New Audi A8 Preview

12 July, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • As seen by the new Audi A8 – Active suspension system reads the road ahead for an unruffled ride

Finally, after years of testing, months of teasers and days of eager anticipation, the all-new Audi A8 has officially premiered at the Audi Summit in Barcelona, Spain. The new Audi A8 will compete with the likes of BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

With rear wheel steering said to make the new A8 as agile and as nimble as a current A4, Audi is going all out to make its new limo as good to drive as it is to be driven in.

When it's launched on July 11, the new A8 will be far and away the most technologically advanced Audi model ever.

The introduction of the Audi AI traffic jam pilot means the statutory framework will need to be clarified in each individual market, along with the country-specific definition of the application and testing of the system.In addition, a range of approval procedures and their corresponding timescales will need to be observed worldwide. In 2018 the vehicle will be outfitted with automatic Parking, automatic Parking garage auto-pilot in traffic jams.

The system uses a combination of radar and ultrasonic sensors, as well as a front-facing camera and a laser scanner to monitor the car's surroundings during piloted driving.

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The £70,000 luxury saloon is packed with gadgets and claims to be the first "Level 3" driverless vehicle.

The traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking.

Beyond its self-driving system the new A8 is packed with plenty of other futuristic technology, including an interior that relies heavily on touch-sensitive panels in place of traditional physical buttons. The system uses its own 48-volt electrical system to power actuators that can improve the car's comfort or sportiness depending on setting and road condition. As soon as the system reaches its limits requires the driver to immediately resume driving.

Underpinning the new A8 is a new aluminium structure that utilises the latest lightweight materials and construction methods to reduce the car's overall body-in-white weight.

The new Audi A8 is 5,172mm long, 1,945mm wide and 1,473mm tall - which makes it 37mm longer, 4mm narrower and 13mm taller than the outgoing model.

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Audi's headlong push into Level 3 autonomy comes as many in the industry are fretting over "the handoff" - that moment when semi-autonomous systems turn driving back over to the human in the front seat. The rotary dial from the current auto has now gone and replacement with a large 10.1-inch touchscreen that Audi says blends nearly invisibly into the dash. The electric motor will be supplied juice from a lithium-ion battery pack that is expected to offer an all-electric range of around 50 km.

Audi says two eight-cylinder versions - a 4.0 TDI with 320 kW and a 4.0 TFSI with 338 kW will follow slightly later.

As well as the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display that we've become accustomed to in modern Audis, the new A8 also two more screens - a 10.1in screen for controlling infotainment functions, and a curved 8.6in screen for climate controls. The 6.0-litre W12 version (presumably using a Bentley engine) arrives later.

Then there's the optional "relaxation seat", which is at the rear on the passenger's side, and lets a passenger "warm and massage the soles of their feet". All of them will operate in conjunction with a belt alternator starter, which is the nerve centre of the 48V electrical system.

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