Technical and studio shots of the new Audi A8; full car details
5 December 2009

These are new pictures of the Audi A8, which will arrive in UK showrooms next March priced from £52,800.

See the new pictures of the Audi A8 here

See the first batch of hi-res pictures of the new Audi A8

The new car has lost the mass and bulk of the current model’s styling, replacing it instead with design themes from the A4. Much of the A8’s exterior design is lifted from the A4, especially around the front and rear.

Underlining the car's importance to Audi, company chairman Rupert Stadler said at its launch in Miami: "The A8 embodies everything that Audi is capable of. It’s the essence of our brand and represents our future. The A8 is the cornerstone in our route to becoming a signature brand that is one of a kind and unmistakable."

It’s a bigger car than its predecessor; at 5137mm long, 1949mm wide and 1460mm tall it's longer and wider than a Mercedes S-class or a BMW 7-series but lower than both. That makes it the biggest car in its class.

Audi design director Stefan Sielaff said: "Customers worldwide can appreciate that it is a premium statement. The rear of the A8 has always been too calm in the past; we needed to make it more luxurious."

As with all previous A8s, the car is built from aluminium, and using new alloys has cut 6.5kg from the A8’s weight. In total, the new A8 is an average of 110kg lighter than the outgoing model, with fuel consumption an average of 20 per cent better.

The front and rear lights use LEDs that offer illumination more like daylight than conventional headlamps. They also use less energy and weigh less.

Audi A8: Rupert Stadler Q+A

When it’s launched, there will be two engines available, both V8s: the 4.2 FSI petrol with 367bhp/328lb ft and the 4.2 TDI diesel with 345bhp/590lb ft. The petrol V8 enables the A8 to reach 62mph in 5.7sec while the diesel is actually quicker: 0-62mph in 5.5sec.

A 3.0-litre V6 diesel with 247bhp will be added to the range later next year, along with a 201bhp version; Audi claims 159g/km for that model.

All A8s come with an eight-speed auto and quattro four-wheel drive as standard, and there’s a sport differential option that splits torque between the rear wheels.

Audi has added a new safety system called pre-sense, which activates the hazard lights, closes the windows and sunroof and pre-tensions the seatbelts if the brakes are fully applied.

Chas Hallett blog - First hand impressions of the new Audi A8

There are three other versions of pre-sense available – one that will decelerate the car and apply the brakes, one that will apply the brakes sooner and harder and one that will shift the front seats forward to help protect the passengers in a rear-end collision.

The interior is all new. The gear selector is now an electronic shifter, with four positions; Audi says it’s shaped like the thrust lever on a powerboat. The MMI system has been moved from the centre console to the fascia and now features a touchpad panel, which allows you to write letters or numbers on the screen to enter phone numbers or navigation destinations.

Sielaff has emphasised that the forthcoming V12 version will be very different visually inside and out, as well as having far more personalisation options than the standard models.

Audi S8 to set new standard

New tech also includes a sat-nav that is linked into the cruise control and lighting system. It will slow you down if it detects heavy traffic ahead and adjust the length of the light beam according to the road ahead, as read by the sat-nav.

A further step forward in sat-nav technology is expected to be introduced later next year, and Audi is already looking at transferring some of the tech from the A8 to the A6 and A7.

Two trim levels will be be available - SE and SE Executive - and with a choice of short or long wheelbase. SE Executive adds items including 19-inch alloys, a parking camera and keyless entry. Prices will start from £52,800 for the 3.0 TDI SE, rising to £64,000 for the 4.2 TDI SE Executive.

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Our Verdict

Audi A8

The Audi A8 is a highly capable and desirable luxury saloon that's very easy to live with, despite its flaws

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Comments
20

5 December 2009

Oooh look, the interior lights up in all different colours!!!!

Are 8 year olds now the target market for the new A8???

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

5 December 2009

I was very disappointed when I first saw these photos. Like many others, I thought it looked just like a big A4. However, I'm starting to wonder will seeing it in the flesh change my mind. I think this may look altogether better when I see one properly. I don't know how that awkward looking line where the wing meets the front bumper, between the lights, will be resolved in the flesh though.

Also, to actually give them credit, that interiot looks absolutely stunning in my opinion, (I expected them to deliver on that front though).

5 December 2009

I am not so sure what to say about the front LEDs, whether they have just spoiled a nicely sculpted front or completely ruined it. Whether the use of the word ruined in this case would compare with taking things too far is something I am having trouble deciding, but one thing is certain, they sure have spoiled what without them, or in some other arrangement, would have been a likable front.

5 December 2009

The headlights is like fitting an interesting design into an old mold. Think of it like this... fitting terminator eyes into the scul of a dead person - sorry for the graphic, but it's really how I perceive it.

The trunk seems too long and like it's not been fitted properly. It's got some very funny lines at the top trying to make it look part of the rear window - just strange!

In the end, it just doesn't seem rounded off. Pitty, the A8 always was my favourite Audi.

5 December 2009

[quote Giom37]In the end, it just doesn't seem rounded off. Pitty, the A8 always was my favourite Audi.[/quote] While your example is a little weird, I have to agree with this pbit. The A8 always looked great, and very classy. This just looks bland. I really hate those lights on Audis, all audis. However, that interior has to be one of the best ever! Looks soo welcoming and inviting!

5 December 2009

Predictable. Any of us could have come up with a similar design to this. Why are they even paying the same designer again.

Having said that these cars look damn good in the movies. Transporter 2 & 3 being a good example. The first Transporter had a 7 series BMW but it did not have the prescence of the Audi.

5 December 2009

It looks great, and I would definitely get the all LED headlight option. Line this car alongside all its rivals and it looks the most resolved, no question. The interor IS luxury.

The text says 'V12', should that be 'W12'?

I hope they make a 500+bhp model to compete with the S63 etc., and also to make up for the power reduction and cylinder drops we've seen due to the idea that has since been proven to be a deliberate hoax that man's activities are warming the planet.

-------- 

I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

5 December 2009

[quote ryaner]Like many others, I thought it looked just like a big A4.[/quote]

I guess this will be one German car where you won't want to tick the badge delete option.

5 December 2009

Very interesting how Jag, once the old man of the exec car world, suddenly looks cutting-edge next to Audi, Merc and BMW. The Germans are playing it so safe with their large car design that I'm amazed anyone can tell the difference between current and new models. Yawn

5 December 2009

[quote Will86]I guess this will be one German car where you won't want to tick the badge delete option.[/quote]

Good point!

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