The holidays sees no rest for test drivers and engineers. This time, it is Audi who is undergoing more extensive testing on their flagship sedan, the A8. Earlier this year, Audi indeed confirmed that there will be an all-new A8 to be launched in the third quarter of 2017 as a 2018 model.
For its fifth iteration, the Audi A8 is likely to have an evolutionary redesign if it were to follow the current design philosophy of the marque. Previewed as the Audi Prologue concept back in 2014, the design team is lead by Mark Lichte and the all-new flagship will follow the shape of the concept car. Being an F-Segment sedan, the Audi A8 will compete against the likes of the BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
An all-new model also ushers in a new, modular platform for the Audi A8. Dubbed MLB Evo, Audi claims that the 2018 A8 will be approximately 200 kilograms lighter than the soon to be outgoing model. The MLB Evo architecture is currently seeing service in the recently introduced Audi A4, Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga. This modular architecture will also underpin the next-generation Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg.
The full engine lineup is yet to be confirmed but expect a range of turbocharged gas and diesel motors to power the big sedan. There is currently no word if the 2018 Audi A8 will get a plug-in hybrid version but seeing as Volkswagen Auto Group is putting their resources to electric powertrains, it may be a possibility. 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. Quattro all-wheel drive will be standard on all models.