Audi have tweaked the A8 for the 2014 model year. A number of changes help keep Audi’s flagship luxury limo at the top of its game. Engines receive more power and the headlights get a new Matrix LED layout. Fuel consumption is also improved across the range.
The dimensions of the standard wheelbase A8 remains unchanged while the A8 L gains an additional 13 centimeters in both length and wheelbase. Both body variants feature a new trunk layout for easier loading. Additional noise damping measures reduce the already low interior noise level even further.
The design changes a little. The engine hood, the single-frame grille and the front bumper are even more sculptured; the lower edge of the headlight units is straight. In the German market, LED headlights are standard in all models with a V8 engine. Audi also offers optional headlights featuring Matrix LED technology, the high-beam comprises 25 individual light-emitting diodes per unit that can be switched on and off or dimmed individually depending on the situation.
The lighting system in the A8 uses predictive route data from the navigation system to adjust the distribution of light in response to the current driving situation. In combination with the optional Navigation plus with MMI touch, the system recognizes route data contained in the navigation system, such as curves and road classifications. The LED lamps at the rear of the new Audi A8 have also become flatter.
In all models except the S8, the redesigned bumper houses two rhomboid tailpipes. New chrome strips and high-gloss black window frames round out the differentiating design details. Audi have expanded the choice of exterior colours to twelve including five new ones. Wheels are available in sizes up to 21 inches.
The range of engines now offered in the Audi A8 includes two gasoline and two diesel engines. These are the supercharged 3.0 TFSI with 310 hp, the V8 twin-turbo 4.0 TFSI with 435 hp, the 3.0 TDI clean diesel with 258 hp and the 4.2 TDI clean diesel with 385 hp and 850 Nm. Performance throughout the range is enhanced with the top of the range 4.0 TFSI now accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds.
Each V8 is fitted with the Audi cylinder on demand (COD) system which deactivates four of the eight cylinders. The most efficient engine is the 3.0 TDI clean diesel, which consumes just 5.9 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (39.87 US mpg).
Audi have extended the range with three new models. These are the luxuriously equipped Audi A8 L W12 quattro with its 6.3 liter 500 hp engine, the S8 with its 4.0 TFSI and the Audi A8 hybrid. The later combines a 2.0 TFSI and electric motor to produce a total system output of 245 hp with torque of 480 Nm. It gets a front wheel drive setup with power transferred via a modified tiptronic. The lithium-ion battery in the rear enables purely electric driving at speeds of up to 100 km/h with a range of roughly three kilometers.
The new A8 gets an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox paired with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Audi also offers an optional sport differential for the rear axle, which distributes the power between the rear wheels as needed. The sport differential is standard in the S8 and the A8 4.2 TDI clean diesel quattro.
The interior of the Audi A8 also gets an upgrade. Options for the front seats include ventilation and massage. Electrically adjustable, individual rear seats are available as an option for the A8 and the A8 L. The A8 L is also available with a continuous, leather-covered centre console. A new range of choices for seat coverings, inlays and colors is available in many areas.
The new Audi A8 is scheduled to arrive at German dealerships in November after its official debut at the IAA Frankfurt 2013. Despite the upgraded trim level (standard LED headlights in all V8 models) and the powerful engines, prices are changing only slightly. Prices in Germany for the new Audi model start at 74,500 euros. The question is, do you go for the A8 or the S-Class? Perhaps we’ll be able to provide an answer for you soon!