|August 6, 2007
Audi A8: Sporty Luxury and Exemplary Efficiency
The Audi A8 not only offers the sportiest performance of any luxury-class saloon. The new A8 model series features major advancements across the range, which includes the top models Audi A8 W12 and Audi S8, and offers a new driving feel whilst building on traditional strengths. An even more precise driving feel, even better ride and acoustic comfort, and subtle refinements to the exterior and interior serve to strengthen the special status of Audi's flagship model.
Unique character – consistently enhanced
To achieve this, many aspects have been refined in the unique blend of sportiness, elegance, supreme control and sophistication that forms the Audi A8 character. For instance, the more direct steering and re-engineered running gear have produced even more exact handling. Overall travelling comfort has also been enhanced by the modified adaptive air suspension and extensive improvements to noise insulation. These make the Audi A8 one of the world's quietest and most comfortable saloon cars.
The new assistance systems Audi lane assist and Audi side assist promise to make life easier for the driver and considerably enhance safety, especially on long journeys. Their tasks are to alert the driver if the car begins to drift out of its lane and to warn of vehicles in the adjacent lane.
The A8 impressively embodies the progressiveness of the Audi brand: its extremely rigid lightweight body based on the Audi Space Frame principle, the powerful FSI and 12-cylinder engines, quattro permanent four-wheel drive and the highly acclaimed MMI operating system are a few of the elements that demonstrate Audi's impressive "Vorsprung durch Technik" in the luxury class.
The character of the Audi A8 is formed by a synthesis of dynamic and agile performance and exceptionally refined ride and acoustic comfort. While setting new standards with its agility and steering precision, the A8 displays handling with definite sports car qualities. Even long journeys are both relaxing and pleasurable.
To underscore the unique character of this luxury saloon, Audi has further enhanced the two major strengths of the A8. The rack-and-pinion steering with variable steering ratio and servotronic speed-dependent power assistance has been optimised and engineered for a more direct feel. The dampers, supports and tuning of the adaptive air suspension have been revised. As a result, the A8 shows an even more spontaneous response to steering input, tightly follows winding country roads and effortlessly maintains a smooth straight line at high speeds.
Air suspension with even more sensitive comfort
Gains in performance and handling are matched by those in ride comfort: the standard-specification adaptive air suspension is now even more sensitive in responding to fine bumps. The electronically controlled variable dampers are now fitted with new seals to reduce friction. These are combined with new valves that have optimised characteristic curves, and the entire hydraulics have also been retuned. The A8 absorbs expansion joint grooves with supple ease and without even the hint of a vibration. With the addition of an insulation package to reduce rolling noise and road noise, the luxury saloon from Audi offers outstanding comfort.
Even the complete acoustics of the A8 have been optimised with the use of innovative materials – after all, Audi approaches noise insulation as a component of its intelligent lightweight construction. The result: without gaining weight, the Audi A8 achieves the lowest rolling, road and ambient noise levels in its class. Being one of the quietest cars in the world is an important element of the relaxing long-distance comfort that is a hallmark of the Audi A8.
Assistance systems bring comfort and safety
Drivers of the Audi A8 can rely on the support of the most up-to-date assistance systems. They serve to enhance comfort and combat driver fatigue on long journeys, thus making an important contribution to safety. The new Audi side assist in the A8 makes use of intelligent radar technology.
The system is especially designed for lane-changing manoeuvres and warns the driver of dangerous situations: whenever there is another vehicle in the critical zone, a yellow LED display in the exterior mirror housing lights up and remains on.
If the driver of the A8 activates the indicator to change lane even though the warning display is lit up, the LEDs become brighter and flash more quickly at shorter intervals. This signal is almost impossible to miss as the peripheral vision of the human eye is extremely sensitive to changes in contrast. Audi lane assist warns the driver to prevent an unintentional departure from the lane. A small camera positioned above the interior mirror on the windscreen observes the road ahead of the car and a high-speed computer detects the lane marking lines. If the driver moves towards one of these lines without indicating, Audi lane assist makes the driver aware of this by a vibration in the steering wheel.
Still a step ahead in the luxury class
The clear and progressive design idiom of the Audi A8 stands out for its timeless quality. The exterior design has thus only been accentuated at carefully chosen points – from the modified single-frame grille and new exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals to the new wheel designs and LED tail lights with their innovative night design. To complete the range, the A8 is available in new paint finishes and with sophisticated aluminium trim inserts plus new interior colour schemes and inlays.
The Audi A8 thus resolutely continues its progress on the road to success. With sales of over 100,000 vehicles so far, the current model has already exceeded the total sales volume of its predecessor. And it is continuing to make gains year by year in a market segment that has remained flat overall. How come? Because the A8 steadily attracts customers from other brands with its clear character, while at the same time product loyalty and repurchase rates among A8 drivers are above average.