The fourth-generation Audi A8 will arrive in Australia in July with new powertrains and state-of-the art driver assistance technology priced from $192,000.
While that’s a pretty hefty price tag for us mere mortals, it’s a bit of a value buy compared with the $198,855 entry-level price of the previous model, considering the generational leap in powertrain and active safety technology.
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It also gives you about $20,000 change from the similarly-powered and specced BMW 730d that kicks off its fellow-German rival’s luxo sedan range.
The new Audi A8 is the first to use the German brand’s new nomenclature that ditches engine sizes to a less-than-intuitive number system that reflects the car’s engine size and spec-levels, says the company.
This means what was the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel A8 3.0 TDI quattro has been replaced by the A8 50 TDI powered by a 3.0-litre V6 oil burner that produces 210kW/600Nm - 20kW/20Nm more than its predecessor.
The A8 range again features a long-wheel-base version called the A8 L 50 TDI quattro, which adds an additional 130mm in overall length for boosted room in the second row of seating.
The new A8 range also scores a couple of petrol variants, the A8 55 TFSI quattro stretched A8 L 55 TFSI quattro, that are powered by a 250kW/500Nm 3.0-litre V6 engine and, while not yet officially confirmed, a performance flagship S8 is almost a certainty later on.
Both V6 engines feature new mild-hybrid technology that uses a belt alternator/starter (BAS) and 10 Ah compact lithium-ion battery that allow A8 to coast at speeds between 55 and 160km/h with the engine off, resulting in fuel savings of up to 0.7 litres per 100km.
Fuel economy is also enhanced by the revised version of its Audi Space Frame (ASF) architecture, which makes the fourth-generation A8 10 percent lighter and 24 percent more rigid than its predecessor.
The light frame also improves handling, that’s further enhanced by adaptive air suspension, with electronically-controlled dampers as standard equipment, and also provides the A8 with four ride height options and improved ride comfort.
A more advanced active suspension system, that uses cameras to detect bumps in the road and adjusts a titanium torsion bar attached to each wheel to help smooth out the ride, will be available next year.
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Styling wise the new Audi A8 a broader ‘Singleframe’ grille and sleek new HD Matrix LED headlights, while the chiselled rear-end shows off a full-length light strip.
The plush interior design has been completely overhauled, with a dual high-resolution 10.1- and 8.6-inch touchscreens occupying the entire centre stack, with the top-screen displaying MMI navigation, audio and phone data, the bottom showing climate control functions. The new operating system uses haptic feedback and voice control, which Audi claims is more user-friendly than the old rotary dial.
The long-wheelbase A8 L variants are available with an optional rear 'relaxation seat' that provides extensive adjustment options and back massage, as well as a footrest with heating and a full massage function for the soles of the feet.
Standard comfort features include:
- Panoramic glass sunroof
- Audi virtual cockpit
- Audi connect
- DAB+ Digital Radio
- Audi smartphone interface with phone box light
- 17-speaker, 730W Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System –
- Audi music interface with x2 front and x2 rear USB outlets
- Rear seat remote control
The Audi A8 also comes with a scrolling list of active safety and driver assistance features that contribute toward achieving Level 3 Autonomy.
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- Adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go and traffic jam assist
- 360 degree cameras with 3D view
- ‘Audi pre-sense front and pre-sense rear’ with auto-braking
- Audi active lane assist
- Audi side assist with cross traffic assist
- Collision avoidance assist and turn assist
- Intersection assist (which warns of traffic approaching from the side)
- Efficiency assist
- Head-up display.
Being an Audi there will also be a considerable range of option packages allowing customers to tailor their A8 to their individual tastes and requirements.
MY2019 Audi A8 pricing
- A8 50 TDI quattro tiptronic - $192,000
- A8 50 TFSI quattro tiptronic - $195,000
- A8 L 50 TDI quattro tiptronic - $207,000
- A8 L 55 TFSI quattro tiptronic - $210,000