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Audi flagship under the knife

2007-08-07 07:51
Audi's A8 flagship has gone under the knife and got some botox treatment to firm things up. The midlife facelift gives the A8 a fresher appearance until the all-new model arrives late in 2009.

Cosmetic changes include a new single-frame grille accross the range, new side mirrors, LED taillights, aluminum trim inserts and updated wheels.

Most of the changes come under the skin, however, Audi emphasizing ride comfort, safety and handling with the 2008 A8.

A number of state-of-the-art gizmos have been added which include side assist and lane assist systems. The former uses "intelligent" radar technology to constantly scan the car's blind spots.

If there's an obstacle, a yellow LED lights up in the appropriate side mirror housing. If the driver then signals to change lanes, the LEDs glow brighter and begin flashing.

Lane assist, meanwhile, uses a small camera, mounted above the center mirror, to watch ahead for lane markings. Should the driver drift out of the lane, the steering wheel begins to gently vibrate.

There are also changes to the A8's rack-and-pinion steering with variable steering ratio and Servotronic speed-dependent power assistance to deliver a more direct road feel.

Furthermore the dampers, supports and tuning of the adaptive air suspension have also been updated.

The engine range remains unchanged.

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