Audi has officially unveiled the all new A8 luxury sedan in Miami yesterday and I was not really surprised after looking at it because it still features Audi’s typical boxy design. The LED daytime running lights help give an aggressive look upfront while there is nothing to brag about the side profile. The rear end looks neat and tidy. Lets move on to an area that is very much associated with such luxury sedans like the 7-Series and S-Class: technology!
The new A8 comes with a xenon lighting system as standard but you can also opt for a full LED headlamp system. The updated MMI system now has a handwriting recognition system. Using a touchpad called MMI Touch, it can even recognize Cyrillic, Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese and Korean characters. You can also use the MMI Touch to navigate on the map. Via the map data, the navigation system can also control various aspects like the ACC Stop & Go cruise control, adaptive lighting and the automatic transmission to allow the car to make better calculations.
For example, ACC Stop & Go cruise control can exactly compute the lanes even on curves; it also avoids minor errors like inadvertently accelerating in front of a junction where the driver wishes to exit. Another example is the the transmission that will not unnecessarily upshift on short straight stretches when you are driving through a curvy country road.
There is also mobile data, something like BMW’s ConnectedDrive. It also uses GPRS but Audi plans to introduce a UMTS (3G) module by next year. It offers services from Google such as news and weather information. You can also set your map routes at home on your computer and send it to the car over the Internet. With the upcoming UMTS system which offers high-speed Internet, you will be able to download 3D satellite images from Google Earth and display them in a bird’s eye view on the monitor as well as extend the Internet service to the passengers of the car via Wifi, which good news for businessmen out there.
Other interior features include an ambient lighting system that looks pleasing to the eyes. This optional feature allows you to choose between ivory, polar and ruby colour schemes that can be selected via the MMI. In standard trim, the new A8 comes with a front seats with 12-way electric adjustment but if you are willing to part with with some extra cash, you can drive home with seats that feature 22-way adjustability. Additionally, you can also opt for seats with a sporty design.
Lets talk about what’s under the hood. At launch, you can choose between a petrol V8 or a diesel V8. The former is a 4.2 liter FSI V8 that outputs 372 PS and 445Nm of torque from 3,500 revs. Naught to 100km/h takes 5.7 seconds which is pretty quick and fuel consumption is decent, consuming 9.5 liters per 100km (EU cycle) which marks a 13% improvement over its predecessor. With the 4.2 liter TDI V8, you get 350 PS, slightly lower than what the petrol version can offer, but with a massive 800Nm of torque that is achieved between 1,750 revs and 2,750 revs. With that much torque, 0 – 100km/h is slightly quicker by 0.2 seconds. Fuel consumption is more efficient with this engine: 7.6 liters per 100km.
Audi also revealed that it will add a 250 PS 3.0 TDI with an auto start-stop system into the line-up later. All engines are offered with a new 8-speed tiptronic automatic transmission which can also work with the auto start-stop system that will comes with the 3.0 TDI. The A8 which comes with Audi’s quattro all wheel drive system can also be added with an optional dynamic sport differential.
In the UK, the A8 3.0 TDI quattro goes for £54,760.00 (OTR) while the 4.2 TDI quattro carries a £63,690.00 price tag (OTR). The range topping 4.2 FSI quattro is sold for £61,640.00 (OTR). The fourth generation A8 will be launched in its destined markets next year. A long wheelbase version as well as a hybrid version is expected to be included into the line-up later on. Continue reading to watch an 8 minute 58 second-long video and to view an image gallery.