Audi pulled the covers off of the fourth-generation A8 model ahead of a planned public premiere at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. The deliveries in Australia are going to commence in early 2018. The new luxury sedan represents the beginning of the new era for the German carmaker, and once it hits the market, it is going to again challenge upscale rivals such as BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The new 2018 Audi A8 will be based on the company’s latest MLB platform, and it will feature a 48-volt electrical system which is the basis of the new hybrid powertrain. Speaking of that, the hybrid powertrain will offer 50 km of all-electric range and enhanced road scanning active suspension. Furthermore, the interior of the new vehicle is heavily overhauled, and the new A8 is the production pioneer in “highly automated driving.”
Features and Autonomous Driving
If you purchase the new A8, you will have to choose numerous optional features for the car, and one of the options is a so-called traffic jam pilot system. The system is responsible for driving at low speeds in nose-to-tail traffic on highways where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways. Cameras, short and long-range radar and ultrasonic sensors are connected to the system, which represents Audi’s first Level 2 automated driving system that comes with a laser scanner located in the front bumper. Autonomous driving is precise due to the information collected on the road.
The new system is in charge of starting, accelerating, braking and steering functions and as a driver, you just need to be aware of the surroundings and keep an eye on the road just in case. However, Audi is going step-by-step with the new system, and the autonomous tech will be introduced gradually.
Audi A8 Design and Size
The new A8 will see evolutionary rather than revolutionary changes regarding design and there are some new elements taken from the earlier Audi Prologue concept. At the front, the single frame grille is heavily redesigned, and it is now wider, plus, because of the prominent chrome surround, it looks more luxurious. The grille is flanked by the LED headlamps while the DRLs are also modified. Overall, the front end looks aggressive.
Meanwhile, we can see greater structuring along the flanks whereas there is a fine shoulder line which starts at the hood and it reaches the A-pillar. Another line goes below the windows and above the door handles while the lower section of the doors has a deep scallop. The trunk slopes away at a greater angle and the OLED taillights have the similar shape to the ones on the Prologue concept that was introduced in 2015.
Just like its predecessor, the 2018 Audi A8 is going to roll out of Audi’s Neckarsulm factory in Germany, and it will be available with two different wheelbase options. Both of the wheelbases have grown by 6mm, but only the longer one will go on sale in North America. The fourth-generation Audi A8 is 37mm longer and 13mm taller, but 4mm narrower than the previous model, which results in more cargo and passenger space inside the cabin.
Materials and Weight
About 58% of the A8’s body is made out of aluminum, but the company also used steel, magnesium and carbon fiber to shed as much weight as possible. Even though Audi tried so hard to reduce the weight of the new-generation car, the A8’s new bodyshell without the driveline gear and the interior is 51kg heavier than the one of the ongoing model. However, the new A8 is far safer than the previous model, and the upside is a 24% increase in stiffness when compared to the old structure. The curb weight of the new car has not been officially announced yet, but there is no doubt that Audi’s new flagship model will be heavier than the previous variant.
Audi A8 2018 Interior
The Audi’s cabin has been overhauled completely, and it has a brand-new look with a modern dashboard and revamped steering wheel. We have already mentioned that there is more space inside – the rear seat passengers get a 28mm increase in knee room and 14mm increase in headroom no matter whether you opt for a standard or a long-wheelbase model. This is a significant improvement, and the passengers will feel more comfortable.
Furthermore, Audi uses new lightweight seats in this vehicle, while you can also find a high-definition instrument graphics and a revised MMI system which comes with two displays. One of those is integrated into the middle of the fascia, and it has 10.1 inches diagonal whereas the second one is smaller measuring 8.6 inches and it is positioned within the front section of the center console.
Audi A8 will be equipped with the second-generation Modular Infotainment System or MIB which runs a quad-core processor from NVIDIA, and it is a lot faster than the previous generation. Furthermore, the 2018 Audi A8 comes with improved Bang Olufsen sound system, conversational voice control, and a self-learning navigation system.
The new flagship model from the German manufacturer is going to be available with two turbocharged V6 engines. One of the engines in a 3.0-liter direct injection turbo petrol that delivers 250 kW in the base model, whereas the other unit is also a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, but diesel good for 227 kW. Both powerplants will be connected to a new 48-volt electrical system which offers numerous mild-hybrid functions such as engine off coasting, extended start/stop operations and kinetic energy recuperation under braking.
Furthermore, the power will be delivered to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. However, at the beginning of 2018, Audi wants to add new engines to the lineup, and we expect to see a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 petrol unit with direct injection which will produce 356 kW. Also, a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 diesel will be added as well, and it should deliver 320 kW.
The version with the long wheelbase is going to be equipped with the W12 unit which is a modified variant of the Volkswagen Group’s W12 direct injection petrol powerplant. Despite the capacity reduction, this engine will produce 430 kW in the new A8. The German brand is full of surprises and next year we should see the L e-tron which is going to be powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine connected to the automatic transmission with integrated electric motor for the total output of 330 kW.
2018 Audi A8 Price
Audi still hasn’t revealed the pricing details for the new flagship, but we can make some guesses. The ongoing model costs $92,829 in Germany, and since the new model has been improved, there will be a price increase as well. However, the new Audi A8 will cost about $94,000, but we shall wait for the official announcement.
The new model is certainly improved, and with the wider grille and more beautiful exterior design, it looks more luxurious than the current model. Also, a variety of powerplants are expected, but not all of them will be introduced immediately. Interior has also been enhanced, and there is more space in the cabin. On the other hand, the new model is surprisingly heavier, but the small boost in power should cancel that out. The 2018 Audi A8 has yet to be tested for the full experience.
What do you think about the new vehicle?