The world premiere of the new Audi A8 took place at the Design Miami event, and was followed by the release of the official information and images on the new flagship.
The exterior design appears to be an evolution of the previous model.
The general dimensions have increased, while the smooth and clean design has been made more muscular and dynamic with the introduction of a dominant side character line and other styling cues borrowed from the brand’s new design language.
Like the R8, the new A8 hasalso full LED headlights and tail lights.
Another feature of the A8 flagship is the aluminum Audi Space Frame (ASF), which in this latest evolution includes many high-strength components which have contributed to increase the torsional stiffnes by 25%.
The structure weights about 40 percent less than a comparable steel one and is coupled with aluminum body panels.
Great attention was paid to aerodynamics, with a resulting drag coefficient of 0.26.
The interior features an improved MMI operating system, with a touchpad interface, combined with advanced driver assistance and safety systems.
At launch the new A8 will be available with two engines, a 4.2 FSI with 273 kW (372 hp) and a 4.2 TDI with 258 kW (350 hp). They will be followed by a 3.0 TDI with 184 kW (250 hp) and by another variant with 150 kW (204 hp) and front-wheel drive which will have an average fuel consumption of only 6.0 liters per 100 km (39.20 US mpg).
The fuel consumption has dropped by 13 to 22 percent, thanks to technologies like the recuperation system and innovative thermal management.
The new A8 will arrive at dealerships in early 2010.
From the official Press Release:
The outer skin of the new A8 conveys homogeneity, as if modeled from a full volume. A coupé-like roof line lets the silhouette flow; sculptured surfaces conveying calmness and prestige contrast with sharp lines.
The new A8 underscores the leading position maintained by Audi in the field of automotive design. Representing the cutting edge in many innovative technologies, the A8 indicates this role through new and progressive design elements.
5137 mm (16.85 ft) in length, with a 2992 mm (9.82 ft) wheelbase, 1949 mm (6.39 ft) in width and 1460 mm (4.79 ft) in height – the new luxury sedan exceeds in length and width both its predecessor and its competitors.
The single-frame radiator grille is framed by a chrome edge and presents a new design – sculptured, three- dimensional and rich in details.
With angular upper corners, it is neatly integrated in the front section, while the prominent, horizontal chrome braces emphasize the vehicle width.
The side view of the new Audi A8 also gives the image of concentrated and forward-thrusting power. Typically for the Audi line, the vehicle line makes up two-thirds of the height, with the remaining third falling to the greenhouse.
The line continues close above the wheel arches, giving the A8 a powerful appearance on the road.
The surfaces below the tornado line interpret the interplay of light and shadow, of convexity and concavity, and are statement of seriousness and timeless elegance.
Proceeding downwards, the surfaces are framed by the rising dynamic line running above the side sills.
Large wheels – from 17 to 21 inches in diameter – fill the wheel arches pulled out wide.
At the rear the separation edge gives an impression of sleekness, which further reinforces the impressively sculptured surfaces. A chrome strip underlines the width of the sedan, terminating in a diffuser.
As its predecessors, the new Audi A8 has an all-aluminium body mounted on an aluminum space frame. The structure, named Audi Space Frame (ASF) was first introduced in 1994 with the first generation Audi A8 .
In the latest evolution, tThe aluminum panels – such as the roof panels and the side panels – are joined by friction connections.
Depending on their tasks, the components of the ASF body fully differ in shape and cross-sectional area.
For example, the A-pillar nodes of the new A8 – one of 25 castings in the body – interconnect the longitudinal member, the sill, the omega cross-member, the windshield crossmember, the roof frame and the suspension strut mount.
The lateral roof frame, on the other hand, is formed by a single extruded section; its cross-section changes flexibly from the A-pillar to the C-pillar.
One of the keys for this is a novel composite material for the aluminum panels.
The use of this new, high-strength aluminum alloy alone enabled a weight saving of 6.5 kilograms (14.33 lb).
