New Audi A8 revealed

New Audi A8 revealed

New Audi A8 revealed

The new A8 is based on Audi's MLB Evo platform and uses the company's newly developed 48V electrical system. Audi calls it "mild hybrid" technology, and it enables all models to coast along at speed with the engine switched off completely.

Audi says it's the first vehicle to reach Level 3 autonomous drive - ahead of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and, yes, ahead of the Tesla Model S as well. Audi is also starting to launch a series of redesigns and new model launches including an electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) to top Tesla's Model X as well as the all new Q4 and Q8 SUVs.

But it's only a matter of time before we see bankers and dentists watching Spongebob in traffic behind the wheel of their A8s. In its fourth generation, the new Audi A8 receives an all-new exterior design language and new interiors with massive boost on future technology and connectivity.

Among the showcase features available from the new A8's long list of optional equipment is a so-called Traffic Jam Pilot system. From 2018, Audi will gradually be taking piloted driving functions such as remote parking assist, remote garage assist and traffic jam assist into production. For this, the A8 now uses a laser scanner (first in a production car), ultrasonic sensors, front camera as well as radar sensors.

Audi's headlong push into Level 3 autonomy comes as many in the industry are fretting over "the handoff" - that moment when semi-autonomous systems turn driving back over to the human in the front seat.

Inside the cabin, the Audi A8 features touch points that replace the array of buttons from the previous model. Both are 6mm longer than those of the old A8, at 2998mm and 3128mm.

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Mechanically, the new A8 builds on existing technologies. The A8L's 130mm-longer wheelbase extends its length to 5302mm, with added ride height bringing 4mm to its height, at 1488mm.

A source at Audi said development of the A8, which took about five years, suffered from changes at the brand's research and development department, though assiduous work by division heads helped ensure that delays were kept in check. The excitement at Audi quickly fizzled out as it saw BMW put the failed 8-Series to rest. The new active suspension will be one of the standout features of the uber-sedan, and it will utilize an advanced camera system coupled with individual electric motors so each wheel can adapt incredibly precisely to different road surfaces.

Additionally, there is a second-generation MIB infotainment system that employs a quad-core processor from Nvidia, claimed to be 50 times faster than the first-generation unit. The Audi A8L, while boasting an additional 123mm wheelbase over the standard auto also gets the optional Relaxation seat that includes a 4-way foot massage, separate massaging function for the rear seat passengers along with private phone calls through another operating unit.

Later, a V8 diesel with 429bhp will be introduced and a range-topping 6.0-litre W12. It's the existing 4.0 TFSI engine from the Porsche Panamera Turbo with the dials turned to 542bhp; 22bhp more than the old S8's. Furthermore, another petrol and a petrol-hybrid will soon join the bandwagon with the yet to be released S8 and e-Tron versions. A range of 31 miles of pure-electric driving will also be possible. An 80% charge is achievable within two hours at 7.2kW, Audi says.

The innovative combination of dynamic and rear axle steering combines agility and stability through dynamic all-wheel steering.

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