So the all-new Audi A8 is finally revealed in full last night in Miami, and based on what we see from the first pictures published, its design is more of a facelift of the old gen rather than a totally new looks! It has a new feature though as its main characteristic and that’s the full LED headlights. The car comes with a 4.2 liter V8 and lots of new equipments and an updated interior. A hybrid version of the new A8 is also in the works. The new A8 will go on sale next year as a 2011 model.
This is the A8 with the normal wheelbase, the executive long-wheelbase model will be unveiled later in 2010. The regular car is not small either! It is in proper luxury saloon size at: 5137 mm (16.85 ft) in length, with a 2992 mm (9.82 ft) wheelbase, 1949 mm (6.39 ft) in width and 1460 mm (4.79 ft) in height. It is bigger, more dynamic and more aggressive than the model it replaces.
As mentioned, the new A8 gets full LED headlights. The low beams comprise ten individual modules forming an arc situated below the wing-shaped chrome contour known as the “wing.” Just below this is another arc of 22 white and 22 yellow LEDs for the daytime running lights and the turn signals. Their thick wall technology makes them appear from the outside as homogenous, continuous strips of light.
The full LED headlights offer a number of functional advantages in everyday situations. With a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin, their light resembles daylight and thus is much less tiring to the eyes. They also offer efficiency advantages. The low beams, for example, consume only 40 watts per unit, a bit less than the already highly efficient xenon plus headlights.
Audi A8 features a lightweight aluminum body with an integrated chassis built with Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology. Thanks to this advance construction, the static torsional stiffness has increased by 25 percent compared with the predecessor, already a leader in the field; it forms the basis for the precise, dynamic handling. In terms of lightweight quality — the relationship between weight, torsional stiffness and size — the body achieved an improvement of 20 percent. The ASF principle ensures comfortably low levels of vibrations and impressive quietness on board for that typical Audi feeling.
At launch the new A8 will be available with a 4.2 FSI V8 engine with direct fuel injection which develops 273 kW (372 hp) and 445 Nm (328.22 lb-ft) torque at 3,500 rpm. This power unit provides the A8 with great performance. It does zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds and keep accelerating smoothly right up to the electronically controlled top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
The car also gets a new, electronically controlled 8-speed tiptronic system and quattro permanent all- wheel drive from the production line. On request, Audi also installs the dynamic sport differential. The 8-speed tiptronic is a totally newly developed automatic transmission. Its great strength lies in the high overall gear ratio of 7.0:1 between the shortest and longest gear ratio, reducing the fuel consumption by about six percent. Starting off, the Audi A8 accelerates dynamically, rolling along highways with low, consumption-reducing revs. All gear changes are nearly unnoticeably soft and smooth, very fast and highly flexible.
The interior of the new A8 features the same layout as the old model, but it’s significantly updated with a new multi-functional steering wheel, upgraded MMI system, and a magnificent gear lever! The cabin is designed to be wider, more airy and spacious than its predecessor. It looks like the cockpit of a luxury yacht really!
As you have imagined the A8 comes with a wide range of equipments and new technologies onboard. And the greatest thing about it is the Audi Drive Select. the system integrates the adaptive air suspension together with active shock absorber control. The xenon plus headlights, the Audi pre sense basic system and the anti-theft alarm system serve security. The adaptive restraint system and a tire pressure monitoring system reinforce the sense of safety on board. When it comes to convenience, the 2011 Audi A8 impresses with its electrical fold-in exterior mirrors, the versatile and electrically adjustable front seats, the two-zone automatic air conditioning system, the electrical adjustment of the steering column with easy exit function, the ambient lighting, the electro-mechanical parking brake and the start-stop button.
The car also uses a new touchpad for the Multi Media Interface system. o enter the destination or phone number you simply draw the letters or numbers on the control panel with the index finger of your right hand.
As usual, the A8 is fitted with a banging audio system by Bang & Olufsen! It is impressive for its sparkling brilliance, detailed resolution and broad, finely differentiated frequency range. With their digital output stages, two amplifiers with an output of over 1,400 watts operate 19 aluminum-encased speakers through 19 channels. The two acoustic lenses in the cockpit are recessed and extend when the system is started.
The new Audi A8 also offers rear seat entertainment. The backrests of the driver and front passenger seats contain two flat displays with 10.2-inch diagonals. Their inclination is adjustable, and they can separately display different content. The sound passes through headphones. The rear seat entertainment system has its own DVD drive, a 20 GB hard disk, two memory card slots and an AMI interface; it has also has full access to all other infotainment systems on board. A control panel in the rear center armrest serves the operation of the system – another instance of first-class convenience.
All-new 2011 A8 Normal Wheel Base (NWB) – Key Summary Points:
• The new generation of the Audi brand’s flagship, introducing a new era in progressive excellence. Combining dynamic exterior and luxurious interior design with sporty driving characteristics, while providing the highest level of comfort and convenience equipment in the segment.
• The D4 (fourth generation flagship sedan) stands for a unique combination of aluminum space frame, MMI user interface, interior craftsmanship, quattro all-wheel-drive and adaptive air suspension.
• The Audi brand icon with the perfect execution of sporty, progressive, and sophisticated character.
• Differentiators from competition are sportiness, superior quality and progressiveness. Progressiveness is expressed by the A8 through technological innovation expertise and forward looking design.
• Showcases Audi design, innovation, craftsmanship, and excellence.
US-Market specific information:
• Key competitors are the Mercedes-Benz S Class and BMW 7 Series. Lexus LS and Jaguar XJ are secondary competitors.
• NWB shown in Miami. LWB is the core model in the D Segment in the U.S., and will be revealed in 2010.
Differentiation: The NWB A8 is positioned more of the ‘driver’s car’, with sportiness and driving dynamics in focus, while the future LWB will balance prestige, sportiness and comfort.
