The new Audi A8 takes luxury, design, and technology to the next level while showcasing a new era in the brand’s design strategy. Signature gets up close with the car at the regional drive launch held in Dubai

New technologies, sporty elegance, aesthetic design and a contemporary character make the new Audi A8 stand out from the rest. Unveiled to regional media at a special event in Dubai, the Audi A8 is all about luxury and technology which provides a view into what lies ahead from the German auto manufacturer.

The progressive character of the new Audi flagship becomes especially clear in the side view. The flat roof dome lends the sedan a sporty touch, while stretched lines underscore its length. The upright front end combined with the gently inclined rear creates visual excitement. The proportions equally highlight the front and rear wheels, while subdued muscularity via the wheel arches signifies the quattro drive. The lighting is also state-of-the-art, especially in the top-of-the line version with HD Matrix LED headlights including Audi laser light and rear lamps with OLED technology. The result is a dynamic light show as the driver approaches and leaves the car.

The body of the new A8 follows the Audi Space Frame principle. The body consists 58 percent of aluminum parts, whose strength has significantly increased compared with the predecessor model. The cabin consists of hot-formed steel components, complemented by an ultra-high-strength, torsionally extremely rigid rear panel made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. A magnesium strut-tower bar completes the lightweight construction concept. With its combination of four different materials, the luxury sedan embodies a new level of multi-material design, to the customer’s direct benefit – and not just in terms of weight reduction. The superior rigidity of the body provides the foundation for the precise handling, the excellent ride comfort and the acoustic tranquility on board.

The interior of the A8 resembles a lavish, spacious lounge. Compared to the predecessor model, it has grown in length by 32 millimeters in both body versions. The interior has been deliberately reduced in form, and its architecture oriented strictly horizontally. In darkness, contour and ambient lighting elegantly outlines the striking design lines. New for the rear compartment are precisely controllable Matrix LED reading lights. The range of equipment and materials is extensive, with every detail radiating superlative bespoke quality – from the perforation in the seat upholstery to the electrically opening and closing decorative shutters on the air vents and the satiny leather of the comfort head restraints.

The most elegant place in the new Audi flagship is the rear right-hand seat – this is the optionally available relaxation seat in the A8 L and features many options for adjustment as well as a footrest on the backrest of the front-passenger seat. Here, passengers can massage and warm the soles of their feet at several levels. Included in the relaxation seat package are a back massage feature, electrically height-adjustable comfort head restraints, footrests, a long center console and, as optional features, folding tables with two-stage adjustable inclination, the Rear Seat Entertainment system comprising two Audi tablets, and the Rear Seat Remote. Rear-seat passengers can use the touch control on this new operating unit to run numerous convenience and infotainment features as well as make discreet phone calls. The Rear Seat Remote with its OLED display is approximately as big as a smartphone and can be removed from where it is stored in the center armrest.

In the A8, Audi conveys its claim to high quality to the digital age with a revolutionary operating concept. The A8 dispenses with the rotary/push-button control and touchpad of its predecessor – MMI touch becomes MMI touch response. At the center of the instrument panel is a 10.1-inch touchscreen display which, when off, blends almost invisibly into the high-gloss black surround thanks to its black-panel look. When the system is started, the user interface appears which features new, concise graphics. The menu structure is intuitive and flat, as with a modern smartphone. The user can freely arrange the icons according to their importance.

The new Audi A8 will, for the first time, be equipped with an electrified drivetrain as standard. The engines are equipped for this purpose with mild-hybrid technology: a belt alternator starter (BAS) and a lithium-ion battery with 10 Ah electrical capacity. The new A8 can then coast at speeds between 55 and 160 km/h with the engine off. As a result, the vehicle can then travel with zero emissions for up to 40 seconds. As soon as the driver steps on the gas again, the BAS prompts a swift, very smooth restart. The new 48-volt system, which in the new A8 functions for the first time as a main vehicle electrical system, allows a high recuperation power of up to 12 kW plus start-stop operation from 22 km/h . The combined effect of these measures is to bring down the fuel consumption by as much as 0.7 liters per 100 kilometers in customer operation.

On A8 vehicles equipped with the pre sense 360° system with central sensor data merger in the central driver assistance controller, the Audi AI active suspension also increases passive safety. In the event of an impending side impact at more than 25 km/ h, the body is raised by up to 80 millimeters within half a second. As a result, the other party of the accident collides with a more resistant zone of the sedan. Deformation of the cabin and the loads acting on the occupants, above all in the chest and abdominal areas, can thus be reduced by up to 50 percent compared with a lateral collision in which the suspension is not raised.