- Published On: 27 October 2017
- 5 min read
The fourth-gen Audi A8 features a huge list of tech and autonomous driving capabilities.
Audi’s Big Luxury Sedan, the A8 was first introduced in 1994. It was Audi’s entrant into the big luxury sedan segment. For the fourth-gen, the manufacturer claims that the car is the “future of the luxury class”. The new A8 is the first production car to feature Level 3 automated driving. Other features include a button-less centre console, active suspension, remote parking and foot and back massage.
On the Outside
The A8 remains largely similar to the previous model in terms of design however, it looks significantly more up-to-date. On the front, of the car is the taller and wider Audi grille. The A8 also uses HD Matrix LED headlights. The headlamps are made up of 138 individual LEDs and a single laser diode. The lasers on the headlight can double the output of the high beam. The LEDs on the other hand produce output according to the driving conditions. These high-tech headlamps also feature the cornering feature that send light into the corner, improving visibility. At the rear, the car has a wide taillight that runs across the car. These lights are LED units and light up when the car is locked or unlocked, similar to the front.
On the Inside
An interesting feature on the Audi are its door handles. They are switches; and they open up the door with a minimal pull. This feature is also seen on the inside. After they unlatch however, one has to push or pull the door. They aren’t completely motorised like Rolls-Royce doors. Another high-tech bit is what Audi calls ‘exit warning’, it delays the opening if there is someone or something closing in. Room on the inside is plenty - the fourth-gen A8 is 40mm longer than the third-gen model. To add to it, there is also a long-wheelbase variant available which will only further increase this room.
The new A8 has high quality materials throughout the cabin. The surfaces are made up of leather, wood and even aluminium. All of which are extremely well crafted. The car can be had with a massage-seat option even with the three-seat rear setup. However, real luxury is what Audi calls the relaxation seat. One can completely recline their seat and receive a foot and body massage.
How Does it Drive?
The big luxury sedan is available with multiple engine options. The biggest being the famous W12, the most modern is the plug-in hybrid model. Other motors include petrol and diesel V6 engines. Another engine is the 4-litre petrol V8 that will likely make its way to India. This engine makes 460hp and 660Nm of torque and is mated to an eight-speed auto transmission.
Puttering around in city conditions is a calm affair. The A8 constantly shifts up to keep you in the highest possible gear. Which in turn results in a smooth drive, the car almost feels like its gliding along. Don’t let these calm driving capabilities fool you, stepping on the accelerator can move the car really quick thanks to the big powerful V8. When put in ‘Dynamic’ mode the car stiffens up and the throttle response becomes quicker. What’s more is that, the steering on the new A8 feels well-weighted and gives one confidence. Another interesting feature on the new A8 is what Audi call Dynamic all-wheel steering; it reduces the turning radius considerably. The car also has an impressive safety feature, in case of an impending side impact, the active suspension can raise that side of the body in half a second, thus taking the major impact on the lower half instead of the top section of the doors.
Should I Buy One?
The Audi A8 is not all perfect; it has a few negatives too. The rear seats for example, is comfortable but not the best ones around. A big selling point of the new Audi is the level 3 automated driving, however, that won’t be making its way to India. Also, worth talking about is the Dynamic all-wheel steering the active suspension.
Audi will launch the A8 as a CBU, so this might take the price up. With the new A8, Audi has a far stronger contender to take the fight to the Mercedes-Benz S-class and the BMW 7-series.