When it comes to luxury saloons, the Audi A8 is hard to beat and it’s about to get even better when a new model goes on sale later this year.
The first official shots of the fourth-generation A8 have just popped up online and there’s a lot riding on Audi’s new flagship model.
Sure, the A8 has never looked swisher but the car will have the honour of introducing a new design language, which will dictate the look of the next A3 and A4 in a few years’ time.
It will also debut an innovative touchscreen system and will be the first production car in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving.
Translated, that means the car will feature Audi’s AI traffic jam pilot, which can assume driving control in slow-moving traffic at speeds up to 37mph on major roads wherever a physical barrier separates the two carriageways. Think of it as a step-on from lane keeping assist.
Two new three-litre V6 turbo engines – a 282bhp TDI diesel and a 335bhp TFSI petrol – will make their debut in the A8, before a brand-new eight-cylinder four-litre 429bhp TDI joins the range in 2018. A monstrous six-litre W12 will be available from launch too.
Compared to the third-gen model, the new A8 is substantially longer, and just like before, will be offered in standard length – now 5.17 metres – and the A8L, with a wheelbase that is 13cm longer.
One of the A8’s most luxurious features is the rear left seat, which comes with four different adjustment options, a footrest and electric heating.
Other rear passengers get comfort head restraints and adjustable ambient lighting, HD Matrix reading lights, seat massage, and the option to make private phone calls via a separate operating unit.
Built at Germany’s Neckarsulm plant, the new A8 will be available to order from September and start appearing on UK roads in late 2017.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “It looks like Audi is going all out with this new A8. It promises to set a new benchmark not just for Audis, but luxury saloons too.”
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