Tranquility and reduction are fundamental aesthetic values in the brand’s new flagship model. The A8 receives the driver and passengers with a holistic spatial experience. The architecture blends seamlessly with the new touch operating concept, which has virtually eliminated buttons and controls. The clean, expansive surfaces convey the relaxed atmosphere of a luxury lounge. Elegantly tensed lines produce clearly defined, horizontally oriented volumes. They accentuate the freedom that the new A8 offers.
The instrument panel appears sculpted and sleek. The applications in its upper part form the wrap-around – the large arc running across the door trims into the rear. It integrates the air vents, which are concealed by decorative shutters when not in use. If the automatic air conditioning is set directly to the interior, the shutters are slid up and away electrically while the air vents extend out a few centimeters.
Below the wrap-around, the central 10.1-inch touchscreen display with black panel technology blends almost invisibly into the high-gloss black trim. The horizontal decorative strip above comes in either fine-finish slate gray or aluminum. All icons, graphics and textual information appear against a black background. On the center tunnel console, which continues the black-panel look, there is a second touchscreen display measuring 8.6 inches diagonally. The switch panel along the bottom edge is integrated in the black look. As with conventional switches, the full-length touchscreen surface emits a tactile and acoustic signal when a function is pressed. The same applies to the light switch module. Even the air vents can be controlled by means of touch.
Two optional LED light guides each on the center tunnel, instrument panel and in the doors create an elegant lighting atmosphere in the interior. They provide contour and ambient lighting that can be separately controlled as to brightness and color and which harmonizes with the styling lines. Light strips in the roof members visually define the interior. On the A8 L, the backs of the comfort customized contour front seats also incorporate a contour light strip. For the rear there are the newly developed Matrix LED reading lamps, each of which integrates seven LEDs. Besides the brightness, passengers can also adjust the size and focus of the cone of light.
An optional two-piece panoramic glass sunroof brings more light into the interior. It fills out the entire roof surface and protects against direct sunlight through tinting. It comes with an electric sunblind with lightproof material, so that the headlining is nearly fully darkened.
Natural and authentic: the colors and materials
The materials in the new A8 will fascinate the beholder. The majority of the fine-wood inlays are in open-pore wood and thus have a natural feel to them. In the case of leather, Audi generally dispenses with chrome tanning – the “one-of-a-kind” top quality is particularly natural, breathable and soft thanks to sustainable processing. The comfort head restraints in the rear are enveloped in soft, velvety Cocoon leather, a new upholstery of the highest grade. The harmony of the materials and their naturalness create a new, contemporary impression of luxury. They radiate craftsmanship down to the finest detail, giving them bespoke character; the same applies to the perforation in the seat upholstery. In the case of the comfort customized contour seats this perforation follows the new styling idiom, with fine adjustment of the distances between holes, made possible by a new procedure that perforates the leather with a hydraulic press. The tool with its several thousand needles is specially fabricated for each individual design.
The new A8 comes with numerous constellations of materials and colors. Audi design selection in cool Merino gray with tabasco brown accents forms the top-of-the-line version. For the upholstery, the choices are Verdi cloth and the leather grades Valetta, Valcona and Unicum. New in the color range are pearl beige, Merlot red, metropolis gray and tourmaline blue. In some equipment packages contrast stitching and cording create colorful accents.
The instrument panel is two-toned depending on the version. For the inlays Audi offers a choice of different veneers, from beech, eucalyptus and walnut root to black piano finish. Customers wishing to make their A8 even more individualistic will find a vast selection of other veneers, colors and materials inlays, colors and leather appointments in the Audi exclusive range.
With all possible comfort: entry and personalization
The new A8 makes every operational step easy, even opening the doors. Your hand merely needs to pull the exterior handle five millimeters (0.2 in) – a microswitch then releases the catch. A few millimeters is likewise all that is required to open a door from the inside. In an emergency, the doors can be opened mechanically from either inside or outside by pulling Bowden cables vigorously. Audi can supply the electric door lock with the option of a power-latching feature. The luggage compartment lid swings up by itself when unlocked. The electrical drive is optionally available, with opening and closing at the push of a button or by foot movement – in combination with the convenience key.
The five possible drivers of the new A8 can save their preferred settings under up to seven user profiles. This personalization involves up to 400 parameters, from the driver seat position and the preferred air conditioning settings to navigation destinations previously used and favorite media. The sedan identifies the individual user from the key signal as soon as the automobile is unlocked, and activates the user’s personal profile.
Lounge character: the seats
The lounge character presented by the interior of the new A8 owes much to the newly developed seats. At both the front and rear, the structure of the seat cushions and backrests with a variety of shaped, comfort and flexible foam layers afford excellent comfort and good lateral support. The new seats are considerably lighter in weight than in the predecessor model. The front seats alone save over four kilograms (8.8 lb) in weight, while rear seats employ glass-fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP).
Audi supplies the front seats in several versions, the top one being the comfort customized contour seat. In addition to pneumatic seat and backrest side bolster adjustment, it also comes optionally with heating and ventilation, each with separate three-stage control.
The optional massage feature has become even more efficient. In each seat backrest, as many as 16 bubble-shaped air chambers can be actuated. They massage the entire back up to the shoulders in a choice of seven programs and three intensity levels. In each seat a small compressor that takes in the necessary air from the footwell builds up a pressure of up to 0.5 bar. In developing the wellness massage feature Audi collaborated with physical therapists, osteopaths and physicians.
The rear of the flagship contains a three-seat system as a standard feature, optionally with a load-through facility or cooler. The outer seats can also be supplied optionally with heating, along with electrical adjustment of the fore/aft position, seat angle and backrest angle. In this case, the lumbar support is pneumatically adjustable. Other options are the massage feature with 18 triple air chambers per seat, the especially soft-upholstered comfort headrests and blinds for the rear. The same adjustment options are also available for the single-seat system in the A8 L. It includes a long, full-length center console together with armrest and spacious stowage compartments.
As a first-class solution in the new A8, Audi offers the relaxation seat in the rear right. The occupant can recline it and rest their feet on an electrically folding surface on the backrest of the front passenger seat. This provides the option of having the feet warmed and massaged with multiple settings. The customer can choose between three intensity levels, three foot sizes and two programs – the rolling motion of the eight air chambers also stimulates the foot reflex zones.
The relaxation seat package contains other luxury features besides the comfort customized contour seats with ventilation and massage: electrically height-adjustable comfort headrests, footrests, a long center console, four-zone automatic air conditioning, a rear seat entertainment system consisting of two Audi tablets and the Rear Seat Remote, a compact control unit for the rear. Two-stage inclining folding tables are optionally available. The thermal comfort packages, a supplementary option, heat the armrests in the doors, the front and rear center armrests, as well as the steering wheel.
The new A8 also treats its passengers when it comes to the interior air quality – especially if the optional air quality package is on board. It comprises an ionizer and a fragrancer with adjustable intensity. It feeds either a summer or winter fragrance into the interior – the first with a Mediterranean note recalling sea air and the second with alpine fragrance suggesting mountain air. The standard air quality sensor also detects harmful gases and activates the recirculated air mode as necessary. The sedan comes with two-zone automatic air conditioning as a standard production feature, with four-zone comfort automatic air conditioning as an optional alternative. Its filter eliminates the bulk of these gases and particulates, and also neutralizes many allergens.
All terms marked in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.