• Segment sales and pricing will be announced in Fall 2010 shortly prior to the vehicle’s U.S. dealer launch.
Compelling Differentiators for the 2011 Audi A8 in the D Segment fall into 3 main categories:
1. Exceptional Technology: Audi engineers developed cutting edge, innovative, and progressive technologies for the
• Audi Space Frame (latest generation all-aluminum chassis innovation). The 1997-2003 D2 A8 was the first series production car with an aluminum space frame, and the 2011 D4 continues Audi’s leadership in aluminum design and manufacturing:
o 25% increased static torsional rigidity and new welding technologies which lead to better fuel consumption and better handling coupled with benchmark-levels of passive safety (all in comparison to the 2004-2010 D3 A8).
• Bang & Olufsen Advanced sound system (optional, BOSE Surround Sound is standard)
o 19 speakers, 19 channels and more than 1400 watts of B&O-patented ICE-Power output for a theater – like sound experience (previous 2004-2010 D3 A8 had 1000 watts in the B&O system).
o The system was designed and developed as part of the design process of the D4 to ensure organic integration. Audi and B&O: two great design brands working together for an exceptional experience.
• Industry-first full-LED front headlamps with high and low beam, daytime running lights, cornering lights and turn signals.
o Audi’s leadership in lighting technology has turned the headlights into a true design element.
• quattro with Sports differential (optional) with continuously variable torque distribution on the rear axle
o Noticeably reduces understeer and increases driving agility and traction.
o The A8 is the only car in segment with all-wheel-drive standard, and the only car with the torque-vectoring differential available.
• Driver Assistance Systems:
o Latest-generation driver assistance systems; Adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, Night vision assistant with pedestrian detection highlighting, Audi lane assist, Audi side assist.
o New generation of ESP stability control with electronic all-wheel-drive torque vectoring. Integrated with Dynamic steering and quattro Sport differential when equipped. Cleans the brake discs and pre-fills the brake system pressure when accelerator released abruptly, improving brake reaction times.
o Audi braking guard (in combination with ACC)warns the driver of critical situations with warning sound and then braking jolt
o Automatic emergency braking (in combination with ACC and side assist) is autonomously carried out in the case of an unavoidable collision to minimize the impact.
• Audi pre sense (standard) in preparation of an accident:
o Reversible belt tensioners; if instability is detected, holds passengers in the optimal seating position.
o Adjustment of seats to optimal seating position.
o Closing sunroof and side windows to help shield the passenger compartment.
o Air suspension shock absorbers adjusted to improve braking and performance.
o Two-stage activation of partial braking
o Hazard warning lights activated
2. The Search for Perfection – in developing the D4, Audi spared no expense or effort to make the perfect luxury-performance sedan:
• Fit and finish, interior and exterior. Audi engineers are always challenged to find the optimized solution to design challenges.
o One example of this design focus and effort on the D4 is the so-called “Koenigsfuge”, where the door and the dashboard meet.
4 different materials and design lines meet at this joint (wood inlay, aluminum inlay, leather dash, and plastics) and must line up on the door and the dashboard for the interior design to flow around the passengers. A compromised solution could have been to change the design to simplify manufacturing, but Audi showcases its quality in the A8 in many such ways.
• Next-generation MMI 3G+ Multi Media Interface with innovative ‘MMI Touch’.
o The industry-first MMI Touch recognizes handwriting for entering Navigation destinations, and is backlit to allow it to change to a pointer for map functions, a number pad for radio functions and can be used to scroll lists in the MMI. This system recognizes Cyrillic (Russia), Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean characters
These language capabilities will only be offered for each respective country, but nevertheless the system is a sign of the Audi international approach toward luxury vehicle development.
o Audi’s ‘joy of use’ concept for the MMI Touch provides the optimal solution for driver-car interaction.
• Night vision assistant (optional) with thermal-imaging camera (infrared).
o Shown in the driver information display, the pedestrian detection software highlights people and animals and determines if a critical situation is imminent.
o While Audi was not the first to market with this feature, the A8 brings the optimal solution with intelligent pedestrian detection and dynamic range adjustment based on vehicle speed.
3. A New Dimension in Look and Feel – the style, design and driving experience of the D4 takes the driver and passengers to a level never before experienced in a luxury car:
• Exterior design is clear and logical Audi design with focus on dynamics, generous proportions and elegance.
• Interior design focus was to give the sense of spaciousness, intuitive control, comfort and luxury. Elements
within the interior were designed to take up as little room as possible, e.g. the MMI screen which folds away. The wrap-around ‘skyliner’ design gives a sense of roominess while connecting the driver and passengers, and the ambient lighting gives a feeling of ‘lightness’ to the interior and a ‘floating’ center console.
• New shift-by-wire gearshift lever in the style of a yacht throttle lever serves as an ergonomic hand rest for operating the MMI and gives the feeling of the ‘center of power and control’ at the driver’s fingertips.
• Audi drive select (standard) allows the driver to change the character of the car to their desires, and means that there is no compromise between a sporty and comfortable car.
o Adjustments include suspension, steering, accelerator, transmission, sport differential, cornering light and seat belt tensioner. Modes: Dynamic / Comfort / Auto / Individual.
• Optimized 4.2 FSI V8 specifications:
o FSI direct injection
o Audi Valvelift System (AVS) variable intake valve lift
o 8-speed transmission for improved fuel economy, responsiveness and driving comfort
o 372 hp (D3 A8 had 350 hp)
o 328 lb-ft (D3 A8 had 325 lb-ft torque)
o 0-100km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds
o 15% improvement in fuel consumption estimated vs. current A8 (EPA figures TBD)
o quattro ® AWD – latest generation with asymmetric rear-biased torque split (40/60)