The new Audi A8 is almost here, and it’s the German firm’s most technologically advanced car ever. Arriving in showrooms by the end of the year, the 2018 A8 will see its range expanded further throughout the next 12 months, with additional models including a new plug-in hybrid e-Tron variant.
Entry-level pricing has already been announced, along with some truly innovative tech features. Here is our guide to everything you need to know about Audi’s all-new executive flagship.
2018 Audi A8 specifications
Audi has confirmed that the new A8 will be offered with two engine choices at launch – both 3.0-litre V6s. One will be petrol and the other diesel.
The range will be extended in 2018, with a 6.0-litre W12 petrol and some diesel V8s, along with an e-Tron model, which will be a plug-in hybrid. The e-Tron will get a turbocharged V6 and, with the electric motor, will give the equivalent of 700Nm of torque, along with an electric-only range of around 30 miles.
Two wheelbases will be available, the A8 and the longer A8L, which is targeted at chauffeurs and those who prefer to be driven.
The A8 will go head-to-head with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series, but will trump both of its key rivals with its advanced tech.
Audi A8 technology
The A8 has a number of innovative functions that we can expect to cascade down across the rest of the Audi range as familiarity increases.
The big story is that it’ll be the first car on the sale with ‘Level 3’ autonomous tech, which will allow it to start, accelerate, steer and brake on any road where there is a solid barrier between carriageways. The system is known as Traffic Jam Pilot and works at speeds of up to 37mph, essentially requiring no input from the driver.
The system is operated by 12 ultrasonic sensors on the front, sides and rear, four 360-degree cameras on the front, rear and side mirrors, a long-range radar and laser scanner at the front, a front camera at the top of the windscreen and a mid-range radar at each corner. It can also be self-parked with the driver not in the vehicle.
Another innovation will feature on the e-Tron, which will be the first electric car to introduce wireless charging, via a pad that can be fitted to your driveway or garage floor.
Other features in the new A8 will include an optional ‘massage chair’ in the rear, which will be provide shoulder, back and foot massages to the passenger, along with Audi’s thermal imaging Night Vision Camera that projects hot spots onto the head-up display to aid the driver in spotting wildlife at the roadside.
Audi A8 interior
The outgoing A8 already has one of the most beguiling cabins on the market, but the new model replaces the classically elegant looks of the old one with a much more modern and tech-driven interior.
Most of the buttons are replaced by a touchscreen display with haptic feedback, which effectively sends a pulse back to your finger when you operate the controls.
The A8 will feature a head-up display, along with Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’ – a customisable 12.3-inch screen with a number of display options, which replace the standard dials and controls. In ‘Classic’ mode, it has speedometer and rev counter side-by-side, but for tech freaks there’s also an ‘infotainment’ mode through which apps can be viewed and used. The screen also has a number of map and satellite navigation options.
A separate touchscreen in front of the gear lever controls all the heating, ventilation and air con settings, another first for the class.
Rear seat passengers get touchscreens of their own, along with the aforementioned massage seat. A controller in the central rear arm rest can operate infotainment, phone and ambient lighting – just what you need if your car is also your mobile office.
Other features include traffic sign recognition, mobile internet and advanced voice recognition.
2018 Audi A8 price
While a full range of prices have yet to be announced, Audi has confirmed that the new A8 range will start at £69,100 when the first cars go on sale later this month.
The rest of the prices will be announced in due course, with the highest spec examples expected to cost upwards of £100,000
Audi A8 release date
The A8 is available to order this month, with the first right-hand-drive deliveries expected in January 2018. V8 diesel and W12 variants will be available from Spring 2018, along with the e-Tron.
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