The 2018 Audi A8 created headlines from its unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month, for being the first production car to embed Level 3 autonomous driving technologies. The car is expected to make its Indian debut in the first half of 2018, where it will take over the battle against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series, from the outgoing car that has been holding the fort strongly for the brand. We were recently invited by Audi to Valencia, Spain, to test drive the 2018 A8 L. Seen here are few images for the drive, but if you would rather read the detailed review and get an insight on all the new technologies that the new A8 packs, click here instead.
Our drive of the new Audi A8 began at the centre of Arts and Science in Valencia. Interestingly, the new A8 in itself is a tasteful combination of arts and science.
Though it has hints of the A5 and the Q7 in its finer details, the A8 gives a new design direction to the future Audi cars - one that will give them a chiseled bodywork and sleeker details.
While the current A8 started the buzz about the Matrix lamps, the new one goes a step further and by incorporating a hybrid system that uses more compact and higher resolution Matrix LEDs, which work in harmony with long distance laser lighting which the situation demands it. The laser lights however, will work only an open stretch of road with no vehicles in the front of the car
The rear end is the prettiest angle for the new A8. The sleek chrome strips on the bumper and the boot-lid and the seamless strip of LED light connecting the taillights highlight the sheer width of the car, giving it its stately appearance
What enhances the appearance of the rear end however, is the OLED ornamentation in the taillights. Audi assures that despite their wafer thin design, these OLEDs have the same life and luminance as the conventional LEDs.
Compared to the outgoing model, the 2018 Audi A8 1.3 inches longer and 0.7 inches taller, while width is lower by 0.1 inch.
The new A8 has a long line up of engines to choose from - at the baseline are two 3.0 single-turbo V6 engines - a 286PS/600Nm diesel and a 340PS/500Nm petrol. Next is a 4.0 twin-turbo V8 good for 460PS and 660Nm of torque. The flagship as always is a W12 with an output of 585PS and 800Nm.
Science gives the Audi A8 the gift of artificial intelligence, which enables auto-pilot systems like the Parking / Remote Parking Pilot, Garage Pilot and the Traffic Jam Pilot. These piloted systems give the A8 its bragging rights about Level 3 autonomous driving technologies
These systems use a slew of sensors, cameras and scanners for their operation and the data collected by these components is processed by a powerful computer to enable a total of 40 assistance systems that fit very well into most of our daily driving cycles.
Audi's obsession with minimalism gives the cabin an evolutionary design. The dashboard fascia and the centre console are now dominated by three crisp screens - the digital instrumentation, a 10.1 inch touchscreen infotainment system and a touchscreen control centre stacked underneath it
The infotainment system gets a customisalbe layout and haptic feedback. The virtual cockpit, infotainment system and the haptic touch interface are powered by new generation nVidia processors that are 50 times faster than their predecessors used in other Audi cars
All the technology that underpins the new A8 is masked under layers of exquisite materials and top-not craftsmanship. Though the wheelbase of the new A8 is marginally lesser than that of its arch-rivals, there is acres of space and plenty of creature comforts to spoil you
Audi is currently in the phase of finalising technologies and equipment that will make their way onto the India-spec A8. The car will be available in our market by the first half of 2018, in the long wheelbase version only