2019 Audi A8 Preview
Joseph Dobrian | Nov 20, 2017
- Fourth-generation Audi A8 promises exceptional balance of safety, dynamics and comfort
- New touch-screen MMI system features haptic feedback for user-friendly operation
- Exterior offers Singleframe grille and flat roof dome
- Refurbished body features additional strength and rigidity
- New interior features improved ambient lighting and horizontal design lines
IntroductionArriving in the U.S. market in late 2018, the new Audi A8 will represent a transformation for Audi in the luxury market. The automaker says the all-new 2019 A8 flagship sedan will set the bar for the brand’s pursuits in design, technology, performance, and driver-assistance systems, which all future model lines will look to clear. Various driver-assistance systems address issues of safety, communication, and convenience.
Exterior FeaturesThe front of the 2019 Audi A8 features a broad, upright Singleframe grille; the rear boasts a full-length strip of dynamic lighting; the overall body design is flowing and muscular, according to Audi. The flat roof dome provides a sporty touch, while stretched lines underscore the vehicle’s length and luxurious presence. The exterior proportions equally highlight the front and rear wheels, with definition at the wheel arches calling attention to the standard quattro all-wheel drive (AWD). Available are HD Matrix LED headlights and rear lamps with OLED technology. These taillights continue the horizontal architecture from the front of the vehicle to create a dynamic light show, Audi says. Based on the ASF multi-material frame technology, the body of the 2019 A8 consists of 58% aluminum parts paired with hot form-steel and ultra-high-strength carbon fiber-reinforced polymer components, creating a body that’s dramatically stronger than the outgoing model, according to Audi.
Interior FeaturesThe interior of the A8 has been simplified, refined, and redesigned for the 2019 model year. The contour and ambient lighting subtly highlight the new horizontal design lines and luxury fittings. Rear-seat passengers can enjoy a host of relaxation and comfort features, including available, fully customizable Matrix LED reading lights; reclining and multi-setting heated massage seating; electrically height-adjustable comfort head restraints; footrests; a long center heated console and arm rests; 4-zone automatic air conditioning; and a rear-seat entertainment system comprised of two Audi tablets and a detachable rear-seat remote. Stored in the center console, this smartphone-sized OLED touch-control remote allows passengers to conveniently customize their seating and infotainment preferences. The right rear passenger seat offers an available heated massaging footrest discretely positioned on the rear of the front passenger seat.
Optional FeaturesA notable option on the new Audi A8 is dynamic all-wheel steering, which allows the steering angles at the front and rear axles to be set independently of one another. It combines instantaneous response and steering behavior with superior driving stability, tightening the steering radius and offering improved performance at high and low speeds, according to Audi. This all-wheel steering feature shrinks the turning radius of the A8 long wheelbase to 38.7 ft. – the same as an A4 sedan.
Under the HoodThe 2019 Audi A8 will launch with a new 3.0-liter V-6 turbo engine; the powertrain is paired with a standard new 48-volt electric mild-hybrid drivetrain. This 10Ah Lithium-ion battery and new belt-driven alternator starter (BAS) have been engineered to support the TFSI engine and will function as the main vehicle electrical system, enabling the advanced infotainment and luxury equipment—including the driver-assistance systems and electromechanical suspension in the A8. This system, Audi says, allows for recuperation of power and is designed to provide a ride that’s smoother, more efficient, and more responsive. The paired powertrains operate in conjunction with an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission and standard quattro AWD with self-locking center differential.
SafetyOn vehicles equipped with the pre-sense 360-degree system, the Audi active suspension also enhances passive safety systems through mitigating the impact of side collisions. In the event a potential side impact is detected (through onboard sensors and camera systems) at more than 15.5 mph, the vehicle’s body is raised by up to 3.1 ins. within half a second. As a result, the other vehicle collides with a more rigid zone of the side on the A8 sedan. Further preparing the cabin for possible impact, the vehicle simultaneously engages pre-collision preparation, optimizing the interior for possible impact.
TechnologyThe 2019 Audi A8 presents a suite of high-tech driver-assistance and convenience systems. In addition to advancements in systems previously debuted by the Audi Q7, including the stress-reducing adaptive cruise assist, advanced collision mitigation, and cross-traffic alert, the state-of-the-art Audi driver-assistance platform includes an advanced intersection assist. The advanced maneuvering assist offers steering inputs and braking when navigating the tightest garage facilities, thus helping to avoid costly low-speed impact with unseen walls, columns, and other vehicles. Mirror-mounted cameras provide curb warnings. The new A8 also debuts the Audi AI park pilot and the Audi AI garage pilot. While the system takes control, the driver can relax hands-free in the vehicle or monitor the action from nearby with smartphone control.
The new A8 is the first production automobile developed specially for Level 3 automated driving. In A8 models equipped with Audi AI traffic jam pilot, the feature takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 37 mph on freeways and highways where a physical barrier separates directional traffic.
The foundation of these systems is the central driver-assistance controller (zFAS). This tablet-sized central controller continually merges the signals from all sensors into a differentiated model of the vehicle’s surroundings through its high-powered NVIDIA processors.
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