A8’s sus­pen­sion scans the road for bumps

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING -

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.

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