Seven years have passed since an all-new Audi A8 came out in the market but the current model will be bowing out soon. Audi has announced that an all-new A8 will be revealed by 2017 and will be available with semi-autonomous drive.

The all-new flagship sedan will be facing off the Mercedes-Benz S-Class which was all new back in 2014 and the sixth-generation BMW 7 Series launched last year. The new model marks the third generation of Audi's E-Segment sedan. Following the A8's chassis code line, the new model will be internally known as the D5.

Heading the design team is Marc Lichte and his team was responsible for the creation of the Prologue concept in 2014. This signals the possibility of the all-new A8 featuring design elements from the Prologue concept car. The car itself will ride on the MLB Evo platform which is lighter than the current model's chassis. Audi estimates about 200 kilograms will be shed with the use of the new architecture. The full engine lineup is yet to be confirmed but the biturbo 6.0 liter W12 engine found in the Bentley Bentayga. In the ultra-luxury SUV, the W12 engine puts out 600 PS and 900 Nm of torque and power is transferred via an 8-speed automatic transmission. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard.

For the fourth generation Audi A8, it will be available with semi-autonomous driving. Called the Traffic-Jam Pilot System, the car will be able to drive itself to speeds up to 60 km/h. Audi says that they are targeting 2025 as the year their cars will feature full self-driving capabilities. Other technologies to be expected in the upcoming A8 are laser headlights, OLED taillights and an e-turbo which is currently applied to the SQ7.