New Audi A8 saloon features autonomous tech

12 July, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Rolando Keller
  • Audi A6 Spy Pics Barcelona

The future begins for the luxury class. Audi has yet to announce a sell date for its new sedan.

There are some big changes introduced by the cabin of the new A8.

Mechanically, the new A8 builds on existing technologies. That last one takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 km/h on highways and roads separated by a physical barrier. The system doesn't need the driver to be seated behind the wheel to work, and can be operated through the myAudi smartphone app. Audi's reputation for simple sophistication is on display inside the A8, with a wide horizontal dash and only the most basic of switches and knobs present. The screens also use technology similar to Apple's Force Touch. The cameras on the Audi A8 aren't just meant for ease of parking. It's fancy stuff. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The system uses its own 48-volt electrical system to power actuators that can improve the car's comfort or sportiness depending on setting and road condition. The first is its mild-hybrid system, which is standard on all Audi A8s. This BAS is essentially and electric motor that runs off the 48-volt system and is connected to the crankshaft, via serpentine belt. Once the driver steps on the gas again, the BAS brings the engine back up to the desired speed without delay. The driver does not even need to be sitting in the vehicle to do this, they can start the appropriate system from their smartphone using the new myAudi app.

Another novelty feature in the new A8 is the Active Suspension, that automatically adjusts the suspension in anticipation of a pothole, thereby, offering better ride quality.

The A8 is the most expensive auto that Audi manufactures in the luxury vehicle segment and it will make sure that the vehicle has all the best features. Its MMI system has now gone touchscreen, as have the HVAC controls. Audi says its touchscreens are made safer by using haptic feedback.

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The 2018 Audi A8 will arrive in the United States sometime next year, and pricing will be announced closer to launch.

The saloon will have two chassis options: the standard A8 that has a 5.17-metre wheelbase and the A8 L, which takes that to 5.3 metres. There's also advanced voice control and handwriting recognition. So it's like a cool center command station. The Audi A8L, while boasting an additional 123mm wheelbase over the standard vehicle also gets the optional Relaxation seat that includes a 4-way foot massage, separate massaging function for the rear seat passengers along with private phone calls through another operating unit.

Under the hood at launch will be two different V6 engines.

Internationally, the new A8 will be offered with five engines, kicking off with six-cylinder 3.0 TFSI (250kW) and 3.0 TDI (210kW) units, followed shortly afterwards by 338kW 4.0 TFSI and 320kW 4.0 TDI V8s and a 6-litre V12 petrol engine for which Audi has yet to disclose figures. Two 4.0-litre V8 engines too make their presence felt with 435PS and 460PS respectively for the petrol and diesel engines. The power figures though are yet to be disclosed.

Eventually, Audi will add a plug-in hybrid powertrain to the A8, which includes the 3.0-liter V6 and an electric motor to reach 449 horsepower. Already used by BMW on the latest 7 Series, this aims to heighten the responsiveness and overall dynamic character of the A8.

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