2012 Audi A8 Hybrid

Super luxury cars aren’t immune from environmental concerns and rising fuel costs. Mercedes-Benz offers the S-Class Hybrid, while the BMW 7-Series Hybrid uses its electric motor to improve fuel economy and offer a performance edge. Now, Audi plans to join the ranks green ranks of its German rivals with the A8 Hybrid, which is set to debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

Audi says in a press release that the A8 Hybrid will be powered by the automaker’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Combined, the powertrain develops 245 horsepower. “The sedan can travel at speeds of up to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) on electric power alone, and cover around three kilometers (1.86 miles) with zero local emissions at a constant speed of 60 km/h (37.28 mph),” writes Audi.

The engine and electric motor are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and Audi says that the A8 Hybrid should deliver 37 mpg. Autoblog says this estimate “doesn't put the A8 at the top of the hybrid efficiency pack … but it beats the pants off of the gas-only A8, which the EPA rates at 18/28/21 (city/highway/combined) mpg.”

Inside Line reports that Audi will begin production of the A8 Hybrid in 2012. Pricing and release date have yet to be announced.

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