Audi has recently revealed the new Audi A8, the fourth generation. The Audi A8 may not be able to capture the interest of Mercedes-Benz S-Class fans. Literally, S-Class fans don’t even consider the A8 as a competitor. However, things have changed a lot! To be fair, the Audi A8 was always the third option after the BMW 7-Series, people were just not super-willing to buy an A8. Now, with the new A8, things will change very dramatically! The fourth generation Audi A8 is overtaking both the S-Class and the 7-Series in terms of technology!
As usual, the new A8 is still based on the lightweight modular platform and offering the Quattro. If you can’t afford to buy a Quattro Audi, don’t buy an Audi. Anyway, let’s go back to our main topic. The new Audi A8’s latest party piece is its safety and autonomous driving systems.
The new Audi A8 offers a Level-3 autonomous driving system up to 60 km/h. You might be thinking, the Tesla and the Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volvo offer a better autonomous driving system that is capable of running at higher speeds. The key difference is that the Audi A8’s laser scanners send data to the A8’s AI computer to decide the next move. Unlike other systems, the A8 can make a decision based on various external factors that change constantly. Literally, the A8’s computer will think while driving and decide ‘shall I do this or not?’. The other systems unfortunately are quite straightforward and sometimes they fail.
Will Mercedes-Benz and BMW catch up soon? Yes, that’s possible, but it won’t happen in one day. Audi has invested a serious amount of R&D on this system over a very long time. The competitors may not be able to catch up soon!
The other party piece of the A8 is the suspension. It is now controlled by electric actuators instead of air. As a result, the A8 can do really eye-catching suspension moves to impress passengers. The most important feature is the tilt function that can lift the car, if a side-impact is unavoidable. In this way the crash will be absorbed by the frame of the car instead of the passenger doors.
As the suspension can be controlled by electric actuators, the response time is much quicker than is the case with a conventional air suspension system. You can easily turn A8 into a sports car on a long journey. Also, the suspension system can detect road imperfections and adjust the suspension to improve the comfort of the ride. This is already offered by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the new Rolls-Royce Phantom. However, their systems are based on air suspension. This new suspension system works with a 48-volt system which is how it can make these moves!
Overall, the new Audi A8 is a ground-breaking car. Unlike in the previous generation, Audi has pushed the limits of innovation and has revealed a car that is years ahead of its competitors. However, there are some drawbacks such as the full touch screen infotainment, navigation and climate control buttons. The touch screen makes everything really hard to manage whilst driving. Will these technologies help to increase Audi’s market share? Yes and no. There are some customers in this segment who are obsessed with the S-Class and can’t see the reality. They will never ever change their minds. However, there are lots of younger generation customers who prefer a car with better technology than its competitors. Also, Audi’s subtle design is an attractive unique selling point. For some customers, a subtle car is a must.
Photo credit / Audi