2018 Audi A8 revealed

Fourth-gen A8 scores active high-tech suspension, W12 engine, AI-style ‘pilot-driving’ mode

2018 Audi A8

Audi’s next-gen A8 limo – and it’s top-end A8 L brother – is set to receive tech that will allow it to drive itself in a traffic jam.

It’s so tech-packed that Audi decided to reveal the car to the world using a giant robot arm, which held the car aloft and moved around at the official launch.

From the list of features Audi says the A8 will arrive with, however, the robot arm doesn’t seem out of place at all.

2018 Audi A8 side profileThe German limo will be able to drive itself through traffic at under 60km/h thanks to its ‘traffic jam pilot’, which takes care of starting, accelerating, steering and braking.

Drivers can completely take their hand of the wheel (if the law allows, of course), though Audi says the car will alert the driver when it can no longer do the job itself.

The A8 will also have the ability to self-park, and the driver doesn’t even need to be in the car.

“To monitor the parking maneuver, they hold the Audi AI button pressed to watch a live display from the car’s 360 degree cameras on their device.”

2018 Audi A8 engineThe engines that will be available for the A8 range from a turbo diesel V6 to a 6.0-litre petrol W12, which will can found in the engine bay of the ‘L’ variant.

Power outputs for V6 and V8 engines are quoted by Audi as follows, though the W12’s figures are yet to be confirmed:

  • 3.0 V6 TDI – 210kW
  • 3.0 V6 TFSI – 250kW
  • 4.0 V8 TDI – 320kW
  • 4.0 V8 TFSI – 338kW

Audi also says an e-tron version is on the way, with a 330kW/700Nm 3.0TFSI and electric motor combo.

2018 Audi A8 front facingFully active suspension will also be an addition to the A8, with the car able to raise or lower each wheel “separately with electric actuators”.

In turn the car can vary its ride style from that of a luxury cruiser to something Audi says has “dynamism of a sports car”.

Australians buying more sports cars for over $80K

Additionally, the A8 gets all-wheel steering, which turns the rear wheels slightly to assist precision or smoother turns, depending on speed.

“The steering ratio for the front wheels varies as a function of speed; the rear wheels are turned in or against the direction of steering depending on the speed range.”

2018 Audi A8 interiorWith a base price of 90,600 euros ($134,800 AUD), the Audi A8 isn’t going to be a budget-friendly offering when it finally show up down under at some point in the middle of 2018.

Even the previous 2.8-litre TDI had a whopping $250K price tag attached.



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