Audi has confirmed its A8 hybrid will go into production next year with right hand drive versions available by the end of 2012.

It’s the first Audi of this size to have a four cylinder petrol engine developing combined petrol-electric outputs of 245PS and 480Nm with CO2 emissions of 148g/km.  

The parallel hybrid can run on electricity alone up to 100km/h (62mph). The modified two-litre TFSI engine makes 211PS and 350Nm and the disc-shaped electric motor generates 40kW (54PS) and 210Nm.

The permanent magnet synchronous motor is mounted in the space usually occupied by the torque converter in front of the modified eight-speed transmission. A multi-plate clutch that operates in an oil bath connects or disconnects the electric motor and the petrol engine, and does so ultra-precisely and gently in all situations..

Electric-only range of up to 1.86 miles at a constant 37mph and three driving modes include EV-only, like the Toyota Prius.

A lithium-ion battery is used.