The Audi A8: Chassis
Driving enjoyment in the luxury class
The character of the Audi A8 is a result of the synthesis of dynamic, light-footed driveability and exceptional ride and acoustic comfort. With its agility and steering precision the A8 has set new standards; in terms of handling it has the qualities of a sports car. Even long journeys provide enjoyment and relaxation at the same time.
To emphasise this unique character of the A8 even further, both strengths of the saloon have been enhanced. The rack-and-pinion steering with variable ratios and servotronic speed-dependent power assistance has been optimised and is more direct, similarly to the S8. Shock absorbers, bearings and air suspension settings have been updated. As a result, the new A8 responds more spontaneously to steering inputs, tackles winding country roads with precision and as if on its own maintains calm and supreme straight-line stability at high speeds.
Air suspension with an even more sensitive response
Similarly to the handling characteristics, ride comfort has also been improved: the standard adaptive air suspension is now more responsive to minor irregularities in the road surface. The continuously variable shock absorbers feature new seals to reduce friction, new valves optimise the characteristics, the entire hydraulics system has been retuned. The A8 even moves smoothly over transverse joints, with no vibration whatsoever. Together with the package designed to insulate the vehicle from rolling and road noise, the luxury saloon from Audi offers outstanding comfort.
The foundation for these excellent driving characteristics is provided by the Audi A8s aluminium running gear, with five-link front suspension and self-tracking trapezoidal link rear suspension. The standard adaptive air suspension featuring active continuously variable shock absorbers solves the classic conflict between sporty handling and luxurious ride comfort. It offers four levels of ground clearance. On the motorway it lowers the body, thus improving stability and aerodynamic drag.
Suspension characteristics according to personal preferences
Furthermore, adaptive air suspension allows the driver to adjust the characteristics according to his/her own personal taste with only one action in the “Car” menu of the MMI operating system. The following modes can be selected: automatic with the emphasis on a balanced setup, dynamic a particularly agile setting, comfort with the focus on gentle cruising and finally lift for driving on very uneven terrain. In addition to the standard programme, adaptive air suspension sport is optionally available. It works with the same control modes as the standard suspension but has firmer characteristics overall.
All V6 and V8 models are fitted with 17-inch wheels; cast aluminium wheels with a 10-hole design are standard. The vast range of optional wheel designs and wheel sizes up to 20 inches has been further extended for the 2008 model year. In each case, high-performance disc brakes are located behind the wheels, held in place by aluminium floating callipers. A tyre pressure monitoring system is available on request; the electromechanical parking brake with starting assist and emergency braking function is standard.
Optionally available for the top Audi A8 W12 and Audi S8 models is the ceramic brake system. This combines utmost stability with a brake disc service life of up to 300,000 km.
The equipment, data and prices stated here refer to the model range offered for sale in Germany. We reserve the right to make changes. Errors and omissions excepted.