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Audi’s flagship fourth-generation A8 luxury limo will cruise into Australian showrooms from mid-July in turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel and petrol flavours, as well as standard- and long-wheelbase forms, priced from $192,000 before on-road costs.
Adding 130mm to the overall length and $15,000 to the sticker price, the extended wheelbase L body style is available for $207,000 and $210,000 in the 50 TDI and 55 TFSI respectively.
Both engines also employ a mild-hybrid 48-volt system that allows the A8 to coast between 55 and 160km/h with the engine switched off, and can recover energy in stop-start situations for fuel savings of up to 0.7 litres per 100km.
All versions send power through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission to Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system with a self-locking centre differential. A sports differential is available as an option.
Adaptive air suspension with electronically controlled dampers is standard across the new A8 range and offers four ride height options, while ‘Audi AI’ active suspension will be introduced as an option next year.
From the outside, the new A8 is easily distinguished by its broader ‘Singleframe’ front grille and ‘HD Matrix’ LED headlights, as well as chiselled front fascia and muscular body lines.
Inside, the A8 features dual touchscreens in the centre stack, measuring 10.1 and 8.6 inches respectively, to handle multimedia and in-cabin functions such as climate control, Bluetooth phone pairing, satellite navigation and digital radio.
Aside from touch inputs, the system can also recognise handwriting and voice commands, while also providing haptic and acoustic feedback.
Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’ all-digital instrumentation and head-up display are included across the range as standard, as is a panoramic glass sunroof, 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and rear-seat remote control.
Safety equipment extends to stop and go adaptive cruise control, a surround-view display, exit warning, and Audi pre-sense front and rear, as well as active lane, cross-traffic, collision avoidance, intersection, efficiency and turn assist.
Dynamic all-wheel steering is available as an option in all A8 variants, while L buyers can also opt for rear relaxation seats that includes back and foot massage and heating functions.
According to Audi Australia, the new-gen model will carry up to $36,000 worth of additional value compared with the outgoing model, depending on the chosen variant.
Across the range, the latest A8 is built on a lightweight ‘Audi Space Frame’ comprising aluminium and carbon-fibre to reduce heft by 10 per cent but increase rigidity by 24 per cent compared with its predecessor.
Audi is touting that “the all-new A8 is also the first production model in the world to be developed with future capability for Level 3 autonomous driving”, which would allow the large luxury sedan to drive itself in highway settings.
The German premium brand is also promising that parking and garage pilot automated systems will be available after launch.