The future of automotive luxury is here. Audi has unwrapped its all-new 2018 Audi A8 flagship model at the Audi Summit in Barcelona. The fourth generation A8 boasts a new design language, snazzy new tech and AI-powered automated driving. In fact, it’s the first production automobile in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving (Level 3 class).
The Audi A8 is the epitome of style and elegance, while at the same time oozing sports appeal. The front valance features a wide, upright Singleframe grille, complemented with a fluid, muscular body.
It draws inspiration from the Audi prologue design study with powerful design – regardless if it’s the 5.17m standard version, or the A8 L, which has a longer wheelbase (13cm).
The muscular curvature around the wheel arches gives you a taste of what to expect from the Quattro drive system underneath.
Whichever angle you’re admiring the A8 from, it looks stunning, with the visual orgasm accentuated by the HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lighting.
On the rear, the OLED lights produce unique light animations whenever the driver approaches or departs from the vehicle.
When you step into the new A8, it’s akin to entering a lavish, spacious luxury lounge. It’s not only the benefits of the longer wheelbase that you’ll enjoy, but also the intoxicating levels of equipment and materials.
It’s what you’d expect from a luxury vehicle and more. It’s all in the details.
Where you’d really want to be sitting, though, is the rear right–the classiest seat in the A8 L. It comes with an optional relaxation seat with four different adjustment options and a footrest.
You can even choose to warm and massage the soles of your feet.
Rear passengers can control an array of functions including ambient lighting, new HD Matrix reading lights and seat massage; or make private phone calls via a separate operating unit.
It comes with a removable rear seat remote with an OLED display, housed in the centre armrest.
The instrument panel on the A8 is clear of buttons and switches. Located on the centre, is a 10.1-inch touchscreen display that lets you control the NVIDIA-powered MIB+ infotainment system with your fingertips.
A second touchscreen display on the centre tunnel console gives you access to air conditioning controls and comfort functions, as well as make text inputs.
What’s really cool is Natural Voice Control, which lets you activate an array of functions using natural form voice.
The Audi A8’s main trick though, is its AI Traffic Jam Pilot—a driver assistance technology that offers unprecedented levels of autonomy in traffic jams. A Level 3 class, in fact, with technologies powered by NVIDIA.
The cutting-edge technology is powered by Audi’s “Zfas” CPU, a world’s first true traffic jam assist system.
Designed from ground up with built-in redundancy, the system uses a laser scanner combined with radar sensors, a front camera and ultrasonic sensors. Data from sensors are processed in Zfas, as it creates a precise environment model at a rate of 2.5 billion inputs per second.
Audi AI Traffic Jam Pilot can be utilized at speeds of up to 60km/h, invoked from a single “AUDI AI” button on the centre console.
The revolutionary traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking. Once traffic dissipates, visual and auditory alerts prompt you to take control again.
Aside from the traffic jam pilot, Audi also uses AI with its Remote Garage Pilot. The garage pilot autonomously steers the vehicle into and out of a parking space or garage. The driver need not be sitting in the car.
You can start the system from your smartphone using the myAudi app. The cool thing is you can even monitor the parking manoeuvre in 360 degrees from your device.
The Audi A8 ride and handling fuse German mechanical genius with technology wizardry. Its dynamic all-wheel steering combines direct, sporty steering with incredible stability.
Audi AI active suspension, a new fully active suspension system can adapt to your driving style, and driving situation. It’s capable of lowering or raising each wheel separately using electric actuators.
This gives you a world of possibilities—from a silky-smooth ride of a luxury sedan, to a spine-tingling dynamism of a sports car.
The Audi A8 debuts in the German market with two re-engineered V6 turbo engines: a 3.0 TDI and a 3.0 TFSI.
The diesel churns out 286bhp (210kW), while the petrol version pushes 340bhp (250kW).
There will also be eight-cylinder versions—a 4.0 TDI (435bhp/320kW) and 4.0 TFSI (460bhp/338kW) available later.
Audi says there will also be an exclusive top-of-the-line 6.0L W12 variant, too.
All five powertrain options operate with a belt alternator starter (BAS), the nerve centre of the 48-volt electrical system. This mild hybrid technology (MHEV) lets the vehicle coast with the engine switched off, then restart smoothly.
Pricing and availability
The new Audi A8 and A8 L will be available on the German market in late fall 2017. Prices start from EUR90,600 for the A8, while the A8 L is offered from EUR94,100.
For more info on the all-new Audi A8, visit http://www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/audi-a8-50