Audi reveals all-new A8
Audi has made quite a show of launching its new generation flagship to the world.
Ingolstadt's all-new A8 was shown for the first time at the Design Miami/Art Basel Miami Beach design fairs, where Hollywood star Lucy Liu was on hand to conduct the glittering event.
Audi hopes to hit Mercedes-Benz's S-Class and the new BMW 7 Series head on with what it says is an athletic extension of its popular A8.
As before, the new A8 rides on the latest interpretation of the Audi Space Frame, with its lightweight aluminium construction, and uses a range of powerful engines.
"The new Audi A8 is the sportiest sedan in its segment," says Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management of Audi AG said at the car's unveiling.
"It combines numerous functions in a new and intelligent way. And it's unmatched in the stylistic elements and impression of the interior."
New for this model are an overhaul of the driver assistance systems, an improved MMI system (with a clever new satellite navigation feature) and a more spacious interior. New technologies include night vision assist that detects pedestrians and full LED headlights.
Adaptive air suspension and adaptive damping have been enhanced, while audiophiles can expect to be blown away by the 1 400W, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
At launch, A8 is powered by the 273-kW 4.2 FSI and a 258-kW 4.2 TDI powerplants, both using quattro all-wheel drive with the option of a sport differential. Eight-speed tiptronic is standard.
A front-wheel driven, 150-kW 3.0 TDI will be added to the range "at a later date" the company said, whilst a stop-start enabled 184kW 3.0 TDI will round off the range.
The new A8 will be launched in South Africa late in 2010. Model derivatives and further detail concerning the local range will be announced closer to the time.