The body: lightweight construction and agility
The innovative aluminium body, based on a refined version of the Audi Space Frame ASF, provides the high-strength basis for low weight, a dynamic performance and excellent handling. It was possible to reduce considerably the number of components on the fully enclosed ASF compared with the first A8 generation through the use of large functional castings and extruded sections. Static torsional rigidity was increased by 60 percent and ensures a substantial improvement in vibrational comfort, safety and dynamic handling potential. The bodyshell weighs 50 percent less than a steel body: minimum mass combined with maximum stability.
The chassis: further increased dynamism if the driver so chooses
The new Audi A8 L 6.0 quattro has a refined aluminium chassis with four-link front suspension and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension. The brakes and steering system with variable ratio and servotronic are a new design.
adaptive air suspension - a 4-corner air suspension system with continuous damper control - resolves the classic conflict between good handling properties and suspension comfort commensurate with the luxury class. The adaptive air suspension system has the right characteristic for every driving situation, reduces body movements with its continuously adjusted damping and thus optimises roadholding and comfort.
The data from four sensors on the axles and three acceleration sensors on the body is evaluated in the adaptive air suspension's central control unit. This computer prompts the adjustment of the individual shock absorbers in a matter of milliseconds, based on the driving situation identified, thereby always assuring optimum driving dynamics and ride comfort.
The driver can choose between four predefined settings, for a suspension characteristic ranging from overtly sporty to ultra-comfortable.
- In the automatic mode, the body is at the standard height when the car is stationary and travelling at open-road speeds, with 120 millimetres of ground clearance. If the new A8 is driven at more than 120 km/h for over 30 seconds, the body is lowered by 25 millimetres. Conversely, the body is raised if the vehicle is driven at less than 70 km/h for more than two minutes or as soon as it drops below a speed of 35 km/h.
- The dynamic mode lowers the vehicle by 20 millimetres to a ground clearance of 100 millimetres even before it sets off; its centre of gravity is lower and the air suspension operates with firmer springs and a harder damping characteristic. The suspension tuning is particularly agile as a result.
- The comfort mode enables the car to glide extra-smoothly over all kinds of surface bumps because the system increases damping forces less frequently at lower speeds. The automatic lowering at motorway speeds is suppressed in order to obtain maximum compression travel.
- The lift mode can be activated in the speed range below 80 km/h as required. It keeps the ground clearance raised by 25 millimetres and offers the balanced damping characteristics of the automatic mode. It is therefore particularly suitable for driving on uneven terrain.