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Cars

Audi A8

Words by Edgar Daily

The Audi A8 reads the road for a smoother journey

The first public reveal of the all-new Audi A8 was an extravaganza, showing the world’s media in Barcelona not only the company’s new flagship but also the future of driving. Its restyled one-piece grille and front bumper carries the new look first seen on the A5 and it now features wider haunches over the guards along with fatter curves that are designed to emphasise its all-wheel drive platform.

But, overall, the A8 hasn’t taken any bold leaps in terms of styling. The rear is a little more adventurous, incorporating a new tail with wrap around lights and a flashy, full-width red LED display across the boot, but other than that, it’s solid Audi design DNA throughout. Look past the face paint however and underneath it’s a technological tour de force that promises a magic carpet ride for rear seat passengers who will be its primary audience.

Thanks to the use of electrically-operated actuators in the suspension that are powered off a 48-volt system, they operate each wheel to keep the ride silky smooth over pot holes and rough surfaces. Using front-mounted cameras, they literally read the road ahead 18 times a second and make the appropriate adjustments before the wheel reaches that part of the road.

1

The Specs

Engine

4.0-litre, V8 twin-turbo

Power

460bhp

Torque

TBA

Transmission

eight-speed auto quattro A

0-100kmh

TBA

Top speed

TBA

Price

AED 400,000

The interior is more like a spacious lounge room than a car, being substantially longer than the previous model at 5.1 metres while the long wheelbase A8 L (5.3m) comes with four different adjustment options including a footrest where the passenger can warm and massage their feet on a unit with multiple settings incorporated into the back of the front passenger seat.

The new A8 is the first production car developed specially for highly automated driving. Its Traffic Jam Pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60kmh by managing the starting, accelerating, steering and braking functions. Depending on the laws in various countries, the driver can take their hands off the steering wheel permanently and focus on other things such as watching the on-board TV or checking emails. The new A8 should land in UAE showrooms by the second quarter of 2018 with starting prices at around AED 400,000 and will be powered by a choice of either the 340bhp, 3-litre, V6 or the 460bhp, 4-litre V8 with the traditional 6-litre W12 flagship coming later.

And being Audi, of course all models include the company’s signature Quattro all-wheel drive system as standard.

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