The new Audi A8 is to face its premiere at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show, it is due to go on sale shortly with the first deliveries in the UK expected Janaury 2014.
The key features are revisions to the aluminium body with a raft of technological advances including new MatrixBeam LED headlights and an upgraded line-up of EU6-compliant engines.
The footprint of the Audi A8 remains the same at length (5.14 metres), wheelbase (2.99 metres), width (1.95 metres) and height (1.46 metres). The A8 L models gain 13 centimetres of wheelbase and body length in the interest of rear passenger space.Audi A8 MatrixBeam and Lighting
You can now specifiy for the A8 the new MatrixBeam Light Emitting Diode (LED) headlights that comprise 25 individual LEDs per unit that can be switched on and off or dimmed individually depending on the situation. This enables the headlight system to react precisely to other vehicles while always brightly illuminating the road. When the on-board camera detects other vehicles ahead, the Audi MatrixBeam LED headlights mask the relevant sections of the high-beam by dimming or shutting off individual diodes.
Cleverly the lighting system in the A8 uses predictive route data from the navigation system with MMI Touch to adjust the distribution of light in response to the current driving situation, and can recognise and act on route data, such as corners and road classifications.
There are even LED indicators containing 18 LEDs arranged in a strip that is subdivided into seven blocks. Each tail light indicator section contains 24 LEDs in eight blocks. When activated, the blocks are sequentially illuminated at 20 millisecond intervals, from the inside outwards in the desired turning direction. After 150 milliseconds, all segments are bright; for another 250 milliseconds they illuminate with full intensity. After very briefly extinguishing completely, they then repeat the sequence.Audi A8 Engine Line Up
The engine line up for the new A8 remains the same but the majority of the power plants have been revised to improve performance and efficiency.
The supercharged 3.0 TFSI petrol engine is boosted from 290PS to 310PS, the V8 twin-turbo 4.0 TFSI moves from 420PS to 435PS. The 3.0 TDI increases from 250PS to 258PS, on the official combined cycle it returns 47.9 mpg and emitting CO2 155 g/km.
The 4.2 TDI gains an extra 35PS, taking it to 385PS with 850 Nm of torque and is capable of 0 - 62 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The Audi A8 L W12 quattro remains at the top of the pack with its 6.3 litre power plant which produces 500PS, yet will return 24.1 mpg on the official combined cycle.
If it is performance you are looking for the S8 could be the car of choice with its 520PS 4.0 TFSI engine that will take it from 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds, will return up to 28 mpg on the combined cycle and outputs to 235 grams CO2 per kilometre.
The A8 Hybrid combines a 2.0 TFSI engine and electric motor to produce a system output of 245PS - with a range of 1.9 miles in pure EV mode and a top speed of 62 mph under battery power. The A8 hybrid returns up to 44.8mpg and emits 147 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
All engines satisfy the new Euro 6 standard and are fitted with eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission which transmits power to all four wheels via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system in all six, eight and twelve-cylinder versions.Audi A8 Options
You can now opt for Audi active lane assist, which makes slight steering adjustments when necessary, is new to the A8, as is the park assist system with 360 degree display, which handles steering when parking, and the head-up display, which projects important data in the driver's field of vision on the windscreen. The night vision assistant can now also recognise larger animals in addition to pedestrians.
On the infotainment front, Audi connect is available as a supplement to MMI navigation plus. It uses an integrated UMTS module to connect the new A8 to the Internet. Passengers can surf and e-mail via a WLAN hotspot subject to network coverage. For the driver, the system delivers the tailored online services from Audi connect, such as online traffic information, Google Earth, Google Street View and online news, to the car. The audio highlights are the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System and the Rear Seat Entertainment system which includes two displays, Bluetooth headphones and a DVD player.Audi A8 Prices and Availability
The new Audi A8 is expected to reach its first UK customers in January 2014. We will announce full pricing and the UK specifications information in due course.
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