The new Audi A8 has been unveiled at a special event in Barcelona, the car’s creators describing it as “the future of the luxury class.”
The latest A8 is the brand’s most technologically advanced car yet, and Audi also claims that it is the first production car in the world to be developed for highly autonomous driving. From 2018 Audi will begin to roll out piloted driving functions to aid such manoeuvres as driving into parking spaces, garages and negotiating traffic jams.
New design look
The new A8, which will be sold in both standard 5.17-metre long form or with a wheelbase extended by 130mm, debuts a new design language for the brand. Drawing heavily on the Audi Prologue concept car debuted at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show it features significant changes including a major reshaping of the grille.
Initial powertrains will include extensively re-engineered versions of the V6 turbo diesel and petrol units, with 286 and 340hp respectively. They will quickly be joined by a new 4-litre eight-cylinder TDI diesel of 435hp while a 6-litre W12 will also be on offer.
Likely to be most anticipated, however, will be the A8 L e-tron quattro, a plug-in hybrid version combing a 3-litre TFSI petrol engine and electric motor for 449hp and 700Nm of torque.
Order books for the new A8 range open in September with first deliveries expected before the end of 2017. UK prices are still to be announced – industry observers suggest they will start at close to £70,000.