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Audi A8 to debut tonight

12 July 2017, 12:43 | Hattie Nash

New 2018 Audi A8 Revealed At Audi Summit

Audi A8L global launch

Right after countless teasers on the internet, Audi has finally taken the wraps off its fourth-generation flagship A8 model at the Audi Summit in Barcelona. At 5.17 metres long, the new A8 is nearly exactly the same length as its major rivals, the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Jaguar XJ. The new active suspension will be one of the standout features of the uber-sedan, and it will utilize an advanced camera system coupled with individual electric motors so each wheel can adapt incredibly precisely to different road surfaces.

In terms of exterior design, the new Audi A8 takes its inspiration from the Prologue concept that was showcased back in 2014. Its user interface appears when the auto is opened, and allows the driver fingertip control of the Infotainment system, while a second touchscreen display on the centre tunnel console accesses the air conditioning, comfort functions, and text inputs. Part of an available suite of 41 individual driver-assistant functions, it takes charge of driving in slow moving nose-to-tail traffic up to a speed of 31 miles per hour (50 km/h) on roads where a physical barrier separates the opposing lanes. The system is activated by a button on the center console, and it can take over acceleration, braking, steering, and starting from a dead-stop, all without the driver paying attention. When coupled with advancements in vehicle intelligence, it's no stretch to assume Audi is planting seeds in its customer's minds about riding in the backseat while the A8 drives itself. As soon as the system reaches its limits requires the driver to immediately resume driving.

Audi will introduce the all-new A8 in India late 2018 and is expected to cost upwards of Rs 1 crore. So, it helps the driver from having to continually check the vehicle.

The second fun technology powered by the 48-volt system is the new suspension.

On sale from autumn 2017, with guide prices starting from €90,600 in Germany (that's around £80,000), the new A8 is 37mm longer and up to 17mm taller than the outgoing vehicle, but 4mm narrower.

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Audi says the new A8 signals the beginning of a new design era for the entire brand.

New luxury-focused features include an optional relaxation seat in the A8 L with four different adjustment options and a footrest, new comfort head restraints, a separate operating unit for the phone and electrically opening and closing shutters on the air vents. The A8 isn't so much a bet as an investment for Audi, as it levels up in the world of self-driving vehicles. AI remote parking pilot and the AI remote garage are also present to operate the new A8 without any driver under certain conditions.

On the road, the A8 will have a diesel 3.0-litre V6 producing 282bhp or a petrol 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 with 335bhp from launch. Rear passengers will get a new foot massaging feature and every powertrain will come standard with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The exclusive top engine version is the W12 with a displacement of 6.0 liters.

As well as the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display that we've become accustomed to in modern Audis, the new A8 also two more screens - a 10.1in screen for controlling infotainment functions, and a curved 8.6in screen for climate controls. Two 4.0-litre V8 engines too make their presence felt with 435PS and 460PS respectively for the petrol and diesel engines.

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