Updated Audi A8 mixes tradition and tech

A sumptuous an innovative interior remains the central focus for the A8’s designers as Audi also introduces a new A8 L Horch long-wheelbase model to the Chinese market.

The Audi A8 is all about the details, like the digital Matrix LED headlights which use digital micromirror device technology incorporating 1.3 million micromirrors in each headlight that break down the light of a powerful LED into tiny pixels.

While the long-wheelbase A8 L Horch will undoubtably appeal to those who wish to be chauffeured, Audi says the A8 remains an engaging and dynamic car to drive. It also, says the carmaker, remains Audi’s flagship model.

The needs of potential A8 customers are changing, says Audi. They desire emotional and comfortable mobility experiences that fit their individual lifestyles. Values such as time, space, and individual choices are becoming increasingly important. At the same time, a vehicle’s traditional strengths remain important – from the driving experience to high-quality materials.

In the reworked Audi A8, the premium concept is defined first and foremost by an emotional and comfortable interior experience, coupled with new and established technologies.

Today’s cars must fit seamlessly into the user's day-to-day life and be able to meet as many of their needs as possible at all times. in this context, a versatile and comfortable interior is becoming increasingly important. When it comes to the design of the interior, says Audi’s designers, aspects such as comfort, control logic, infotainment, and the quality and sustainability of the materials used stand at the top of the list.

“The interior must appeal to all of the senses and be comfortable. In addition, customers in the luxury segment expect us to offer the latest technologies, especially in the areas of safety, lighting, and infotainment,” says Peter Dlab, technical project manager for the Audi A8.

One example is the relaxation seat in the back of the new Chinese market flagship A8 L Horch, which offers numerous adjustment options and a footrest on the back of the front passenger seat. Passengers can use it to have the bottoms of their feet warmed and massaged to various degrees.

Meanwhile, the model’s Air Quality Package improves the quality of the air inside the vehicle. A combination filter in the four-zone automatic climate control system captures most of the gases and particulate matter and contributes to rendering allergens and microorganisms harmless.

The new long-wheelbase model came about after Audi committed to extensive research of the market. In China, the characteristics of the vehicle as a chauffeured limousine are foregrounded. An Audi Innovation Research (AIR) team in Beijing is responsible for market activities in China. Audi says Chinese customers love technical gadgets and sophisticated design solutions even more than customers in other parts of the world.

In the updated Audi A8, digital Matrix LED headlights use DMD (which stands for Digital Micromirror Device) technology. Each of the A8’s headlights have approximately 1.3 million micromirrors that break down the light of a particularly powerful LED into tiny pixels. This allows it to be controlled with a high level of precision and resolution.

The enhanced A8 also comes standard with digital OLED taillights. In conjunction with the assistance systems, the combination taillights feature proximity detection – if other road users approach the stationary A8 from behind to within two meters, all of the OLED segments are activated automatically.

Audi says that not every A8 owner wants to be driven by someone else, however. Sporty agility and driving dynamics have characterised the Audi A8 from the outset. As such, the updated model equally caters to those that enjoy driving themselves.

“Cars in the luxury class are not traditional chauffeur-driven sedans for us across all markets. Accordingly, the vehicle is configured in a more dynamic way,” Peter Dlab adds.

All-wheel steering, for example, makes the Audi A8 suitable for urban environments.

With a combination of innovative suspension components, it can cover the entire range – from the velvety roll of a luxury sedan to the dynamic, tight handling of a sports car. Audi says this is where the A8’s predictive active suspension comes into play. The high-tech system, which works in conjunction with the air suspension, can unload each wheel or push it down separately via electromechanical actuators. The active suspension is capable of actively controlling the body in any driving situation, thereby greatly reducing body roll and dive during acceleration and braking.

The Audi A8’s role as a brand flagship remains secure. Despite the presence of headline-grabbing new technology and trends in other vehicle segments, Audi has firmly reemphasised that the A8 is the vehicle that drives innovation at Audi, with a view that new technology should ideally be presented in the A8 first and then in other series and segments.

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