Prologue to Audi’s next A8 model?
The latest technology in concept Audi is totally mindblowing
LTHOUGH it’s quite clearly a two-door coupé, Audi’s new Prologue concept car is likely previewing the brand’s next-generation A8 sedan – due for release in 2016.
Audi, as usual when a concept graces a showstand (at this week’s LA Auto Show in this case), says the Prologue offers a peek at future design language for upcoming models, but specific reference to its current A8 in terms of dimension and features indicates that there’s probably more to this one than just the shape of its headlights.
So, if the Prologue concept’s features make it into production soon, the next A8, or perhaps an even more upmarket A9, could get wheel sizes up to 22 inches, four-wheel steering, a more powerful 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, and all sorts of technologically advanced interior goodies.
The Prologue’s exterior design is not at all unlike the soon to be launched in SA new TT, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that other future models will get similarly sculpted aesthetics.
It’s what’s inside that’s most important here, and a new monoblock-like dashboard almost completely plastered across its entire width with touchscreen displays could be just the shot of modernism Audi’s flagship needs most. Drivers get their own touchscreen to the left (this car is left-hand drive) of the steering wheel for lighting and other drive-assist functions, and front passengers get a massive screen dedicated to infotainment. Passengers can also safely input things like route guidance and destination, and then “swipe” them over to the driver for use.
A new software program called “The Butler” can identify drivers by their smartphones and adjust everything from seat position, to climate control, to music choice, to navigation settings to suit, and passengers can all have their devices charged by a mechanism called Easy Slot in the cabin-dividing centre console. The Prologue also previews a new 48-volt electrical subsystem which can supply the car’s many electrical requirements.
This new system is recharged via a powerful starter/generator, which kicks in under braking and has an output of 12kW on its own.
Some of these items may also appear in the new Q7 SUV, which is scheduled for launch in 2016.
Audi’s gorgeous Prologue concept car – launched at the Los Angeles show – offers an intriguing glimpse of the company’s future styling cues.