The updated Audi A8 luxury saloon has gone on sale ahead of the first customer cars arriving on UK soil in March. The revamped rival for the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class will cost just under £75,000 in entry-level short-wheelbase guise, with the long-wheelbase car starting at just under £79,000.
Audi describes the 2022 version as a “model enhancement” with extra technology, although the company has also tweaked the exterior design, increasing the size of the grille and fitting new air intakes. However, the highlights are the clever tech additions such as LED headlights that help drivers stay in their lane in roadworks.
When choosing their new A8, customers are faced with a choice of three distinct models, as the standard-wheelbase A8 is joined by the A8L and the more powerful S8. There are also four different trim levels, although all come with plenty of standard equipment.
Adaptive air suspension, leather upholstery and a 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display are standard across the range, while a 10-speaker Audi Sound System, wireless phone charging and a head-up display also feature. A twin-touchscreen navigation system is included, too, while parking sensors and a rear-view camera are thrown in.
Entry-level Sport models are marked out by their 18-inch V-spoke alloy wheels and LED headlights, while A8L Sport models also benefit from heated seats in the front and rear, four-zone climate control and electric rear sun blinds. The long-wheelbase cars also come with a 5.7-inch rear touchscreen.
S Line models, which are not to be confused with the S8, start at £79,985 and add a sportier look thanks to more aggressive bumpers and a motorsport-inspired front grille. They also come with larger 20-inch alloy wheels and ‘dynamic’ scrolling indicators. Similarly, moving up to the Black Edition adds gloss black alloy wheels, black exterior trim and some OLED rear lights with a unique light signature.
Finally, range-topping Vorsprung trim is only offered in combination with the A8L and S8 models, taking the price to at least £102,935. That pays for larger 21-inch Audi Sport ‘seven-arm’ wheels, all-wheel steering and a panoramic glass roof, plus front-seat ventilation with massage function, an extended leather pack, and a 17-speaker B&O sound system. The Vorsprung also has extra safety features, including a 360-degree parking camera and lane-change warning technology.
Customers also face a choice of powertrains, with the A8 available in 3-litre diesel ‘50 TDI’ form, and 3-litre petrol ‘55 TFSI’ guise. The former produces 282 bhp, which is enough for a 5.9-second dash from 0-62 mph, while the latter churns out 335 bhp, shaving three-tenths off the benchmark sprint. Both come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive as standard.
As does the S8, which comes with a 4-litre petrol V8 that produces 563 bhp, allowing 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds. It also gets some bespoke suspension features, which are designed to improve handling and make the car more agile.
Those three engines are set to be joined by a 60 TFSIe engine, which combines the 3-litre petrol motor with plug-in hybrid electric power. That will provide 456 bhp and a sub-five-second 0-62 mph time, but there’s no word on zero-emission range or pricing.
“Audi has a rich history of luxury and innovation and these two aspects of our DNA are represented perfectly in the enhanced A8,” said Andrew Doyle, the director of Audi UK. “Since its inception, the A8 has been a driver of innovation at Audi with the technology it debuts then applied to other segments and vehicles. In the area of premium mobility, the new A8 cements its place as one of the standout stars in our portfolio and the luxury segment.”