The all-new Audi A8 makes its world public debut this week at the Design Miami exhibition in Florida. Crafted entirely from lightweight aluminum and filled with new technology that contributes to economy and comfort, the elegant new flagship of the Audi saloon range opens for order this month.
Packed inside the even lighter and 24% more rigid evolution of the aluminum Audi Space Frame (ASF) which forms the ‘skeleton’ of the new A8 are new technological advances. These of course include economy and emissions advantages for the three significantly reworked FSI and TDI engines that will be available from launch –3.0 liter V6 TDI, 4.2 liter V8 TDI and the 4.2 liter V8 FSI.
The upgraded 4.2 liter FSI benefits from a 13% improvement in fuel economy, taking its combined figure to 29.7mpg and dropping CO2 output. The equivalent V8 TDI gets a 19% boost to 37.2mpg, while the 3.0 liter TDI moves to the top of the luxury saloon class in economy terms with a 22% economy hike to 42.8mpg.
All engines are complemented by recuperation technology which provides further fuel and CO2 savings by recycling a proportion of the wasted kinetic energy which is generated under braking and normally dissipated as heat, and storing this temporarily in the vehicle battery to reduce the engine load when the car accelerates again. The A8 3.0 TDI also saves fuel through its engine start-stop function, cutting engine power at idle when the brake pedal is pressed and then restarting in two-tenths of a second when it is released.
The efficiency of these engines is matched by the new eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission. With an especially high overall gear ratio of 7.0:1, it reduces fuel consumption by 6%.
Other highlights of the new A8 include all-LED headlights and new touch screen Multi Media Interface (MMI) incorporating new satellite navigation with night vision.