What is it?
Despite the fact that it’s not the most expensive car it builds, Audi says the new A8 is its ‘new flagship’ which ‘takes an even more responsible approach to luxury’.
Rather than being an extensive overhaul of the outgoing A8, the fourth-generation model is pretty much all-new. It’s based around Audi’s new longitudinal powertrain layout (which sees the engine sitting a little further back, between the front wheels) and new aluminium spaceframe chassis, which the company says is 24 per cent more rigid. The engines have been re-worked and hooked up to a new 8-speed autobox.
The A8 still rides on aluminium suspension but gets re-designed adaptive air-suspension. Indeed, all of the new A8 models get Audi’s clever ‘Drive Select’ electronic chassis tuning package. The driver can select from ‘comfort’, ‘auto’ and ‘dynamic’ modes, each of which alter the steering response and weight, the damper settings and the transmission shift points.
This model comes with a sports differential as standard, which can selectively divide the engine’s torque between the rear wheels, considerably increasing the car’s appetite for corners.
Inside, aside from the company’s usual fine attention to detail and exemplary build quality, standard equipment includes a hard-drive sat-nav with a touch pad, allowing the driver - searching for a sat-nav destination - to sketch out individual letters with a forefinger. Xenon headlights and double glazing is also standard.