Engineers are believed to have been tasked with maintaining the sporty remit of the current-generation models while giving them a broader range of dynamic attributes. This includes developing more involving steering feel and more pliant ride settings, where appropriate.
Audi’s focus for mainstream models has long been a ride and handling balance that gives drivers the feeling that they are in a sporty car, but not one that is in any way tiring to drive, particularly on a high-speed motorway run. Current Audis ride significantly better than their forebears but are still frequently criticised for having uninvolving dynamics.
In the case of the next-generation A8, for instance, the goal is to rival the comfort of the best-selling Mercedes-Benz S-Class while enhancing the car’s dynamic capabilities.
A focus on long-distance comfort is set to remain, especially on larger mainstream models. However, advances in the calibration of electrically assisted power steering systems — made necessary by emissions regulations — and new suspension technology are set to provide a change in ride and handling characteristics.