A8’s suspension scans the road for bumps
From Page 1 modern smartphones. Audi says an array of functionality can be accessed with a new voice control system, which works with more natural speech inputs. We’ve yet to experience a voice control system in any car which understands spoken words without a glitch, but we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve tried it.
The new A8’s navigation system has also been optimised with a “self-learning” feature based on frequently driven routes. Audi has offered very little detail on this, saying only that it provides the driver with intelligent search functions - we assume this means it can learn your favourite Chinese food joint or after-work hang out spots.
Another A8 highlight is the suspension system that uses a camera to ‘read’ the road ahead and reset the suspension on each wheel individually in advance for each bump or pothole.
This active air suspension system can raise or lower each wheel separately, and can even instantly raise one side of the car to better shield the occupants if a side collision is imminent. The system is self-leveling, minimising rolling during cornering and pitching during acceleration and braking, so the VIP in the back can work, surf the net or simply relax relatively undisturbed.
Internationally, the new A8 will be offered with five engines, the range initially kicking off with extensively reengineered six-cylinder 3.0 TFSI (250kW) and 3.0 TDI (210kW) units, followed shortly afterwards by 4.0 TFSI (338kW) and 4.0 TDI (320kW) V8s and a 6-litre W12 petrol engine for which Audi has yet to disclose any numbers.
But which engines will be offered in South Africa? Audi says the local line-up will be confirmed closer to its launch, which is scheduled for the second half of 2018.