Audi has had this naming scheme in India and China - among other countries - for several years and now the nomenclature is being rolled out across more parts of the world, including Europe. Debuting on the company’s all-new flagship, the model designation is being presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the standard-wheelbase A8 50 TDI Quattro and the stretched A8L 55 TFSI Quattro.
The use of “50” indicates the car has anywhere between 281 to 308 horsepower (210 to 230 kilowatts) and comes to replace the old 3.0 TDI version of the fullsize luxury sedan. As for the other car, its “55” number reveals the gasoline engine underneath the hood develops from 328 to 368 hp (245 to 275 kW). In this particular case, we’re dealing with a direct successor to the familiar A8 3.0 TFSI.
To understand the whole picture, here is a breakdown of the new standardized nomenclature set to be rolled out worldwide between now and the summer of 2018:
- 30 = 109-128 hp (81-96 kW);
- 35 = 147-160 hp (110-120 kW);
- 40 = 167-201 hp (125-150 kW);
- 45 = 226-248 hp (169-185 kW);
- 50 = 281-308 hp (210-230 kW);
- 55 = 328-368 hp (245-275 kW);
- 60 = 429-455 hp (320-340 kW);
- 70 = 536+ hp (400+ kW).
Getting back to the car itself, the new A8 is Audi’s most technologically advanced production model to date. From the matrix LED headlights (with laser tech) and OLED taillights to foot massaging and 400 different functions for the MMI infotainment, the sedan is a geek’s delight. More OLED trickery can be found inside where there’s a removable touch panel for the rear passengers.
The pièce de résistance in terms of tech would have to be the advanced semi-autonomous driving system capable of handling all the work at speeds of up to 37.3 mph (60 kph). The traffic jam pilot system is smart enough to start the car, accelerate, brake, and steer, without any assistance from the person behind the wheel. If you’re still not impressed, the car is available with a whopping 41 different driver assistance systems, though many of them will cost you extra.
The Audi A8 will first go on sale this fall in Germany where it’s going to cost €90,600 or €94,100 for the longer A8L. Only the two V6 engines will be available at first, with a larger 4.0 TDI rated at 435 hp (320 kW) and a 4.0 TFSI developing 460 hp (338 kW) to arrive shortly thereafter. This pair of eight-cylinder units will eventually be followed by the mighty biturbo 6.0-liter W12 shared with the 600-hp Bentley Bentayga and the new 626-hp Continental GT.