The Audi A8 is all-new for 2018 – so what's changed?
In case you haven’t already heard, there’s an all-new Audi A8 – you can view all of it in our 321-photo gallery. Apart from the obvious exterior upgrades, the new and improved luxury sedan comes pre-loaded with semi-autonomous technology, laser headlights, and even a foot massager. Fancy.
But what exactly has changed from the outgoing model? Well, plenty. Using our nifty photo-comparison tool, it’s easy to pinpoint all the design changes to the exterior, while detecting some of the subtle nuances made to the more technology-focused cabin.
Working our way from the outside in, the most obvious revision comes in the front fascia. The new Singleframe grille is significantly more sculpted, doing away with the "squircle" shape of the outgoing D4 model. The headlights are sleeker too, and include new lasers within the HD Matrix LED high-beam headlamps. The added lasers are said to double the range of high beams at speeds above 43 miles per hour (69 kilometers per hour).
Out back the flowing taillight bar is significantly more upscale than that of the outgoing setup, borrowing a number of cues from the Prologue concept introduced a few years back. Otherwise, the same clean lines remain, while a new set of wheels and some minor updates to the side moldings gives the entire package an updated feel.
Inside is where most of the big changes occur. Audi’s new Virtual Cockpit makes its way to the A8 range for the first time, and includes a digital instrument cluster that displays key vehicle information in full HD resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels. A 10.5-inch infotainment screen is located front and center, and stays flush with the dash instead of jutting up out of it.
Many of the knobs and dials have been done away with in place of a dual touchscreen system and easy-to-use voice commands. Nearly all of the functions can still be accessed through the steering wheel controls, naturally, while aural and tactile feedback helps in executing a number of commands. The steering wheel itself has been given a sharp new look.
Available only on the long-wheelbase A8 L, Audi has included a unique "relaxation seat" that’s relegated to the passenger side rear. The relaxation seat includes things like heating, cooling, and even massage functions at the footrest, all controlled via a central touchscreen and dial system located between the two rear seats.
Overall the new Audi A8 looks to be much improved – and the changes aren’t just skin deep. A new aluminum platform provides some extra rigidity, while adding a few extra inches of rear headroom (0.5 inches) and legroom (1.1 inches) at the same time.
The A8 equipped with a 3.0-liter 340-horsepower V6 will start at €90,600 in Germany, while the longer A8 L will cost €94,100. The equates to about $103,000 and $107,000 in the U.S., a pretty significant bump over the outgoing model’s $82,500 base MSRP.