Audi design is always fascinating in its complex intelligence. The outer skin of the new A8 conveys homogeneity, as if modeled from a full volume. A coupé-like roof line lets the silhouette flow; sculptured surfaces conveying calmness and prestige contrast with sharp lines. The new A8 underscores the leading position maintained by Audi in the field of automotive design. Representing the cutting edge in many innovative technologies, the A8 indicates this role through new and progressive design elements.
5137 mm (16.85 ft) in length, with a 2992 mm (9.82 ft) wheelbase, 1949 mm (6.39 ft) in width and 1460 mm (4.79 ft) in height – the new luxury sedan is generously dimensioned. The Audi A8 significantly exceeds in length and width both its predecessor and its competitors. Its height, however, remains below that of its immediate rivals in Germany – the proportions follow the dynamic line.
The A8 displays its single-frame radiator grille like a proud coat of arms. Framed by a chrome edge, the grille presents a new design – sculptured, three-dimensional and rich in details. With angular upper corners, it is neatly integrated in the front section, while the prominent, horizontal chrome braces emphasize the vehicle width.
The Audi A8 looks out on the world through newly designed headlights – with xenon plus units and the innovative full LED headlights, a technology Audi was the first to introduce worldwide in the R8 high-performance sports car. The adaptive light system augments the xenon plus units – it controls the swiveling modules so that they always provide the perfect lighting for intersections, the city, country roads and highways. The new all-weather light integrated into the headlights replaces the fog lights. Their traditional location in the air intakes is now occupied by the radar sensors of the optional adaptive cruise control with stop & go function.
Another module offered by Audi is the continuous headlight range control, a further development of the high-beam assistant. A video camera mounted in front of the inside mirror recognizes other vehicles by their lights. A computer adapts the vehicle’s own light through a sliding range that guarantees the maximum possible illumination.
A technological breakthrough from Audi is the networking of the headlight control unit with the optional MMI navigation plus. The navigation system analyzes the route ahead and relays the data to the light computer to activate highway lighting with its extended range while still on the ramp to the highway, for example. Before entering an intersection, the system activates the cornering light, which provides wider-angle illumination and thus enhances safety.
High-end technology: the full LED headlights
The high-end solution on board the new A8 is the full LED headlights. They give the big sedan an unmistakable appearance even in daylight and even more so after the fall of darkness. Their revolutionary optics mean a departure from the large, tubular light modules commonly used today.
The low beams comprise ten individual modules forming an arc situated below the wing-shaped chrome contour known as the “wing.” Just below this is another arc of 22 white and 22 yellow LEDs for the daytime running lights and the turn signals. Their thick wall technology makes them appear from the outside as homogenous, continuous strips of light.
Located above the wing are the high beams, whose light is generated by two powerful four-chip LEDs and a free surface reflector system. An assistant switches between the high and low beams, and additional high-power LEDs generate the highway light and cornering light. A separate fan and heat sink moderate the system’s temperature.
The full LED headlights offer a number of functional advantages in everyday situations. With a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin, their light resembles daylight and thus is much less tiring to the eyes. They also offer efficiency advantages. The low beams, for example, consume only 40 watts per unit, a bit less than the already highly efficient xenon plus headlights.
The side view of the new Audi A8 also gives the image of concentrated and forward-thrusting power. Typically for the Audi line, the vehicle line makes up two-thirds of the height, with the remaining third falling to the greenhouse. From the single-frame grill Audi's characteristic Tornado line runs as a light edge just beneath the window sill. The line continues close above the wheel arches, giving the A8 a powerful appearance on the road.
The surfaces below the tornado line interpret the interplay of light and shadow, of convexity and concavity, and are statement of seriousness and timeless elegance. Proceeding downwards, the surfaces are framed by the rising dynamic line running above the side sills. Large wheels – from 17 to 21 inches in diameter – fill the wheel arches pulled out wide.
At the rear the separation edge gives an impression of sleekness, which further reinforces the impressively sculptured surfaces. A chrome strip underlines the width of the sedan, terminating in a diffuser.
The tail lights also produce an appearance both three-dimensional and striking – and typically Audi. They, too, use LED technology with 72 light-emitting diodes per unit. Chip-on-board LEDs, which can be packed tightly together with high precision, are used in many areas due to the limited amount of space available.
The tail lights, which consume only 9 watts per unit, form a trapezoidal contour that appears as an even, homogenous strip. Its upper segment is a light guide – a plastic tube; the lower section is a reflective, textured free-form surface. It is thicker than the upper segment to optically lower the center of gravity of the A8's back end. The turn signal is a horizontal line. The five-segment brake light is located inside the trapezoid.
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.