2015 Audi A8, A8L and S8 unveiled ahead of Frankfurt Motor Show debutThu, 22 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0700
At the upcoming Frankfurt motor show, Audi will announce a new A8 with more powerful engines, lighter-weight construction, new assistance systems and Matrix LED headlight technology.
Audi says the new A8 will put the German automaker among the innovation leaders in the luxury class. It cites as an example the short-wheelbase A8 3.0-liter TFSI's 4,034-pound curb weight, best in class for all-wheel-drive models. The body is mostly aluminum and weighs just 509 pounds. Length, wheelbase and height are unchanged on regular models, while the A8 L will be 5.12 inches longer.
A8 design changes include a more expressive grille and more sculptured hood. The lower edge of the headlights is straighter than before. Overall, the car's front end looks a little more aggressive, a bit meaner perhaps.
Audi will offer optional headlights with Matrix LED technology, wherein the high beam has 25 individual light-emitting diodes per unit that can be switched on and off or dimmed individually depending on the situation. The headlamps also have intelligent cornering, new-look daytime running lights and dynamic turn signals. The rear LED lamps are flatter.
The Audi A8L W12 executive jet.
More details will come closer to launch in 2015, but for now it looks like Audi will offer the A8 in the U.S. with the supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6 (310 hp), the twin-turbo 4.0 TFSI V8 (435 hp), the 3.0 TDI clean diesel (258 hp) and the 6.3-liter W12 (500 hp). The Audi S8 will come with a 4.0-liter TSFI V8 developing 520 hp, good enough for a 4.2-second 0-62-mph sprint while still getting an estimated 23.3 mpg. The W12 promises 20.1 mpg thanks to cylinder-on-demand tech designed to deactivate the fuel injection and ignition on six cylinders at lower speeds.
Audi says performance is better with most engines. The 4.0-liter TFSI model now accelerates from 0-62 in 4.5 seconds. This engine has cylinder-on-demand too, deactivating four of the eight cylinders. The most efficient engine is the 3.0 TDI clean diesel, capable of about 40 mpg.
Europe will get a 385-hp 4.2-liter TDI clean diesel and a hybrid, but there are no U.S. plans for those cars at this time.
The long-wheelbase 2015 Audi A8L can be ordered with reclining rear seats.
All A8s come standard with an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and, of course, Quattro all-wheel drive. Audi also offers an optional sport differential for the rear axle, distributing the power between the rear wheels as needed. The sport diff is standard in the S8 and the Euro-market A8 4.2 TDI.
The interior includes optional ventilation and massage for the front seats, and individual executive-style rear seats are optional on the A8 and A8 L. The L is also available with a leather-covered center console. Several options are also available from four-zone automatic air conditioning to a cooler. You can also choose from various optional assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control with stop-go, active lane assist, head-up display and night vision assist.
The new Audi A8 is scheduled to arrive here in 2015. Prices will be announced closer to launch, but Audi says there only be a slight increase, so we're estimating a range between $76,000 and $137,000.
Stay tuned for complete Frankfurt Motor Show coverage as it breaks.
By Wes Raynal