Next-gen Audi A8 to bow in 2017

Next-gen Audi A8 to bow in 2017

Audi has confirmed plans to unveil the next-generation A8 sometime next year.

Speaking to investors at Audi’s annual meeting, chief executive Rupert Stadler claimed the fourth-generation A8 will be the company’s first series-production vehicle with advanced semi-autonomous capabilities.

“With the traffic?jam pilot, it will be able to drive itself temporarily on the autobahn at speeds up to 60 kilometers per hour (37 mph),” he said. “In this way, Audi will cross the threshold from partial to highly automated driving.”

The Piloted Driving technology suite will rely on long-range radar, a dozen ultrasonic sensors, laser scanners and multiple video cameras.

Aside from the autonomous innovations, the next A8 is also expected to feature organic LED lighting and gesture controls. A new range of engines will likely include at least one mill with an electrically-driven compressor to eliminate turbo lag.

Designers are expected to take inspiration from Audi’s Prologue concept. Both the Prologue and the next-gen A8 have been penned under the leadership of Marc Lichte, Audi’s design boss since 2014.

More details could be confirmed ahead of next year’s debut.