Currently reading: Next-generation Audi models to get dynamic overhaul
Audi promises improved steering feel and a more supple ride for future models, starting with the 2017 A8

Audi will redefine the ride and handling characteristics of its cars as each new generation is launched, starting with the flagship Audi A8 next year.

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.

In particular, faster S and RS models are also likely to benefit from the improved technology, with the ride and handling benefits said to be transferrable to all models.

Additionally, the Audi A3 and Audi A1 are set to get a much more compliant ride, because feedback suggests customers put more stead in a comfortable ride than a sporty one.

The advances will coincide with an all-new look for Audi under the leadership of design chief Marc Lichte, who joined the firm in 2014 from elsewhere in the VW Group after being asked to pitch his idea for how the next-generation A8 should look. The Audi Prologue concept gives the best indication of the sharper new design direction he is expected to unveil on the A8 next year. 


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

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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405line 20 September 2016

They can't

That's why audi had to develop 4wd (quattro)in the first place as their cars are pumped up FWD/4WD with longitudinal engine mountings means half of the engine is ahead of the front axle because of the gearbox/diff take off..which is not good and not really "fixable" unless you change the whole basis of the way the cars are engineered.
Lessis More 20 September 2016

2nd clue...

Fit smaller wheels, use tyres that have a sidewall instead of the stupid rubber bands so common now.

And uninvent run-flats, godawful things. Every bump a cliff.

chandrew 20 September 2016

Why does sporty feeling need to be rock-hard?

I admit that the only experience of modern audis I have is from the back seat of the A8 taxi that the airline send for me, but that car is uncomfortable.

There seems to be an impression from the German manufacturers that sporty = hard. Surprisingly the only one that seems to get this isn't true is Porsche. Oh, and Alpina.

The suspension on my i3 is one of its weakest aspects. Certainly a lot worse than my old Lotus.