AUDI unveils its new A8 + A8 L: the future of the luxury class

AUDI unveils its new A8 + A8 L: the future of the luxury class

AUDI debuts the ‘A8’, and ‘A8 L’ models with piloted driving functions, letting the ultra-long cars drive on their own in traffic at 37.3 mph 60 (km/h). a front-facing camera, radar sensors and lasers scans the vehicles surroundings, letting the driver take a break from the wheel of the german-manufacturer’s level-three autonomous ‘A8’. while with a volvoXC90‘, or a tesla, they can drive themselves in traffic, but they will also require the driver’s full attention for monitoring movements.

all images © AUDI



in its fourth generation, AUDI’s ‘A8’ model provides a new design language, an innovative touchscreen operating concept, and a systematically electrified drive. it is also the first production automobile in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving. from 2018, the german-automaker will be taking piloted driving functions such as parking pilot, garage pilot and traffic jam pilot, and will roll these out across all production ‘A8’, and ‘A8 L’ models.



the ‘A8’s’ exterior design is stylistically defining, with the front end, wide upright single-frame grille, and muscular body symbolizing a sporty elegance with sophistication. the luxury sedan possesses a powerful presence – whether in the 17.0 ft (5.17 m) standard version, or the ‘A8 L’, with a 13 cm (5.1 in) longer wheelbase.



freedom is the ‘A8’s’ defining feature inside the the vehicle, with a luxury-look resembling to a spacious lounge. compared to the predecessor model, it has grown substantially in length in both body versions. the range of equipment and materials is extensive, with every detail highlighting a bespoke quality – from the perforation in the seat upholstery, to the electrically opened and closed shutters on the air vents.



the hot seat in AUDI’s new flagship model is in the rear right – the optional ‘relaxation seat’ in the ‘A8 L’ that comes with four different adjustment options, and a footrest. sat here, the passenger can warm and massage the soles of their feet on a unit with settings incorporated into the back of the front-passenger seat. the comfort head restraints complete the experience. rear passengers can also control an array of functions such as ambient lighting, HD matrix reading lights and seat massage, plus make private phone calls, via a separate operating unit. the rear seat remote, with its oLED display as large as a smartphone, is a removable unit housed in the center armrest.



the ‘A8’ can also engage in conversation, letting the driver activate an array of functions in the automobile using a natural form of voice control. the extensively optimized navigation is another feature: it is self-learning, based on the route just driven. this provides the driver with intelligent search suggestions. the map also incorporates highly detailed 3D models of major european cities.



the traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking. drivers no longer needs to monitor the car permanently. they can take their hands off the steering wheel 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 asks the driver to take back control of the driving.


from a technical perspective the level-three autonomoy traffic jam pilot is revolutionary. during piloted driving, a central driver assistance controller (ZFAS) permanently computes an image of the surroundings by merging the sensor data. as well as the radar sensors, a front camera and the ultrasonic sensors, AUDI is the first car manufacturer also to use a laser scanner. the introduction of the AI traffic jam pilot means the statutory framework will need to be clarified in each individual market, along with the country-specific definition of the application and testing of the system. the brand’s high quality standards are equally applicable in the realm of highly automated driving.



the new models start out in the german market with two extensively-re-engineered V6 turbo engines: a 3.0 TDI and a 3.0 TFSI. the diesel develops 286 hp (210 kW), and the gasoline version 340 hp (250 kW). two eight-cylinder versions – a 4.0 TDI with 435 hp (320 kw), and a 4.0 TFSI with 460 hp (338 kw) – will follow at a later date according to AUDI. the top engine version is the ‘W12’ with a displacement of 6.0 liters.



all five engines operate with a belt alternator starter (BAS), which is the nerve center of the 48-volt electrical system. this mild hybrid technology (MHEV) 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 combined effect of these measures is to bring down the fuel consumption of the already efficient engines even further – by as much as 0.7 liters (0.2 US gal) per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) in real driving conditions.


the ‘A8 L e-tron quattro’ with a powerful plug-in hybrid drive will follow at a later date: its 3.0 TFSI and powerful electric motor achieve 449 hp (330 kw) of power and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. the lithium-ion battery stores enough power for about 50 kilometers (31.1 mi) of electric driving. according to the german-automokaer it can even be charged by wireless charging — a pad in the garage floor transfers the power inductively to a receiver coil in the automobile with a power output of 3.6 kW.



the new AUDI ‘A8’ and ‘A8 L’ are being built at the neckarsulm site and will appear on the german market in late fall 2017.

  • $80k+ vehicle and the UI STILL looks any other UI from an OEM distributor. You would think they could make some improvements, or possibly follow some common design patterns.

    SWhite says:

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