In pure electric mode, a top speed of 135 km/h can be achieved without the engine ever providing assistance.

For charging, Audi says the battery can be fully juiced up in 2.5 hours when plugged into a 7.4 kW socket. It also has a predictive efficiency assist which automatically decides whether the electric motor should let the car “coast” when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal, or decelerate via the electric motor to recuperate energy.

Audi says the system recoups up to 25 kW of power just by coasting. The electric motor can also provide up to 0.3 g of braking force, thus covering the vast majority of everyday driving scenarios. The hydraulic wheel brakes only come in under heavier decelerations – it is here that the system is able to achieve up to 80 kW of energy recuperation. This transition, Audi says, is virtually imperceptible, with excellent brake feedback and precise modulation.

The Q8 PHEV comes with a choice of seven drive modes – comfort, efficiency, auto, dynamic, individual, offroad and allroad. The last feature is standard for models with the adaptive air suspension sport, by the way. The hybrid system adds four additional drive modes – Hybrid, Auto, Charge, and Hold (this is new and maintains battery charge levels by running on the combustion engine alone).

Like before, the Q8 TFSI e quattro models can be had with Audi’s latest driver assist systems, including adaptive cruise assist with steering assist, active lane keep assist, and autonomous emergency braking. Audi says the Level 2 automation-enabled Q8 achieved the top score in Europe NCAP vehicle safety test.