Audi has released a teaser picture and sketch of its new A8 limo. Buried amongst the press material for Ingolstadt’s 100th anniversary were the two teaser images: the sketch reveals the headlight and grille design; the picture shows the A8 hidden beneath a black Audi-branded dustsheet.
The A8 is currently in the final stages of testing, but Audi promises an unveil in ‘the late autumn of 2009’ – the new aluminium limo isn’t expected at the Frankfurt motor show this September, so we should see it in LA later in the year. Audi claims its ‘new flagship offers an impressive palette of innovative technologies and will redefine the benchmark for luxury saloons.’
A typically bullish claim – how will Audi match its boasts?
The basic tech remains the same, with an aluminium chassis – which will also underpin the next Bentley Continental – that contributes to a significant weight saving. However, the other tech piles the pounds back on – Quattro four-wheel drive and an eight-speed auto will both increase the kerbweight.
The four-wheel drive system will be rear-biased with a 40:60 torque split, while the steering, gearbox, state-of-the-art double wishbone air suspension and electronic rear diff will able be adjustable by Audi’s ‘Drive Select’ system.
New Audi A8: the engine room
The engines available at launch are expected to be a 4.2-litre FSI – with 372bhp and 328lb ft – or a 4.2-litre TDI that pumps out 340bhp and 627 lb ft, but a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 (290bhp/310lb ft) and a 3.0-litre TDI (250bhp/369lb ft) will join the range soon after.
A 4.0-litre TFSI with 420bhp and 416lb ft is also expected in 2011. The W12 – which will be fitted with direct injection for the next Bentley Continental – might only power the long-wheelbase A8, which itself won’t be launched until 2010. There will be an S8 version though, with a 5.0-litre V10 packing 620bhp.