When it comes to large luxury sedans, Audi’s A8 is one of those vehicles that just quietly get the job done.
Arguably opponents like Jaguar’s XJ and Maserati’s Quattroporte exude much more flair, yet something can be said for a restrained appearance.
However, there’s no denying that the current A8 is looking rather long in the tooth – fortunately, the good news is that an all-new version is just around the corner, and our illustrated image offers the closest look yet.
Audi Prologue Design
Inspired by Audi’s stunning Prologue Concept, the styling is crisp and contemporary. No one will mistake the large hexagonal grille for anything else, with its chrome horizontal bars and visual width. Like the recently revealed A5 Coupe, the new D5-generation A8 sports a familiar glasshouse supported by fresh new sheet metal. Subtle front and rear fender flares, lower door scollops and full LED lighting, are the more note-worthy design elements shared with the Prologue.
Word around the automotive underground has the new A8 shaping up like an absolute powerhouse; sitting at the top is a 6.0-litre, bi-turbo W12 borrowed from Bentley’s Bentayga (600hp and 664 foot-pounds of torque anyone?). Alternatively, the SQ7’s 4.0-liter TDI V8 could slot alongside with 435hp and 664 lb-ft. The rest of the lineup will mirror what’s on offer today, with TDI and TFSI power-plants in V6 format, while an E-tron variant could potentially be an alternative to Tesla’s Model S – depending on battery range of course. A turbocharged V8 – possibly with an electric charger too, will grace the sportier S8 that will compete against Merc’s AMG and BMW‘s M performance machines.
Under the all-new body is the MLB Evo platform derived from other Audi and Volkswagen models. This will help the A8 shed further weight and provide suitability with new alternative powertrains like electrification. The new platform will also help with improved interior dimensions and ergonomics, while visually, it shares a similar footprint to the outgoing car – albeit with a longer front overhang. Drivers will benefit from Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, autonomous driving modes and an infotainment system with gesture control, among many other high-tech features.
The new A8 will be one of the freshest offerings in its segment, yet it will be tough pinching sales from other highly polished rivals like BMW’s 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Jaguar XJ, Maserati Quattroporte and to an smaller degree – Tesla’s Model S. Audi’s Ace card will be its powertrains and technology, even if the styling is a little subdued.
Expect regular and long-wheelbase models to debut in 2017. A Mercedes-Maybach, S600-rivalling variant is also rumored to make an appearance down the track.
Final thoughts; does the new A8 look fresh enough to consider over the competition? Tell us in the comments below.
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes