The sportiest premium sedan in the full-size class – the new Audi A8
Uncompromising: The quality
Quality knows no compromise, and this philosophy was also applied to the interior design of the new A8 and A8 L. The combination of premium materials, their appearance and their feel are responsible for the handcrafted atmosphere on board the large sedan.
One special feature in the Audi A8 is the start-stop button on the center tunnel console. It is illuminated red from within, and the letters have been machined with extreme precision from the aluminum surface. The backs of the deluxe seats have inlays of fine wood. The edges of all the veneers are reworked by hand following machine milling.
All the veneer elements for one car are generally made from one root or one trunk so that the individual pieces have a uniform appearance with respect to shade and grain.
The selector lever of the eight-speed tiptronic is covered with either leather, wood veneer or carbon. An illuminated display for the driving program is embedded in the surface. All of the switches in the new Audi A8 move easily without play. The operating forces, sounds and travel have been precisely defined.
Many of the controls have a high-gloss black finish. Heavily used components are coated with a UV-cured topcoat that makes them extremely resistant to scratching. A coat of Cerapaint protects the aluminum sill strips against damage. The strips bear illuminated, model-specific logos in the A8 hybrid, the S8 and the A8 L W12. With all other variants, they are illuminated in combination with the ambient lighting.
Natural-looking and sustainable: The new Unicum leather
One of the highlights of the new Audi A8 is the Unicum leather, which is particularly natural-looking, breathable and soft. It has been tanned sustainably, with the tanning agents produced from central European leaves and herbs, thus placing a priority on resource conservation and a responsibility to nature. Natural features of the animal hide remain visible, and the leather is not sealed but rather treated only with a water-repellant protective coating. This natural surface emphasizes the leather as a natural product.
Unicum leather is emblematic of a new philosophy regarding the equipment and trim of the new A8. Luxury in this case means sustainability and authenticity – the emphasis on intentionally natural materials that have been carefully selected and processed. The seat upholstery comprises 110 individual pieces of leather that have been cut, placed and stitched by hand.
The concept behind the inlays also reflects this philosophy. The new wood application fine grain poplar brown silver naturally contains a lot of knots, which can fall out as the wood dries. A paste of silver pigments fills in the holes. This enables significantly larger amounts of veneer to be used – reflecting again the sustainable use of natural materials.
The wood decor fine grain ash natural gold brown is left naturally open-pored. Its surface feels rough to the touch for an unadulterated haptic experience.
The applications in the area of the instrument panel and doors of the A8 are made of two pieces. The bottom section of the standard inlay is high-gloss black, and the upper application surfaces are a new dark walnut. Besides the new veneers fine grain poplar brown silver and fine grain ash natural pearl gray, the range also includes Vavona wood assam gray, fine grain ash balsamico and piano finish black. The standard applications in the S8 are made of Carbon Atlas in combination with aluminum.
There is a choice of seven base colors for the interior: black, nutmeg, nougat brown, atlas beige, velvet beige, titanium gray and lunar silver (S8-specific). The upper section of the instrument panel and the top shoulders are available in black, steel gray or moor brown. The colors for the headlining, which is also available in Alcantara, are lunar silver, silk beige, black and snow white. There is also a wide range of materials available. The standard seats in the V6 models and the A8 hybrid are covered with black fabric, with Valcona leather available as an option. The comfort seats are available in Valette, Valcona or natural leather.
Audi offers two design selections in addition to the standard selections: Balao brown and sycamore gray. The design selection Balao brown combines rich, chocolate brown leather with inlays of open-pored, balsamico fine grain ash and silvery aluminum. A white Alcantara headlining and white contrast stitching provide accents. With the new Audi design selection sycamore gray, the full leather interior is immersed in gray tones accentuated with stitching and piping in pearl gold. The inlays are fine grain ash natural pearl gray with the pores washed with gold. The headlining here is also snow white Alcantara.
An exclusive design in black-Vermont brown is available for the S8. The climate-controlled sport seats in Vermont brown leather have dark contrast stitching, while the rest of the interior is black with color-matched brown accents on many of the leather-covered components. The application in the doors and the instrument panel is the new carbon twill with copper thread, a harmonious complement to the black and brown interior. Typical for the S models, the headlining is black Alcantara.
The Audi exclusive range offers many additional suggestions for leather upholstery/trim and wood applications.
The new A8, the Audi flagship, rolls off the assembly line with a comprehensive array of standard equipment. Numerous high-end features are available on request. In addition, the Audi exclusive range offers virtually unlimited opportunities for customizing the sedan to the buyer’s own personal style.
The new Audi A8 occupies a special position in the luxury class with respect to the drivetrain and chassis. The eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive are standard with all model variants except for the A8 hybrid. The A8 4.2 TDI and the S8 also come standard with the sport differential. The Audi drive select system, which is also standard in the A8, controls such features as the adaptive air suspension including active damper control.
Numerous active and passive safety systems are on board. In the German market, LED headlights are standard in all eight-cylinder models and the hybrid. The A8 L W12 even comes standard with the Matrix LED headlights. The LED rear lights, Audi pre sense basic and the anti-theft alarm system also serve safety and security. The adaptive restraint system, eight airbags, tire pressure monitoring display, Isofix anchor points for mounting child safety seats and Audi pre sense basic round out the safety package. Helping after a rear-end collision is the secondary collision brake assist, which prevents the car from skidding uncontrollably.
The standard range of comfort and convenience figures is equally impressive. These include such body features as the sliding/tilting glass sunroof (in the A8 L), the power-closing trunk, and heated and power folding side mirrors.
In the cabin, the new A8 comes standard with cruise control, two-zone automatic air conditioning, LED interior lighting and power sunshades in the back (in the A8 L).
Its extremely comfortable ergonomics concept includes the power front seats with lumbar support and leather upholstery (except for V6 and A8 hybrid), power steering column, electromechanical parking brake, start-stop button, the MMI operating system with the eight-inch monitor, and the driver information system with seven-inch monitor and rest recommendation, which is controlled via the multifunction steering wheel.
Optional extras: Tailored individuality
The new Audi A8 is also far ahead of the competition when it comes to optional extras. Noteworthy extras in the area of dynamics are the dynamic steering, the adaptive air suspension sport and the carbon fiber-ceramic brakes (V8 models and up). Wheels are available in sizes up to 21 inches (with the S8). Besides the xenon plus headlights for the six-cylinder models, LED headlights (standard in eight-cylinder models and the A8 hybrid) or the innovative Matrix LED headlights (standard in the A8 L W12) can also be ordered. Audi underscores its leadership position in automotive lighting with this three-tier offer.
Practical features for every day includes the trunk package, the load-through hatch with removable ski bag (not with A8 hybrid), the gesture-controlled trunk lock (standard with S8 and A8 L W12) and the power opening and closing trunk lid (standard with A8 L W12). Power closing for the doors is available as an option, as is sound-insulating glazing for the windows (both standard with A8 L W12). There is also a solar sliding/tilting sunroof for the normal wheelbase A8 and a panorama glass roof for the long version.
Among the numerous luxury options are a few features that deserve special mention: the convenience key with sensor-controlled trunk lock (standard with the S8 and A8 L W12), four-zone automatic air conditioning (standard with S8 and A8 L W12), auxiliary heating and windshield heating (neither of which with the A8 hybrid), the relaxation seat (in the A8 L), heated steering wheel (standard with A8 L W12) and the ambient lighting (standard with A8 hybrid, S8 and A8 L W12).
22-way adjustment: The comfort seats
Audi also offers numerous seating options. The comfort seats for the driver and front seat passenger (standard with the A8 L W12) and the comfort sport seats (standard in the S8) offer 22-way adjustment. Ventilation and massage functions are available as options. The natural-looking Unicum leather is a particularly attractive upholstery.
A three-element seating system with two power-adjustable and heated individual seats is available for the rear of the Audi A8 (standard with A8 L W12, not available for A8 hybrid). In the long-wheelbase A8, this can be combined with the optional continuous, leather-covered center console. Audi also offers ventilation and massage functions for the individual rear seats, fold-out tables and a cool box and a bar compartment. The high-end solution is the relaxation seat with power fold-out footrest (A8 L only). It comes with many top features, including the rear seat entertainment system.
Audi has developed a broad program of interior colors, upholsteries and inlays for the luxury sedan’s customers. The two Audi design selections impress with particularly exclusive combinations and with various optional packages and individual solutions with leather, Alcantara and fine wood veneers.
The assistance systems adaptive cruise control with stop&go function, Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, the park assist systems, the night vision assistant, camera-based speed limit display and the head-up display support the driver. The first two systems are combined with versions of the Audi pre sense safety system. Audi includes the full version with the name Audi pre sense plus in the assistance package (not for A8 hybrid).
The range of navigation and infotainment systems is also extremely attractive. MMI navigation plus (standard in the S8 and A8 L W12) has the data on the road ahead and forwards these to the control units for the tiptronic, the headlights and the ACC stop&go. MMI touch is available for entering destinations, and Audi connect links the A8 to the Internet. Three sound systems, including the top-end system from Bang & Olufsen, spoil the ears with premium sound.
The new Audi A8 is scheduled to arrive at German dealerships in November. Despite the more generous list of equipment and more powerful engines, prices vary only slightly. In Germany the A8 3.0 TDI quattro is priced at 74,500 euros.
The most important sales market for the new Audi A8 is China, where the brand’s sales figures have been rising sharply for many years. Europe and North America also play important roles. The Asian customers, in particular, prefer the long-wheelbase A8.