Can you spot the differences? If you said, "front turn indicators," give yourself a nice bowl of vorsprung durch technik. If not, don't get all self-hating, most of the changes — save the signals, new side mirrors with embedded signal lights and LED taillights — are underneath the skin. The Audi flagship for Europe gets a new, fuel-sipping 2.8-liter direct-injection FSI six producing a healthy 210 horsepower that can coax the largest of Audis past the 60-mph mark at nigh on eight seconds. What's more, Audi says it's giving the luxobarge a more engaging feel by way of a re-configured steering kit and adaptive air suspension. New sound damping further reduces noise, vibration and harshness, and a fresh set of driver-assistance tech includes side-assist (blind-spot) and lane-departure warnings. It's just like the same old A8, only just slightly different. If it were dish soap, it'd have a flamboyant "New!" printed on the box, and you'd keep buying it. (Click through for official release.)
Sporty luxury and exemplary efficiency
* New A8 2.8 FSI offers the lowest CO2 emissions in its class
* Consistent enhancements across the model series
* A new driving experience in one of the world's quietest cars
The Audi A8 not only offers the sportiest performance of any luxury-class saloon, it also stands out as a model of efficiency. A particularly outstanding example is the new A8 2.8 FSI: superlative performance and excellent comfort make it a joy to drive. But at the same time, with a standard fuel consumption of 8.3 l/100 km, its CO2 emissions of 199 g/km are the lowest in its class.
The new A8 model series features major advancements across the range, which includes the top models Audi A8 W12 and Audi S8, and offers a new driving feel whilst building on traditional strengths. An even more precise driving feel, even better ride and acoustic comfort, and subtle refinements to the exterior and interior serve to strengthen the special status of Audi's flagship model.
Unique character - consistently enhanced
To achieve this, many aspects have been refined in the unique blend of sportiness, elegance, supreme control and sophistication that forms the Audi A8 character. For instance, the more direct steering and re-engineered running gear have produced even more exact handling. Overall travelling comfort has also been enhanced by the modified adaptive air suspension and extensive improvements to noise insulation. These make the Audi A8 one of the world's quietest and most comfortable saloon cars.
The new assistance systems Audi lane assist and Audi side assist promise to make life easier for the driver and considerably enhance safety, especially on long journeys. Their tasks are to alert the driver if the car begins to drift out of its lane and to warn of vehicles in the adjacent lane.
Luxurious, sporty motoring with low fuel consumption
The 2.8 FSI impressively demonstrates how well the Audi A8 combines luxurious, sporty motoring with high efficiency and low fuel consumption. Its efficiency nevertheless comes with exciting performance, as the new high-tech V6 engine produces 154 kW / 210 bhp and delivers its maximum torque of 280 newton metres over the broad rev band of 3,000 to 5,000 rpm. With acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.0 seconds and a maximum speed of 238 km/h, the Audi A8 2.8 FSI is an effortlessly powerful performer.
High-tech engine with lightweight design concept
Thanks to its state-of-the-art engine and an exceptionally low vehicle weight of only 1,690 kilograms, the A8 2.8 FSI has a standard fuel consumption of just 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres. That is equivalent to CO2 emissions of 199 grams per kilometre - the lowest value of any luxury-class car. Here the dual benefits of low vehicle weight - thanks to lightweight aluminium design based on Audi Space Frame technology - and low wind resistance make themselves felt, in both excellent performance and equally good fuel economy.
The new six-cylinder engine demonstrates "Vorsprung durch Technik" with FSI petrol direct injection and the innovative Audi valvelift system. This new technology adjusts the valve lift, varying it between two levels. The Audi valvelift system uses sliding cam units mounted on the intake camshaft, which are moved by an electronic control mechanism. Depending on the engine power demand, the valves are opened wide or less wide as determined by the position of the cam units.
The advantage: the required quantity of fresh charge can be very efficiently controlled via the valve opening. Most of the time, the throttle valve remains fully open, thus substantially reducing throttle loss. In combination with a series of additional measures to reduce friction on numerous components, the Audi valvelift system reduces fuel consumption by ten percent.
