Flagship luxury

Due to arrive Down Under mid-year, the new Audi A8 once again sets the standard in the luxury class.

Launched to the world’s media in Munich, the new A8 models continue their upward trajectory, introducing greater refinement, technology and luxury than ever before.

Richard Michaels

15 February, 2022

The approach we bring to this car radiates into the rest of our portfolio

The Audi A8 has always aimed to offer the highest level of automotive luxury. First introduced to the Australian market in 1994, the upmarket sedan has now progressed through four different model generations – each one more advanced, power, refined, economical and luxurious than the model before it.

The process that has seen the flagship Audi model establish itself among the world’s luxury car elite is centred on a proud Teutonic tradition of detailed incremental improvement. Even before each generation of the A8 reaches showrooms and the lands in the hands of customers, a team of experts at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany is already busy seeking ways to enhance it and ensure it is one step ahead of the competition.

As Oliver Hoffmann, Audi board member responsible for technical development, explained to Audi Magazine: “The approach we bring to this car radiates into the rest of our portfolio.”  

In keeping with Audi’s efforts to ensure the A8 is always at the cutting edge of luxury car development, the 2022 model receives a series of midlife design and engineering changes that promise to make the upmarket Audi sedan an even more satisfying ownership prospect than before, whether you’re gripping its leather-bound steering wheel yourself or, as more and more Australians find themselves, being chauffeured in the sofa-like comfort of its rear seat.

The external design changes begin with the single frame grille – since 2007 the signature design element of the top-of-the-line Audi. It receives a wider chromed frame and a new-look insert with more prominent chromed highlights to give it even greater visual impact than before. The front bumper has also been restyled with a revised air duct design and new chromed highlights within the lower section.

There are also new hi-tech DMD headlights with digital LED matrix functionality. DMD stands for Digital Micromirror Device, with each headlight housing 1.3 million so called micromirrors. They have a length of only a few hundredths of a millimetre and can be tilted at a rate of up to 5000 times per second, allowing the lens to provide an ultra precise beam of light. When a windscreen mounted camera and supporting software deem a particular area should be dimmed, a light absorber is deployed to create a shadow so as not to dazzle other road users.

Along the sides, there are revised sills beneath the doors, while at the rear, the A8’s full width tail light now features new digital OLED (organic light-emitting diode) functionality and revised graphics, bringing its design in line with other recent new Audi models like the Audi Q5.

Lighting in the A8 is once again, with DMD headlights offering ultra precise beams of light 

Australian buyers will once again be able to choose between a standard wheelbase and long wheelbase models

The graphics of the tail light is customisable, allowing the light band across the rear of the boot to light up in different themes. There is an added safety function, too – when other road users approach the new Audi from behind to within two metres, sensors trigger each OLED segment within the tail lights to warn of a possible collision.

Australian buyers will once again be able to choose between a standard wheelbase and long wheelbase models measuring a respective 5190mm and 5320mm in length.  

There’s also a newfound sporting slant to the styling of new A8 not seen before. In a move that reflects Audi’s efforts to broaden the appeal of its range topping sedan, the updated 2022 model receives an optional S-Line styling package for the first time since its inception. It includes design touches traditionally only seen on the S8, including uniquely styled bumpers, a more sporting looking grille among other S-Line styling touches, including a blackened exterior details.

Rounding off the changes to the exterior are four new metallic colours – District Green, Firmament Blue, Manhattan Grey and Ultra Blue – as well as five new matt schemes – Daytona Grey, District Green, Floret Silver, Glacier White and Terra Grey. Meanwhile, the Chrome and Black exterior packages offered previously have been carried over with various updates to the appearance.

The subtle touches continue inside the A8’s luxurious interior. They include an updated version of the Audi Virtual Cockpit with digital instruments and a central Infotainment system accommodating a pair of touch displays measuring 10.1-in and 8.6-in in diameter. They run MMI (Multi-Media Interface) Navigation Plus as standard, while on the subject of displays, there are two more 10.1 units in the rear as part of an enhanced optional rear seat entertainment system.

That’s not all, though. For music aficionados, there is a new 5.1 3D Advanced Surround Sound System from Bang & Olufsen. It uses a 1920 Watt amplifier and 23 active speakers. A new touch display digital controller mounted into the centre rear seat armrest also provides easier operation of the infotainment, ventilation and other ancillary functions for those seated in the back.

High quality materials and trim elements combine with tremendously supportive sport seats to provide a truly first class driving environment that is further enhanced by a long list of connectivity functions, including an inductive smartphone charge pad, the latest in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a very detailed and high clarity head up display unit.  

When it arrives in Australia around the middle of this year, customers can expect the A8 to be driven by a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine developing 210kW and 600Nm of torque in both standard and long wheelbase body styles. Those looking for even greater performance in their luxury motoring though, need look no further than the Audi S8, with its twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine developing 420kW and a serious 800Nm of torque. Regardless of the variant though, the Audi A8 remains a triumph of technology, luxury and performance and a fitting flagship for the Audi brand.

The A8 provides a truly first class driving environment that is further enhanced by a long list of connectivity functions