It signals the dawning of a new design era for the entire brand
IN ITS fourth generation, the Audi A8 L flagship model is the benchmark for “Vorsprung durch Technik” — with a new design language, an innovative touchscreen operating concept and a systematically electrified drive. The Audi A8 is the first production automobile in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving.
Doyen of Style: The Exterior Design
The Audi A8 is stylistically defining — it signals the dawning of a new design era for the entire brand. The front end with the wide, upright single-frame grille and the fluid, muscular body symbolise sporty elegance, sophistication and progressive status.
The new A8 delivers on the promise made by the Audi prologue design study. The luxury sedan possesses a powerful presence, especially in the A8 L form (which is standard for Malaysia), with its generous wheelbase.
The Audi brand is renowned worldwide for sports appeal, lightweight construction and quattro permanent all-wheel drive — and the design of the new A8 conveys these values.
The balanced proportions emphasise all four wheels in equal measure.
Muscular shapes above the wheel arches give visual expression to the quattro drive.
Viewed side-on, the upright frontend combined with the gently inclined rear creates visual tension. The flagship model proclaims its identity both day and night, drawing on both the striking HD Matrix LED headlights and the LED light strip rear lights.
Luxury Lounge: The Interior
Freedom is the defining design feature with a new luxury slant. This explains the A8’s resemblance to a lavish, spacious lounge. Compared to the predecessor model, it has grown substantially.
The range of equipment and materials is extensive, with every detail radiating superlative bespoke quality — from the perforation in the seat upholstery to the electrically opened and closed shutters on the air vents.
The rear passengers can also control an array of functions such as ambient lighting and the new HD Matrix reading lights.
The rear seat remote, with its OLED display as large as a smartphone, is a removable unit housed in the centre armrest.
Fingertip Response: The Controls
The luxury sedan’s interior deliberately adopts a reductive design; the interior architecture is clear and with a strictly horizontal orientation.
Audi carries its high-quality standards into the digital age with a radically new operating concept.
It does away with the familiar rotary push button and touchpad of the predecessor model.
The instrument panel is kept largely clear of buttons and switches.
At its centre is a 10.1-inch touchscreen display which, when off, blends almost invisibly into the high-gloss black surround.
The driver controls the infotainment system with fingertip control on the large display.
They can use a second touchscreen display on the centre tunnel console to access the air conditioning and comfort functions as well as make text inputs.
When the driver activates a function in the upper or lower display, they hear and feel a click by way of confirmation.
The glass-look operating buttons respond in the same way. The combination of acoustic and tactile feedback, along with the use of common touch gestures such as swiping, make the new MMI touch response especially safe, intuitive and quick to use.
Mild Hybrid: The Drives
The new A8 is launched in Malaysia exclusively with the 3.0 TFSI in the long wheelbase A8 L form.
The engine operates in conjunction with a belt alternator starter, which is the nerve centre of the 48-volt electrical system.
The MHEV (mild hybrid electric vehicle) technology enables the car to coast with the engine switched off, and to restart smoothly.
It also has an extended start/stop function and an energy recovery output of up to 12kW.
The combined effect of these measures is to bring down the fuel consumption of the already efficient engines even further — by as much as 0.7 litres per 100km in real driving conditions.
The new Audi A8 L is built at the Neckarsulm site. The Audi A8 L 3.0 TFSI quattro Tiptronic retails in Malaysia for RM879,900.