The first facelift of the current generation Audi A8 and S8 has been unveiled, offering revised drivetrains, new technologies and subtle styling changes.
Weighing up to 85kg less than the outgoing model, the Audi A8 gains a new bonnet and grille, a redesigned front bumper, and new-look LED headlights with optional Matrix LED technology that includes a 25-diode cluster.
Updates to the rear include revised tail-lights with optional 24-diode units, a new rear bumper and restyled 'rhomboid' exhaust pipes for all models except the range-topping 382kW/650Nm twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8-powered S8 (pictured top). A new boot layout also features.
As before two petrol engines and two diesel engines, and a petrol-electric hybrid feature in the facelifted Audi A8 line-up, ranging from a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 with 190kW (up 6kW) and 550Nm, to a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine with 320kW (up 11kW) and 600Nm.
The 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine has been boosted by 15kW to 228kW and 420Nm, and the twin-turbocharged 4.2-litre diesel V8 is now rated at 283kW and 850Nm – up 25kW and 50Nm.
An eight-speed automatic carries over as standard across the range, with a sport differential standard on the S8 and 4.2-litre diesel quattro.
The most economical A8 is no longer the hybrid, however, which continues to team a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor to produce 180kW and 480Nm, and claim 6.3L/100km combined. It is now beaten for consumption and emissions by the 3.0-litre diesel, which now claims consumption of 5.9L/100km, down from 6.6L/100km.
The 368kW/625Nm 6.3-litre W12 long-wheelbase Audi A8 L, which remains 130mm longer than the standard 5137mm-long A8, also sees its claimed fuel consumption drop 0.3L/100km to 11.7L/100km with the aid of Audi’s cylinder deactivation system. The system is also employed on both 4.0-litre V8 petrol engines.
The quickest way to three figures is still the flagship Audi S8 sports sedan with its V8 R8-beating 4.2-second 0-100km/h time, however, the updated model now claims 10.1L/100km – down 0.1L/100km.
Inside, a new range of seat coverings, inlays and colours is available along with new wood and leather trims.
Audi’s multimedia information (MMI) control unit with touchpad joins with Audi connect now incorporating personal internet hotspot functionality.
As before, Audi drive select is standard, allowing control of the adaptive air suspension and adaptive damping while dynamic steering, which varies the ratio of the electro-mechanical power steering system depending on the speed driven, is available as an option.
Also optional are carbon-ceramic brake discs, individually electrically adjustable rear seats, front seats equipped with ventilation and massage functions, and a “relaxation seat with power footrest”. Further options include adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, active lane assist, auto park assist, a night vision assistant, a 360-degree display, and a head-up display.
Offered in a choice of twelve colours – including five new ones – and with wheels measuring up to 21-inches, the facelifted Audi A8 will debut in Australia in the second quarter of 2014 with only the 3.0-litre and 4.2-litre diesels available – in keeping with the current local A8 line-up which starts at $188,000.
In a backflip from Audi Australia, the new-look S8 is to arrive alongside its sibling next year, marking the first time the third-generation model – first seen in 2009 – will be sold on our shores.
Full pricing and specification details will be revealed closer to the duo’s 2014 launch.
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