Wel­come the mus­cu­lar A8

Audi fi­nally re­veals its flag­ship lux­ury sedan

Evo India - - FIRST LOOK -

AUDI CLAIMS THE NEW A8 to be its most ad­vanced and so­phis­ti­cated ever. It re­ally needs to be if it wants to fight the amaz­ing BMW 7 Se­ries and the re­cently up­graded Mercedes-Benz S-Class (yet to be launched in In­dia). The model is im­por­tant as the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances will be fil­tered down to other cars in the com­pany’s lineup in the fu­ture. The A8 comes with class lead­ing au­ton­o­mous driv­ing wiz­ardry, light­weight ar­chi­tec­ture and phe­nom­e­nal ef­fi­ciency. But how does it all come to­gether?

For geeks

The fo­cus is not on per­for­mance right now and Audi plans to un­der­pin Panam­era's V8 in the fu­ture, but more on that later. The all-new alu­minium ar­chi­tec­ture in­cor­po­rates light weight ma­te­ri­als to re­duce ex­cess fat. It gets an adap­tive chas­sis, al­low­ing the car to al­ter its sus­pen­sion set­tings as per the road sur­face. It also helps in re­duc­ing body roll when hard cor­ner­ing and ad­justs pitch during heavy brak­ing and ac­cel­er­a­tion. Con­sid­er­ing the new car is longer than the ear­lier it­er­a­tion by 37mm (both, short and long wheel­base vari­ants), the new chas­sis will clearly help the lux­ury sedan drive like a smaller sized car.

The fourth gen­er­a­tion A8 range will also come with 'mild hy­brid' tech and util­is­ing a 48-volt cir­cuit, gen­er­at­ing elec­tric power in ad­di­tion to the ICE. This will equate to lin­ear and re­fined power de­liv­ery along with im­proved fuel ef­fi­ciency. The lithium-ion bat­tery is stored in the boot and

Audi’s Piloted Drive soft­ware al­lows for full auto pi­lot for speeds up to 60kmph

al­lows you to coast for up to 40 sec­onds also of­fer­ing power surge in city con­di­tions, when pulling away from stand­still. Audi claims that about 0.7-litre of fuel will be saved per 100km, de­pend­ing on the driv­ing style and con­di­tions. Sure, the fig­ure does not sound im­pres­sive, but tech­nol­ogy is the game in this seg­ment. And the good news is that the A8 comes with rear­wheel steer­ing and Audi claims that the car is as ag­ile as the A4. The com­pany is also fo­cus­ing on mak­ing it more en­thu­si­ast friendly as com­pared to the other car.

The A8 de­buted in the movie Spi­derman Home­com­ing, where the scene fo­cused on au­ton­o­mous driv­ing. Audi's Piloted Drive soft­ware was also show­cased at the launch which al­lows for full auto pi­lot for speeds up to 60kmph. The driver gets a buf­fer time of eight to ten sec­onds to take com­plete con­trol.

On the inside too, the pan­els are now sleeker with min­i­mal ana­logue com­po­nents. The in­te­rior is slightly in­spired by the Panam­era, re­plete with touch­screen con­trols for the rear passengers as well. The dash­board is flanked by a cen­trally mounted 10.5-inch touch­screen com­bined with another 8.6-inch dis­play for the cli­mate con­trol func­tions. The four-spoke steer­ing wheel looks unique and comes with lots of con­trols.

Let's talk per­for­mance

The head­liner will be a 3-litre V6 TDI unit, de­vel­op­ing 282bhp. In terms of the cleaner fuel, the A8 will get a 335bhp V6 twin-turbo 3-litre unit with tur­bocharger. In the Euro­pean mar­ket, Audi has also added a 4-litre V8 tur­bod­iesel unit that makes a whop­ping 429bhp! There will also be the A8 L e-tron, com­bin­ing both elec­tric and in­ter­nal com­bus­tion power and ob­vi­ously, the W12 will fol­low up in the fu­ture, at some point. But the main­stay will be driver friendly S8 and S8 Plus vari­ants, which will come with Porsche de­vel­oped twin­tur­bocharged V8 which pow­ers the Panam­era as well as the Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT.

The en­gine churns out 542bhp and 770Nm of torque, which helps the Panam­era pro­pel to 100kmph in just 3.8 sec­onds. The top speed is rated at 306kmph. Ob­vi­ously, Porsche is ex­pected to slightly de­tune the en­gine to around 530bhp as the A8 could eat into the Panam­era’s sales. The S8 will still be quick and 100kmph should be doable in around 4 sec­onds with a top speed of 298kmph.

De­tails will be re­vealed once the A8 makes its de­but at the Frank­furt mo­tor show in Septem­ber. Should you wait for it or get the 7 Se­ries? We sug­gest you wait and watch.

Top: The rear seat is wor­thy of a flag­ship lux­ury sedan. Be­low: The new A8 is 37mm longer than the cur­rent one

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