High power transmission comfort with athletic qualities
The new A8 2.8 FSI is equipped with front wheel drive and the multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission. The multitronic not only offers unmatched power transmission comfort with fully jolt-free acceleration, its tall overall gear ratios make for very fuel-efficient motoring. Nevertheless, the seven fixed ratios available in manual mode reveal its thoroughly athletic qualities.
In Germany the Audi A8 2.8 FSI with its extensive standard equipment costs from 61,900 euros incl. VAT.
The A8 impressively embodies the progressiveness of the Audi brand: its extremely rigid lightweight body based on the Audi Space Frame principle, the powerful FSI and TDI engines, quattro permanent four-wheel drive and the highly acclaimed MMI operating system are a few of the elements that demonstrate Audi's impressive "Vorsprung durch Technik" in the luxury class.
The character of the Audi A8 is formed by a synthesis of dynamic and agile performance and exceptionally refined ride and acoustic comfort. While setting new standards with its agility and steering precision, the A8 displays handling with definite sports car qualities. Even long journeys are both relaxing and pleasurable.
To underscore the unique character of this luxury saloon, Audi has further enhanced the two major strengths of the A8. The rack-and-pinion steering with variable steering ratio and servotronic speed-dependent power assistance has been optimised and engineered for a more direct feel. The dampers, supports and tuning of the adaptive air suspension have been revised. As a result, the A8 shows an even more spontaneous response to steering input, tightly follows winding country roads and effortlessly maintains a smooth straight line at high speeds.
Air suspension with even more sensitive comfort
Gains in performance and handling are matched by those in ride comfort: the standard-specification adaptive air suspension is now even more sensitive in responding to fine bumps. The electronically controlled variable dampers are now fitted with new seals to reduce friction. These are combined with new valves that have optimised characteristic curves, and the entire hydraulics have also been retuned. The A8 absorbs expansion joint grooves with supple ease and without even the hint of a vibration. With the addition of an insulation package to reduce rolling noise and road noise, the luxury saloon from Audi offers outstanding comfort.
Even the complete acoustics of the A8 have been optimised with the use of innovative materials - after all, Audi approaches noise insulation as a component of its intelligent lightweight construction. The result: without gaining weight, the Audi A8 achieves the lowest rolling, road and ambient noise levels in its class. Being one of the quietest cars in the world is an important element of the relaxing long-distance comfort that is a hallmark of the Audi A8.
Assistance systems bring comfort and safety
Drivers of the Audi A8 can rely on the support of the most up-to-date assistance systems. They serve to enhance comfort and combat driver fatigue on long journeys, thus making an important contribution to safety. The new Audi side assist in the A8 makes use of intelligent radar technology.
The system is especially designed for lane-changing manoeuvres and warns the driver of dangerous situations: whenever there is another vehicle in the critical zone, a yellow LED display in the exterior mirror housing lights up and remains on.
If the driver of the A8 activates the indicator to change lane even though the warning display is lit up, the LEDs become brighter and flash more quickly at shorter intervals. This signal is almost impossible to miss as the peripheral vision of the human eye is extremely sensitive to changes in contrast.
Audi lane assist warns the driver to prevent an unintentional departure from the lane. A small camera positioned above the interior mirror on the windscreen observes the road ahead of the car and a high-speed computer detects the lane marking lines. If the driver moves towards one of these lines without indicating, Audi lane assist makes the driver aware of this by a vibration in the steering wheel.
Still a step ahead in the luxury class
The clear and progressive design idiom of the Audi A8 stands out for its timeless quality. The exterior design has thus only been accentuated at carefully chosen points - from the modified single-frame grille and new exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals to the new wheel designs and LED tail lights with their innovative night design. To complete the range, the A8 is available in new paint finishes and with sophisticated aluminium trim inserts plus new interior colour schemes and inlays.
The Audi A8 thus resolutely continues its progress on the road to success. With sales of over 100,000 vehicles so far, the current model has already exceeded the total sales volume of its predecessor. And it is continuing to make gains year by year in a market segment that has remained flat overall. How come? Because the A8 steadily attracts customers from other brands with its clear character, while at the same time product loyalty and repurchase rates among A8 drivers are above average.