The 2011 Audi A8 ushers in a new era of progressive luxury as the flagship sedan of the Audi brand. As the first generational refresh of the A8 line since 2004, the 2011 A8 decisively exemplifies what the Audi brand has come to stand for among the otherwise derivative luxury performance competitors.
The 2011 A8 is the third generation of the A8 model line and is built on Audi’s proven combination of an ASF®, MMI® user interface, stately interior craftsmanship, quattro® all- wheel-drive and adaptive air suspension – innovations matched only by the optimized 4.2-liter direct injection V8 and all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. The significantly updated A8 drivetrain delivers increased horsepower, torque, fuel economy and performance over the previous generation, underlining the goal of delivering the discerning driver the ultimate in luxury driving dynamics and efficiency.
Audi delivers a new brand icon in the 2011 A8. Paramount in the design process was creating a visage of sporty progressiveness that opens new territory while remaining grounded in a clear and logical progression of the A8. In comparison to its predecessor, increasingly muscular wheel arches speak to the enthusiast driver, while further refinement of running lines that flow to a subtly arched trunk lend the all-new A8 an air of elegance. Technological innovation shines brilliantly via industry-first full-LED front headlamps with both high and low beam function.
Like the rest of the all-new 2011 A8, the new model’s 4.2 FSI® V8 powerplant returns with significant improvements in both performance and comfort. Refinements include an increase to 372 hp versus the previous car’s 350 hp and a complimentary growth of torque to 328 lb-ft against the previous car’s 325 lb-ft. Audi valvelift system complements the revised engine, and FSI direct injection cements Audi as the only car company in the U.S. that sells 100 percent of its gasoline engines with direct injection. Lastly, 0-60 mph times have improved to an estimated 5.7 seconds.
For the first time in the A8 family, power will be channeled via an 8-speed automatic transmission, resulting in 17 percent better fuel economy compared to the previous car. Controlled via the center gearshift lever or standard wheel-mounted manumatic shifting paddles, the new transmission powers a new quattro rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, splitting torque 40:60 (front:rear). The A8 stands as the only car in the luxury performance segment with AWD as standard equipment, and the rear-bias puts power to the road where performance-minded drivers demand it. An optional Sports differential offers variable torque distribution on the rear axle, dramatically reducing understeer and increasing driving agility and traction.
With power comes responsibility, and the A8 pioneers new ground through materials and technology for occupant protection. The latest ASF delivers a light-but-rigid body designed to shield the cabin from impact by channeling collisions down and away from the occupants. Technology also plays a new and expanded role in the 2011 A8 through Audi pre sense and adaptive cruise control. Pre sense comprises several preventive occupant protection systems that are activated if a critical driving situation arises. If instability is detected, reversible belt tensioners hold passengers in place while seats adjust to optimal placement. The sunroof and side windows close to shield the passenger compartment. Adaptive air shock absorbers adjust to improve braking and performance, and two-stage partial braking activates.
Technological innovation abounds in the new A8, networked though all elements of the sedan to improve performance, luxury, and safety. Often the most successful application of technology is transparent to the end user, but where direct man-machine interface is required, the 2011 A8 offers the most natural link yet experienced in the automotive realm. The next-generation of Audi’s MMI system includes MMI touch, providing users with a touchpad that is conveniently located on the center console . MMI touch, which is capable of recognizing handwriting for text entry applications such as navigation destinations, enables users to trace letters with a fingertip. The touchpad also functions as a pointer for map functions, a number pad for radio functions, and it can be used to scroll lists in the MMI. Building on users’ experiences with current smart- phones, the new touch interface is the ultimate extension of Audi’s ‘joy of use’ concept for driver-car interaction.
Building upon the revolutionary MMI touch interface, the new A8 also will offer an optional factory-installed WLAN hotspot for wireless Internet access. Bridging the mobile Internet gap in the automotive world delivers the full power of services like Google MapsTM to the MMI navigation interface, offering drivers immense power in choosing destinations and the greatest convenience in getting there.
Source: Audi press