Audi A8: Luxury Meets Autonomy

As seen by the new Audi A8 – Active suspension system reads the road ahead for an unruffled ride

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.

As "mild" hybrids, the new A8 models will benefit from greater fuel economy and increased refinement, with the technology deployed to help Audi close the gap between its flagship saloon and Mercedes' S-class. The rear sees the use of OLED lights. "Audi will therefore be adopting a step-by-step approach to the introduction of the traffic jam pilot in production models". When the vehicle is switched off, its hard to decipher if there was a screen in its place at all. Audi says that this latest-gen MMI system is safe, faster and more intuitive to use.

The whole process from detection to adjustment happens in just a few milliseconds as the camera generates information about the condition of the upcoming road surface a staggering 18 times a second, so everything happens without the car's occupants noticing. Audi has also put feet massagers for the passengers sitting at the rear seats.

Audi will launch its On Demand auto service in the United Kingdom later this year. Audi's autonomous driving system comes with a feature called the AI Traffic Jam Pilot, which will help navigate the vehicle during traffic jams by moving autonomously, without any driver input to move out of the gridlock.

There's also a second touchscreen display on the centre tunnel console, which gives the driver access to the air conditioning, comfort functions, and text inputs.

Audi has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology which learns the driver's habits, likes, dislikes, and routes to make recommendations based on all the data. For this, the A8 now uses a laser scanner (first in a production car), ultrasonic sensors, front camera as well as radar sensors.

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The rest are contained within the Virtual Cockpit we already know and love.

Other parts of the A8's autonomous tech include parking pilot and garage pilot, which allow the A8 to autonomously steer itself in and out of parking spaces and garages. But is it enough to take on its newest competitor, the ultra-modern 2018 Audi A8? We spoke about it before as well.

The aforementioned suspension system works thanks to an electric motor on each wheel and incorporates a rotary tube and an internal titanium torsion bar and lever that can apply up to 1,100 Nm (811.3 lb-ft) of torque on the suspension courtesy of a coupling rod. This is the same system that we have seen in the SQ7 SUV.

The Audi AI suspension, meanwhile, is a fully active system that can raise or lower each wheel independently. The Audi A8 is one of its kind which combines hi-end luxury with updated technology. Both cars come with active suspension, and can be had with a 286 horsepower 3.0-liter diesel V6, a 340 horsepower 3.0-liter gas V6, a 435 horsepower 4.0-liter diesel, a 460 horsepower 4.0-liter gas V8, and a 6.0-liter W12 (Audi doesn't mention its power figures). Two eight-cylinder versions - a 4.0 TDI with 435hp and a 4.0 TFSI with 460hp - will follow slightly later. The power figures though are yet to be disclosed.

The sedan comes with a hybrid engine and a new infotainment system. Audi says this system will be able to eliminate nearly all vibrations and jolts.

In the near future, Audi will also add an electrified e-tron version of the A8L to its line-up.

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