In its fourth generation, the brand’s flagship model again provides the benchmark for Vorsprung durch Technik – with a new design language, an innovative touchscreen operating concept and a systematically electrified drive. The Audi A8 is also the first production automobile in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving. From 2018, Audi will gradually be taking piloted driving functions such as parking pilot, garage pilot and traffic jam pilot into production.

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. The starting price for the A8 is EUR 90,600, with the A8 L starting at EUR 94,100.

Doyen of Audi style: the exterior design

Sports appeal, lightweight construction and quattro – the design of the new A8 perfectly conveys Audi’s fundamental values. It embodies sporting elegance, sophistication and progressive status. The new flagship model takes the brand into a new design era.

The hexagonal Singleframe grille dominates the sedan’s upright front end. With its low position and width, it determines all adjoining lines and surfaces. The headlight shapes merge perfectly with the Singleframe. With the optional HD Matrix LED headlights, the daytime running lights are a visual extension of the grille’s top lamella. The segmented light signature divides the headlights horizontally, creating an elegant overall impression. Substantial chrome frames surround the air inlets, with a flat center inlet connecting them.

The Side View Silhouette

The side view with the coup√©-like silhouette highlights the sporty character of the new A8. Its proportions accentuate both the front and rear wheels – prominent muscular shapes above the wheels are pointers to the brand’s quattro DNA. The low shoulder line starts right up at the headlights and runs across the door handles as far back as the rear lights. A fold below the window capping also emphasizes length. The sill rises to the rear in typical Audi style and lends the new A8 a dynamism worthy of a luxury-class car.

The rear end is inclined slightly in the direction of travel, appearing to push the sedan along even when stationary. The defining element of a lighting strip extends across the entire width. It radiates high intrinsic value thanks to the embedded chrome strip. The segmented OLEDs adjoin at its ends and combine to form a signature. Another chrome strip in the lower part of the bumper integrates the trapezoidal trims of the exhaust system.

There is a choice of twelve colors for the A8, including the new Audi colors Terra Gray, Vesuvius Gray and Seville Red. The colors Impala Beige and Navarra Blue are available for the A8 for the first time. Via the Audi exclusive program, customers can also have the luxury sedan supplied in a color of their personal choice. For those who want their car to create an even more striking visual impact, there is the option of a chrome exterior package.

HD Matrix LED, laser, OLED: the lighting

Audi leads the way in lighting technology and design. In the new A8, the technologies interact intelligently with the surroundings. For example, Audi laser lighting is used here for the first time with HD Matrix LED high beams. The laser spot is identified by an X-shape shutter and is also accentuated by blue ambient lighting. The daytime running lights with the vertical segments emphasize the technical elegance of the headlights. The laser spot is activated from a speed of 70 km/h (43.5 mph) and doubles the range of the high beam.

Each HD Matrix LED high-beam unit consists of 32 small, individually controlled light-emitting diodes that project the light in two lines. This new configuration ensures that the A8 provides even more dynamic and precise illumination together with the variable-control low-beam headlights. The light cone blanks out exclusively other road users, so as not to dazzle them. The high-precision control for the HD Matrix LED high beam is based on data supplied by the front camera.

Even more efficient: engines with MHEV technology

At its market introduction in Europe, the new Audi A8 will start out with two extensively reengineered V6 turbo engines, a 3.0 TDI with 210 kW (286 hp) and a 3.0 TFSI with 250 kW (340 hp). The two V8 versions will follow: The 4.0 TDI develops 320 kW (435 hp), and the 4.0 TFSI has a power output of 338 kW (460 hp). Also appearing later on is the W12 for the A8 L, developing 430 kW (585 hp). All engines offer supreme refinement, ample performance and high efficiency. The new mild hybrid technology (MHEV, mild hybrid electric vehicle) drives down fuel consumption even further – by as much as 0.7 liters (0.3 US gal) of fuel per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) in real driving conditions. Particulate filters for the gasoline engines will follow in 2018.