German brand Audi
has revealed the latest generation of its luxury saloon – the A8.
The updated flagship model brings level three autonomous technology into the forefront of its driving experience, as well as mild hybrid technology and a new design language to bring the high-end model into the modern age.
New driving dynamics have also been employed with the new A8, including dynamic all-wheel steering – for improved stability through the corners – and active suspension, which allows the driver to control every wheel’s ride height and setting for the best ride possible.
The exterior design takes on Audi’s latest styling cues, including the hexagonal front grille with chrome surround as well as chrome detailing around the front inlets and the windows. The rear brake light is sculpted into the line of the boot lid.
But the major change for the A8 is the autonomous driving features, which are another step towards fully driverless technology. This includes traffic jam pilot, which takes control of all driving functions in slow-moving traffic and takes the stress out of driving in congested traffic.
If there is a physical barrier separating the two carriageways the system works seamlessly by taking over the steering, acceleration and braking as well as engaging the stop/start system when needed. Working at speeds up to 37mph, the system uses radar sensors, a front camera, ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner to get an image of the road ahead. The system then alerts the driver when they need to take over again.
Audi also applies autonomous parking to get the A8 in and out of spaces without the need for the driver to be behind the wheel. The myAudi app transmits a live feed to the owner’s smartphone so they can monitor the vehicle’s progress.
The A8 is built to be at the height of luxury and in either regular or long wheelbase guise, rear passenger space is excellent due to the model growing considerably. Passengers also get OLED screens for entertainment, climate control and seat massaging.
For engine choices Audi provides two petrol and two diesel options, including a 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine. All of the engines use a mild hybrid system so the car can coast and save fuel. The A8 L e-tron quattro will be following in the near future and that will come with a plug-in hybrid system that pairs a 3.0-litre petrol with an electric motor to produce a combined 442bhp.
The Audi A8 will be available to order from September with deliveries starting towards the end of 2017. Models with piloted driving will be on the road in 2018.
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