The static torsional stiffness has increased by 25 percent compared with the predecessor.
In terms of lightweight quality — the relationship between weight, torsional stiffness and size — the body achieved an improvement of
The large curve integrates the sleek and low instrument panel. Its neat & tidy front is shaped like a gentle wave.
The large, round instruments are clearly delineated. The driver information system (DIS), which serves as a fully fledged information and control center, has a new layout
. Its center display has increased to a 7-inch diagonal, showing all functions in an easily understandable concept.
The center tunnel is wide and evenly inclined and contains the control panel for the automatic air conditioning and the terminal of the MMI control and multimedia system.
It forms a clearly organized touch & feel arrangement of three zones, one of which is reserved for audio. The driver’s wrist on the selector lever of the 8-speed tiptronic, asymmetrically located on the center tunnel, leaving the hand at ease to touch and turn switches.
The large monitor with its 8-inch diagonal is extremely flat. Its display area is divided into three information zones, while the menu control system follows a further improved and intuitive logic. All topics are presented in elegant, three-dimensional graphics.
The large controls and buttons are optionally available with aluminum surfaces. Many switches gleam in high-gloss black, and all frequently used parts are covered by a new kind of top coat making them extremely scratch-resistant.
The large decorative inlays each consist of two parts: the bottom elements come in standard highly polished black, the top ones in walnut brown, while the whole is accentuated by fine chrome strips.
Brushed aluminum and fine woods are optionally available from Audi. All components feature uncompromisingly precise workmanship and minimal gaps.
Audi offers five basic colors for the interior, and three shades for the roof lining.
Customers can choose from two Audi design selections in special colors that integrate many luxurious equipment features. Audi also offers several leather packages, an Alcantara package and the extended aluminum look in the interior.
The adaptive light system controls the swiveling modules while the new all-weather light integrated into the headlights replaces the fog lights. Their traditional location in the air intakes is now occupied by the radar sensors of the optional adaptive cruise control with stop & go function.
The continuous headlight range control, a further development of the high-beam assistant. A video camera mounted in front of the inside mirror recognizes other vehicles by their lights. A computer adapts the vehicle’s own light through a sliding range that guarantees the maximum possible illumination.
The headlight control unit is connected with the navigation system, which analyzes the route ahead and relays the data to the light computer to activate highway lighting with its extended range while still on the ramp to the highway, for example.
Before entering an intersection, the system activates the cornering light, which provides wider-angle illumination and thus enhances safety.
Their revolutionary optics mean a departure from the large, tubular light modules commonly used today.
The low beams comprise ten individual modules forming an arc situated below the wing-shaped chrome contour known as the “wing.” Just below this is another arc of 22 white and 22 yellow LEDs for the daytime running lights and the turn signals.
Their thick wall technology makes them appear from the outside as homogenous, continuous strips of light.
Located above the wing are the high beams, whose light is generated by two powerful four-chip LEDs and a free surface reflector system. An assistant switches between the high and low beams, and additional high-power LEDs generate the highway light and cornering light. A separate fan and heat sink moderate the system’s temperature.
The full LED headlights offer a number of functional advantages in everyday situations. With a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin, their light resembles daylight and thus is much less tiring to the eyes. They also offer efficiency advantages. The low beams, for example, consume only 40 watts per unit, a bit less than the already highly efficient xenon plus headlights.
The tail lights also produce an appearance both three-dimensional and striking – and typically Audi. They, too, use LED technology with 72 light-emitting diodes per unit. Chip-on-board LEDs, which can be packed tightly together with high precision, are used in many areas due to the limited amount of space available.
The tail lights form a trapezoidal contour that appears as an even, homogenous strip. Its upper segment is a light guide – a plastic tube; the lower section is a reflective, textured free-form surface. It is thicker than the upper segment to optically lower the center of gravity of the A8’s back end. The turn signal is a horizontal line. The five-segment brake light is located inside the trapezoid.