Audi reveal new A8 | New Release - Car News Jul 2017

NEW RELEASE

16:05 Tuesday 11 Jul 2017

Audi have unveiled the fourth generation A8 at the Audi Summit in Barcelona.

The marque’s flagship model will boast new levels of touchscreen operation and drivetrain electrification, with further autonomous driving innovations to be added next year.

The new A8’s wide, upright Singleframe grille and muscular styling are set to herald a new design era across the Audi range. With a standard 5.17-metre length, the A8 grows be 13cm when chosen in A8 L form. The A8’s styling is accentuated by striking HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lighting, and an LED light strip combined with OLED technology at the rear.

The new A8 has grown substantially in length in both body styles, and that results in an even roomier cabin. Occupants can relax in style on the perforated seats, with the cabin cooled by electrically opening and closing shutters on the air vents, soothed by the ambient lighting.  In A8 L models the rear left passenger can be chauffeured in comfort on an adjustable seat, their feet warmed and massaged by a unit mounted into the rear of the front passenger seat.

The rotary pushbutton and touchpad has been eschewed in favour of an instrument panel which is largely free of buttons and switches. At its centre is a 10.1-inch touchscreen display which, when off, blends almost invisibly into the high-gloss black surround thanks to its black-panel look. Its user interface appears when the car is opened, and allows the driver fingertip control of the Infotainment system, while a second touchscreen display on the centre tunnel console accesses the air conditioning, comfort functions, and text inputs. Both these and the glass-look operating buttons respond with a confirmation click. The new A8 can even engage in intelligent conversation, with the driver able to activate certain functions using a new, natural form of voice control. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or is delivered from the cloud at LTE speed. The Audi connect range also includes traffic sign recognition and hazard information.

Automated features will include Audi AI traffic jam pilot, which takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 37mph, on major roads where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways. The system is activated using the AI button on the centre console. Traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking, with the driver no longer needing to monitor the car permanently. They can take their hands off the steering wheel permanently and, depending on the national laws, focus on a different activity that is supported by the car, such as watching the on-board TV. As soon as the system reaches its limits, it calls on the driver to take back control of the task of driving. 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. The driver does not even need to be sitting in the car to do this, they can start the appropriate system from their smartphone using the new myAudi app. It broadcasts a live feed of the parking manoeuvre taken from the car’s 360-degree cameras on their handheld device for easy monitoring.

The new A8’s driving dynamics are aided by a fully active suspension, all-wheel steering, variable steering ratio, and sport differential. This highly innovative suspension system obtains the energy it requires from a 48-volt electrical circuit.

At launch the new A8 will have a choice of two V6 turbo engines - a 282bhp 3.0-litre diesel and a 335bhp 3.0-litre petrol –and a range-topping 6.0-litre W12. A 4.0-litre TDI diesel engine producing almost 430bhp will join the range at a later date. All engines have a belt alternator starter at the centre of the 48-volt electrical system, mild hybrid technology which enables the car to coast with the engine switched off, and to restart smoothly. It also has an extended start/stop function and an energy recovery output of up to 12 kW. The A8 L e-tron quattro with plug-in hybrid drivetrain will follow at a later date.

The new Audi A8 and A8 L will be appear in the UK later this year, with orders opening in September.

 

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