The 2018 Audi A8 has been spotted in the wild in China. The test mule is in the long wheelbase form, which is sold in the Chinese market (and Indian market) where luxury car buyers are chauffeur driven. Audi unveiled the 2018 A8 at the Audi Summit in Barcelona on July 11. It will go on sale towards the end of 2017.
The 2018 Audi A8 is based on Audi's Space Frame architecture. It uses a multi-material construction with carbon, magnesium, hot stamped steel, and aluminium for 24% higher rigidity in comparison to its predecessor. It is 37 mm longer than the car it replaces, and the wheelbase has gone up by 6 mm. However, the width has gone down by 4 mm. The wheelbase of the A8L is 130 mm more than the standard A8.
The exterior of the A8 points towards the design philosophy future Audi models will adapt and is an evolution of the Prologue concept car. It features the signature Singleframe grille flanked by full LED Matrix headlamps with Audi laser lighting. The glow pattern of the tail lights spotted on the test mule varies from that of the model showcased in Barcelona last month with OLED technology. OLED might be reserved for the top-spec trims with the lower trims getting standard LEDs.
A main highlight of the new Audi A8 is the autonomous driving technology. Audi claims it is the first production automobile that is specifically developed for highly automated driving. Among the automated driving features on offer is the Audi AI traffic jam pilot that takes charge of the car in slow moving traffic at up to 60 km/h on freeways with a physical barrier separating the two carriageways. The car takes care of starting, accelerating, steering and braking enabling the driver to take his/her hands off the steering wheel completely.
Other Audi AI functionalities include parking pilot and garage pilot. They enable the A8 to steer in and out of a parking space or garage without the driver in the car. The user can engage these systems via the myAudi smartphone app. Overall, the Audi A8 features as many as 41 driver assistance functions onboard.
Audi will offer the new A8 with five engine options. These include a 340 hp 3.0 L V6 petrol, 286 hp 3.0 V6 diesel and eight cylinder 460 hp 4.0 L petrol and 435 hp 4.0 L diesel engines. The flagship Audi A8L will come with a 6.0 L W12 power unit. All engines operate in conjunction with a 48 v electric mild hybrid system that aids fuel economy. Audi will also A8 L e-tron Quattro plug-in hybrid to the lineup at a later date.
In India, the new 2018 Audi A8 is expected to arrive sometime next year. However, the autonomous driving tech present will be given a miss thanks to an unsuitable road infrastructure and traffic laws that do not permit autonomous car operation. India will get the sedan in its long wheelbase guise only.
[source - bitauto]