The all-new Audi A8 made its world debut at the Audi Summit in Barcelona on 11 July 2017. In its fourth generation, the flagship model again sets the benchmark for Vorsprung durch Technik with a new design language, an innovative touchscreen operating concept and systematic drivetrain electrification. The Audi A8 is also the first production car in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving.
The fourth generation Audi A8 has made its debut with two extensively reengineered V6 turbo engines: a 3.0 TDI and a 3.0 TFSI. The diesel develops 286PS, and the petrol version 340PS. An eight-cylinder TDI – a 4.0-litre with 435PS – will follow. The exclusive top engine version is the W12 with a displacement of 6.0 litres. All five engines operate in conjunction with a belt alternator starter (BAS), which is the nerve centre of the 48-volt electrical system. This mild hybrid technology (MHEV, mild hybrid electric vehicle) enables the car to coast with the engine switched off, and to restart effortlessly. It also has an extended start/stop function and energy recovery output of up to 12 kW.
The fourth generation all-new Audi A8 is the first production car to have been specifically developed for highly automated driving.
The Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes control of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 37mph on major roads where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways. The traffic jam pilot controls starting, accelerating, steering and braking.
As soon as the system reaches its limits, it calls on the driver to take back control of the task of driving.
From a technical standpoint the traffic jam pilot is revolutionary. During piloted driving, a central driver assistance controller now 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.
Space is now often considered to be the ultimate luxury, and compared to its predecessor the new A8 has grown substantially in length in both body styles.
Occupants can now relax in even more inspiring surroundings, with every detail radiating unmatched bespoke quality – from the perforation in the seat upholstery to the electrically opening and closing shutters on the air vents. The new comfort head restraints complete the experience. Rear passengers can also control an array of functions such as ambient lighting, the new HD Matrix reading lights and seat massage, and can make private phone calls via a separate operating unit. The rear seat remote control, with its smartphone-size OLED display, is a detachable unit contained in the centre armrest.
The Audi AI (Artificial Intelligence) remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot independently steer the A8 into and out of a parking space or a garage, while the manoeuvre is observed by the driver. The driver does not need to be sitting in the car – he or she can start the appropriate system from their smartphone using the myAudi app. It broadcasts a live feed of the parking manoeuvre taken from the car’s 360-degree cameras on their handheld device for easy monitoring.
The Audi A8 has quattro as standard. The quattro system in the A8 is the Self-locking centre differential. This system uses a 50:50 power bias in normal driving conditions, dividing the torque equally between front and rear wheels. When needed, quattro in the A8 can send up to 100% of the power to the front or rear wheels, wherever it’s needed.