Having been around since 2017, the current-generation Audi A8 is beginning to show its age, even though a facelift spruced things up a bit in late 2021. The Four Rings will have an all-new replacement on sale next year if we were to rely on a new report from Autocar. We have yet to see any spy shots of camouflaged prototypes, so if the 2024 arrival is accurate, expect the flagship from Ingolstadt to be launched near the end of the year.

The British magazine claims it'll be the most powerful EV ever, and by extension, the most potent Audi to date. That title currently belongs to the RS E-Tron GT with its mighty 637 bhp coming from a pair of electric motors. On the ICE side, the RS6 Competition holds the crown with its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 rated at 621 bhp. The super estate has the edge in terms of torque, offering 625 lb-ft or 15 lb-ft more than the electric saloon.

Audi Grandsphere Concept

How much power will the A8 successor have? Autocar believes it might not quite match the Grandsphere's 711 bhp and 708 lb-ft, but it should easily outpunch the RS E-Tron GT and RS6 Competition. That will give Audi a rival for the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 and the recently unveiled BMW i7 M70. The concept did 0 to 62 mph in a little over four seconds and had its top speed electronically limited to prioritise efficiency.

Arriving in 2024 when the A8 will celebrate its 30th anniversary, the new crown jewel from the German luxury brand is said to ride on the largest configuration of the upcoming Premium Platform Electric architecture. Developed by Audi and Porsche, PPE will be first used for a couple of crossovers, namely the Q6 E-Tron and Macan. An A6 E-Tron Saloon is also in the works and will slot below the fullsize electric saloon.

The 2021 Grandsphere had a large 120-kWh battery and Autocar believes it'll be carried over to the production model. In the concept, it gave the stately EV a maximum range of 466 miles and the ability to charge at 270 kW from 5 to 80 percent in less than 25 minutes. Audi mentioned 10 minutes spent at a charging station were enough to replenish the battery for over 186 miles.

As far as styling is concerned, