Audi’s forthcoming A8 will herald a new design direction for the German car maker, Volkswagen Group chief Martin Winterkorn has told Autocar.
The new executive saloon is expected later this year and will be around 10cm longer than the current model.
In an exclusive interview with Autocar’s Steve Cropley, Winterkorn said the new car will answer criticism that Audi’s design direction is predictable.
“Wait until you see the new A8 late this year,” he said. “That’s a progressive car, and the new look it introduces will flow on through the A7 and the A6, which are coming behind. Audi is a progressive brand, and we intend to prove it.”
Wintekorn believes that introducing a new look through the most expensive models is the most effective.
“We think it will work this time,” he added.
The new car is expected to get a cleaner and more efficient range of engines, including 3.0-litre and 4.2-litre V8s.
Audi says the car will be unveiled in late autumn, rather than being shown at September's Frankfurt motor show.
The new Audi A8 will go on sale in the UK in early 2010.