After months of spy shots, teasers and previews, Audi has fully revealed their all-new flagship, the 2018 A8. Internally known as the D5, the new-generation A8 boasts Audi's new aluminum spaceframe chassis with carbon fiber strengthening and lightening. At the same time, Audi says the D5 A8 boasts of level three autonomous driving.
Audi has taken an evolutionary approach to its exterior design. At the front, we see a bigger, bolder single frame grill. As for its headlights, the 2018 model ditches the rectangular lights for hexagonal shaped units. This being an Audi, it gets a similar LED light signature treatment as the all-new A4 and Q7. Available as an option are the HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lighting. Subtle creases can be seen on the side of the car and it now has a sleeker roof line compared its predecessor.
At the rear, Audi made significant changes that separates it from the previous generation. The fascia is now less upright, favoring a rounder look. Also, the tail lights get a unique treatment. These wraparound lights are connected by a piece of trim. This gives the tail lights a single piece look. Audi design chief Marc Lichte says expect this treatment on the upcoming A6 and A7. Like the predecessor, the A8 will come in standard and long-wheelbase body styles.
Inside the A8 the front passengers are greeted by the new MMI (Multi Media Interface) system which is now a 10.1-inch touchscreen display. When not in use, it blends into the high-gloss black surround thanks to its black-panel look. Also equipped as standard is the Audi Virtual Cockpit which turns the instrument cluster into a multi-information display that also houses the navigation screen. There is also a second touchscreen display on the center tunnel console to access the air conditioning and comfort functions as well.
Audi claims that the new A8 is the first production automobile to have been developed specially for highly automated driving. The Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 km/h on highways. The system is activated using the AI button on the center console. Dubbed the Traffic Jam Pilot, it manages the accelerator , steering and the brakes. Audi adds that, with this system, the driver no longer needs to monitor the car permanently.
A total of four redesigned turbocharged V6 and V8 engines will power the all-new A8. These engine configurations will be available in both gas and diesel guises. The V6 range starts with the 3.0 TDI with 286 PS, followed by the 3.0 TFSI with 340 PS. Moving to the V8 models, the 4.0 TDI produces 435 PS while the 4.0 TFSI puts out 460 PS.
Audi isn't leaving the twelve-cylinder game just yet. The German automaker says a 6.0-liter W12 engine will be part of the range but did not mention its power output. Also in the cards is an e-tron model. It uses the 3.0-liter V6 engine that is pared with a powerful electric motor. The result is 449 PS and 700 Nm of torque while retaining an all-electric range of 50 kilometers. All models will have Quattro all-wheel drive and shift via an eight-speed automatic.