The new Audi A8 luxury saloon has been spotted testing at the infamous Nurburgring circuit. These images from Paultan are our best look so far at this new Mercedes S-Class rival. Reports suggest it’ll boast Audi Piloted Drive technology, a feature that allows it to drive autonomously at speeds up to 37mph. Read on to find out everything we know so far…
In anticipation of the new A8’s launch, many Audi dealers will be keen to offer discounts on the outgoing model – check out the deals available using our Audi A8 configurator. If you’re not sure what to buy, read our best luxury cars list or take a look at our deals pages and car chooser tool.
Images show the new car’s styling appears to borrow heavily from the 2014 Prologue concept car. Distinctive slim headlights and broad brake lights stretching across the boot lid are visible, along with a wide hexagonal grille featuring large air intakes at either side.
It’s been reported that the new car will be built using the latest version of Volkswagen’s MLB Evo platform. This same chassis can be found underpinning the Audi Q7 SUV and the luxurious Bentley Bentayga – its flexibility could allow both V6 and V8 engines and plug-in hybrid power options to be fitted to the new A8.
A range-topping version powered by a W12 petrol engine is also expected to go on sale. This model could use the same lag-reducing electric turbocharging technology as the SQ7 SUV. It’s also possible that a fully electric model could be added to the A8 range in the future.
Reports suggest the new car will cost approximately the same as the current model. As a result, entry-level cars powered by V6 engine could cost from around £64,000. The new A8’s expanded lineup, with its greater mix of engines and hybrid options than the current generation, makes it more difficult to predict how much range-topping versions will cost, however.
Save money on your new Audi
If you can’t wait to park a new car on your driveway, use our Audi A8 configurator to get a great deal on the current model. Dealers keen to clear space in their showrooms for the new model could offer some surprisingly good deals, too. If you’re not sure what car you want, take a look at our deals pages and car chooser tool for help making a decision.
Audi A8 price, specs and release date (updated May 2016)
Audi is preparing a replacement to its A8 luxury saloon, which has been spied testing ahead of it’s official unveiling. It’s a car due to showcase some of the most advanced automotive tech available – something it’ll need if it’s to keep pace with the space-age BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class.
In addition to autonomous driving functions, a sea of in-car gadgets and plug-in hybrid systems, the A8 will feature a 48 Volt electrical system to control its advanced suspension system.
New Audi A8 styling
Though no official images of the new A8 have been revealed yet, but early spy shots of camouflaged prototypes courtesy of Autoblog.gr suggest that the upcoming fourth-generation model will be the first Audi to draw heavily from the 2014 Prologue Concept. This means that we can expect the front to sport an oversized front grille and the rear to feature wide, slim tail lights.
As seen most recently on the TT RS, the A8’s lighting front and rear is likely to make the most of organic LED tech. OLED units not only allow for an extremely efficient, precise beam, but more intricate designs from a cosmetic point of view.
New Audi A8 interior
With Audi’s most expensive cabins frequently topping the desirability stakes, we’re expecting the new A8 to be one of the most beautifully-appointed cars on the road. Like the outside, the interior is likely to take plenty of inspiration from the Prologue. Expect a bare minimum of buttons on the dash, helped in no small part by the A8’s capacity to allow the driver to alter functions like the hi-fi volume and air conditioning via a series of hand gestures.
New Audi A8 driving and engines
The A8 will ride upon a variant of the platform used by the current Q7. Its structure is able to house petrol, diesel or hybrid powertrains, plus fully electric systems – so though unconfirmed currently, a Tesla Model S-rivalling A8 EV remains a possibility.
What is certain, however is that the A8 will make use of electric supercharging. Already seen on the Audi SQ7, the trick boosting system works in tandem with a pair of turbochargers to provide extra shove at low engine speeds. The tech contributes to the SQ7’s crazy 664lb ft torque peak. The design can be applied to a wide range of engines, and may work alongside a plug-in hybrid option. A regular hybrid will also be offered, delivering a shorter electric-only range but with a lower purchase price.
The hybrid technology would help to recharge the 48V electrical setup necessary for Audi’s Active Roll Control to function. Active Roll Control makes use of electronically controlled dampers and roll bars, which work together to ensure that the A8’s significant bulk remains level – even during quick cornering.
Of course, if you’d rather let the car do the driving, the A8 looks set to offer that choice, too. Audi’s autonomous driving tech makes use of numerous radars, ultrasonic scanners, laser scanners and cameras to allow the car to drive itself in busy traffic at speeds of up to 37mph.
New Audi A8 prices and release date
The all-new Audi A8 is expected to hit showrooms in early 2017, with prices for entry-level models not varying drastically from today’s prices.