New Audi A8 revealed in Barcelona
11 July 2017
Author: Rachel Boagey
Audi today unveiled the fourth generation of its A8 at the first ever Audi Summit, held in Barcelona.
Audi says the A8, the brand's new flagship model, is the most technologically advanced Audi ever made.
The model will be launched with two extensively reengineered V6 turbo engines, a 3.0 TDI and a 3.0 TFSI. The diesel develops 286hp, the petrol version 340hp. Two eight-cylinder versions - a 4.0 TDI with 435hp and a 4.0 TFSI with 460hp - will follow slightly later. The A8 L e-tron quattro with a powerful plug-in hybrid drive will also follow at a later date.
The Audi A8 is the first production car in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving at Level 3. From 2018, Audi will gradually be taking piloted driving functions such as parking pilot, garage pilot and traffic jam pilot into production.
The Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 37.3mph on freeways and highways where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways. The system is activated using an AI button on the centre console.
Traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking. The driver no longer needs to monitor the car permanently and can take their hands off the steering wheel. As soon as the system reaches its limits, it calls on the driver to take back control.
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 garage while the driver monitors the manoeuvre.
Audi says the new A8 signals the beginning of a new design era for the entire brand. The front end has a wide, upright Singleframe Grille and the body of the car has a muscular appearance. The standard version of the luxury sedan measures 5.17m- and the A8 L version has a wheelbase that is 13cm longer.
Audi's new flagship model boasts HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lighting, and an LED light strip combined with OLED technology rear lights.
Audi board member Dr Peter Mertens said said: "We are going to the next level of luxury with the new A8. The technologies available in this car are introducing a new era of driving and today is where the future begins in the luxury class."
The new Audi A8 and A8 L are being built at the Neckarsulm site in Germany and will be available to order in the UK from September, with first deliveries due in late 2017. UK pricing is yet to be confirmed.