New plug-in hybrid versions of the Audi Q8 SUV will go on sale later this month with prices starting at just under £74,000. The seventh plug-in hybrid to come out of Ingolstadt, the new model will come in a choice of two guises, with the ‘standard’ Q8 55 TFSI e Quattro joined by the more powerful Q8 Competition 60 TFSI e Quattro.

Both models come with a turbocharged V6 petrol engine that produces 335 bhp, as well as an electric motor and a 17.8 kWh battery pack that offers up to 28 miles of zero-emission motoring. In the 55 TFSI e Quattro, that combination offers a total ‘system’ power output of 376 bhp, while the more potent Competition 60 TFSI e Quattro provides 456 bhp.

That power is fed to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, from which 60 percent of the power is normally sent to the rear wheels. However, the system can send up to 70 percent of the power to the rear or 85 percent of the power to the front, if it deems such a move necessary.

With that technology on board, the 55 will sprint from a standstill to 62 mph in 5.8 seconds before topping out at 149 mph. The 60 has the same top speed, but it reaches 62 mph in just 5.4 seconds.

Perhaps more importantly, though, both cars can travel at speeds of up to 83 mph in electric mode, and the 55 will manage 100 mpg and CO2 emissions of 65 g/km on the official fuel economy test. The 60 is barely less efficient, managing 97 mpg and 66 g/km on the same test cycle.

Audi Q8 TFSI e quattro (2020)

Whichever you choose, the e Quattro versions of the Q8 will come with a system that monitors navigation data and automatically chooses the most efficient operating “strategy” for the journey. The vehicles start in electric mode, with the hybrid system providing the power for low-speed manoeuvring and the petrol engine only taking over when the accelerator is pressed harder.

In Auto mode, the car selects the most efficient drive type for the situation, but drivers can take control by choosing Hold mode to retain the current amount of charge or Charge to use the petrol engine as a power station for the battery. There’s also an EV mode that gives “maximum priority” to the electric motor.

Audi Q8 TFSI e quattro (2020)

“Luxury travel is obviously something to be savoured, but for an ever increasing number of drivers it can only be enjoyed with due consideration and respect for the environment,” said Andrew Doyle, the director of Audi UK.

“Cruising on air suspension in the upscale surroundings of the new Q8 TFSI e accompanied only by the distant purr of its electric motor is a true golden moment, but also a green one that can be enjoyed for the entire duration of many commutes, eliminating exhaust emissions from numerous journeys. Factor in the V6 engine providing the luxury of abundant power and the convenience of a far-reaching driving range in hybrid mode and you have an SUV that really appeals on every level.”

Both powertrains will be available to order later this month, with prices starting at £73,860 for the Q8 55 TFSI e Quattro and £85,760 for the Q8 Competition 60 TFSI e Quattro.

Gallery: Audi Q8 TFSI e quattro (2020)