Audi is set to reveal its brand new A8 executive saloon next month - and it’s not held back from releasing teasers of its flagship S-Class rival before we see it in full.
The latest tease is all about its clever suspension. The ‘electromechanically actuated’ suspension, to give it its full name, uses a front-mounted camera to monitor the road ahead at a rate of 18 times per second. If it detects a bump, it’ll prepare the dampers to prevent a shudder being transferred into the cabin.
And it’s not just a clever gimmick, says Audi. The camera and sensors will be able to detect an imminent side-impact collision and can raise the A8’s body on one side by as much as 8mm in just half second. Why? To direct the force of the crash towards its strongest areas… namely the floor structure and side sills.
How is all this possible? Well, each wheel has its own electric motor powered by a 48-volt main electrical system, able to adjust the suspension with up to 811lb ft of torque. As well as providing a smoother ride, this can also improve the car’s handling and manoeuvrability by working with four-wheel steer system. Audi says it will have a smaller turning circle than the current A4… that’s impressive.
The new A8 is likely to display design inspiration from the 2014 Audi Prologue concept. We’ll be reporting live from the A8’s reveal next month. It’s expected to go on sale before the year’s out with a small increase in the current £64,820 start price likely.