The 2018 Audi A8 will begin filtering into Australian showrooms and garages from the middle of 2018, and the company has announced some preliminary details about local specifications.
Australian drivetrain options for this new fifth-generation A8 have yet to be locked in and confirmed, but Shaun Cleary, head of corporate communications for Audi Australia, says the two most likely engines to be offered will be the 3.0-litre turbo V6 petrol and 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel.
These two engine options are said to "[cover] off most of the market”. If this works out to be the case, the initial Australian range will miss out on the V8, plug-in hybrid and W12 engine options, which should be on sale overseas by then.
The 3.0-litre petrol V6 (55 TFSI) makes 250kW of power between 5000 and 6000rpm, and 500Nm of torque between 1370 and 4500rpm.
Meanwhile, the turbo-diesel V6 (50 TDI) churns out 210kW of power between 3750 and 4000rpm, and 600Nm of torque between 1250 and 3250rpm.
Both engines drive all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and are equipped with a 48V mild-hybrid setup incorporating a small lithium-ion battery.
The mild-hybrid setup allows for energy recuperation, and the internal combustion engine can be shut down at low speeds and during coasting. Real-world fuel savings are claimed to be as high as 0.7L/100km.
We already know one of the car's headline features, the AI Traffic Jam Pilot won't be coming down under as there's no legislation enabling the widespread use of autonomous vehicles on public roads.
As a result of this, a few other features that rely on its sensor network and central controller also won't be making the long journey down under, at least initially.
These include the ability to automatically park the vehicle from the outside, and the new AI active suspension system.
Above: All-wheel steering system in action.
A bevy of new tech features will still be available for Australian customers, including high-definition LED matrix headlights, OLED tail-lights, laser-light extended high-beam units, remotely adjustable matrix LED reading lights, and all-wheel steering.
On the roster will be electric active body control, which combines active roll stabilisation, on-the-fly height adjustment, and predictive suspension adjustment.
Available safety features available at launch include adaptive cruise control, lane changing assistance, automated collision avoidance, on-coming traffic warnings during turns, traffic jam assist, semi-automated parking assistance, rear cross-traffic alerts, and exit warning.
Pricing and final specifications will be announced closer to the car's on-sale date in the middle of 2018.
Since the original A8 went on sale in Australia, the local arm has sold 1132 copies of its range-topping sedan. Since its launch in 2010, 489 fourth-generation models have been sold in Australia, although this number doesn't include the performance S8 variant.
Photos by Derek Fung
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