The New, fourth-generation A8 which premiered at the Audi Summit in Barcelona, Spain represents the first production model with automated driving. From 2018, Audi will gradually fit piloted driving functions such as parking pilot, garage pilot and traffic jam pilot into the A8 in its production run.
As the first production model with A.I., the A8 is first loaded with the Audi AI traffic jam pilot. The AI pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 km/h on freeways and highways where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways. The system is activated using the AI button on the center console. In time to come, the Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot autonomously steer the A8 into and out of a parking space or a garage, while the manoeuvre is monitored by the driver.
In looks, Audi’s flagship sedan takes up the familiar Singleframe grille along with a fluid, bold profile. The standard A8 measures 5.17 meter in wheelbase, while the extended A8 L is 13 cm longer. The balanced proportions emphasize all four wheels in equal measure, featuring curvature around the wheel arches that highlights the quattro drive system. Furthermore, the striking HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lighting and the LED light strip combined with OLED technology rear lights give the flagship sedan its formidable identity.
The flagship sedan from Audi won’t be complete without the premium, lavish interior offerings, highlighted by the plush cabin and lounge. The range of equipment and materials is extensive, with every detail radiating superlative bespoke quality, from the perforation in the seat upholstery to the electrically opened and closed shutters on the air vents. Highlights include rotary push button and touchpad, 10.1-inch touchscreen, voice control, an optional relaxation seat (A8 L), comfort head restraints, ambient lighting, Matrix reading lights, seat massage, a removable OLED display in the rear and an optional phone.
When getting into the car. the user interface appears as soon as the door is opened. The driver controls the Infotainment system with fingertip control on the large display. They can use a second touchscreen display on the center tunnel console to access the air conditioning and comfort functions as well as make text inputs. When the driver activates a function in the upper or lower display, they hear and feel a click by way of confirmation. The glass-look operating buttons respond in the same way. The combination of acoustic and tactile feedback along with the use of common touch gestures such as swiping make the new MMI touch response especially safe, intuitive and quick to use. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or is delivered from the cloud at LTE speed (depending on countries and telco services). The extensive Audi connect range also includes traffic sign recognition and hazard information, innovative car-to-X services that draw on the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
With a whole package of innovations for the new Audi A8, the suspension revisits the very limits of what is physically possible. One such innovation is dynamic all-wheel steering, which combines direct, sporty steering with unshakable stability. The other is the Audi AI active suspension: a fully active suspension system. In tandem, this highly innovative suspension system obtains the energy it requires from a 48-volt electrical system. Audi now for the first time fits it as the primary electrical system in all model versions of the Audi A8. In conjunction with the advanced air suspension for the A8, the innovative suspension concept delivers an utterly new driving experience.
Engine options for the new Audi A8 is available with 3.0 TDI and 3.0 TFSI, The diesel develops 210 kW (286 hp), and the gasoline version 250 kW (340 hp). Later on, there will be two eight-cylinder versions, a 4.0 TDI with 320 kW (435 hp) and a 4.0 TFSI with 338 kW (460 hp), as well as the exclusive top-flight version W12 with a displacement of 6.0 liters. All five engines operate in conjunction with a belt alternator starter (BAS), which is the nerve center of the 48-volt electrical system. The combined effect of these measures is to bring down the fuel consumption of the already efficient engines even further, by as much as 0.7 liters per 100 km in real driving conditions. On top of the product range list is the A8 L e-tron quattro, with its powerful plug-in hybrid drive. This model will be announced at a much later date.
Shipping for the new Audi A8 starts late fourth quarter of the year with a starting price of 90,600 Euros. The extended A8 will retail from 94,100 euros.