Could this be the S-Class’ new headache?
Audi’s local office is preparing to bring in its flagship luxury saloon, the A8, to our market, and has announced the pricing and lineup for the limousine upon its arrival. The A8 is very much a technological masterpiece for the company, with a lot of the innovations and features first seen in the big limo now available in lesser models like the A6 and Q8.
The A8 will arrive on our shores in standard- and long-wheelbase guises (the latter dubbed the A8L). Both wheelbases will be offered with two drivetrains as well, though both mills will send power exclusively to the rear wheels with no mention of Quattro all-wheel drive as yet. Prices will begin at $192,000 and top-off at $210,000 before taxes & delivery costs, making it a pretty good deal next to contemporaries like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and Lexus LS.
Going back to those powertrains, the A8 will kick off with the 50TDI. A 3.0L turbocharged V6 diesel provides all the shove necessary, to the tune of 210kW and 600Nm. This will undoubtedly be the engine of choice for those who travel long distances and prefer a long-legged, torquey, under-stressed driving experience, or those who keep an eye on the fuel bill.
Those keen on staying away from diesel will favour the more powerful 55TFSI. Though its name may suggest a 5.5-litre, unfortunately you’re left with a 3.0-litre V6 turbo petrol. That said, the 250kW and 500Nm is nothing to be scoffed at, and neither is the lovely, smooth note the engine produces under heavy throttle. The torque is available low down in the rev range though, so you won’t find yourself mashing the pedal too often.
The A8 50TDI will kick off at $192k, whereas the 55TFSI will set you back $195k. Going for the long-wheelbase option, adding 130mm between the wheels and allowing for the (optional) ‘Relaxation Seats’ in the back will add a bit more to that sticker price, with the A8L 50TDI commanding $207k and the 55TFSI $210k.
Unfortunately, Audi has remained mum on full specifications for either car. What we do know is that they won’t skimp on safety features. Adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assistant is a given, as is a 360º camera system, lane-keep assistance, and blind-spot monitoring. Air suspension should also feature in the two limos, as well as adaptive steering. However, four-wheel steering and ‘active AI suspension’ will most likely be relegated to the options list, and charge a pretty penny for the pleasure.
Standard equipment does at least include things like Matrix LED headlights, a panoramic roof, the dual-screen MMI infotainment system, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system. Audi says that a ‘range of high-value packages’ will be offered to A8 customers upon the car’s arrival, allowing those lucky enough to afford one the capability to tailor the car to their exacting specifications.