Making its first public appearance in Frankfurt, a restyled and revamped Audi A8 and its high-performance S8 sibling boast new looks and new technology plus greater fuel efficiency as the result of a mid-cycle refresh.
On sale in Europe this fall, the 2015 Audi A8 and long-wheelbase Audi A8L will arrive here sometime next year. Both retain the existing platform and carry over all existing sheetmetal, but feature a more aggressively contoured front fascia, revamped grille that sweeps back onto a bolder hood and recast full-LED headlamps. Audi's aluminum-intensive flagship also gets new LED taillamps that have a flatter configuration. A full-width chrome strip links the lights and all models save for the S8 have new rhomboid-shaped exhaust outlets in a tweaked lower bumper. Other changes include new high-gloss black window frames and up to a 21-inch wheel/tire fitment.
While current U.S. laws won't permit their use here at this time, Euro buyers will be able to upgrade the A8's LED headlamps to Audi's new Matrix-type units. Their high beams are comprised of 25 individual LEDs that can be switched on/off or dimmed independently to automatically tailor illumination to any road situation, including corners or oncoming traffic, by using sensors and predictive information culled from the car's navigation system. The lamps also feature sequential directional signal lamps.
Audi will offer the revamped A8/S8 family with five powertrain choices in Europe: two gasoline, two diesel and one hybrid. It says a number of friction-reduction measures should help reduce fuel consumption of most by up to 10 percent. Save for possible minor output increases, expect to see the current U.S. engine lineup carry forward unchanged and consist of a 240-horsepower/3.0-liter TDI turbodiesel, 333-horse/3.0-liter supercharged TFSI V6, 420-horse/4.0-liter twin-turbo TFSI V8, and naturally aspirated 500-horse/6.3-liter FSI W12 as well as the 520-horse/4.0-liter twin-turbo TFSI in the hot Audi S8. As with the class of 2014, all of these motivators will be backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission and ship power to the pavement via Quattro all-wheel drive.
In addition to several new trim choices, the cabin of Audi's primo sedan clan benefits from enhanced noise attenuation efforts that further trim noise levels while a reconfigured trunk eases loading. Further sweetening the formula are an enhanced version of the Audi Pre-Sense basic safety system and side-assist system, a new head-up display and an improved night-vision assistance package.
Pricing for the 2015 Audi A8/A8L and S8 models will be announced closer to their actual on-sale date here.
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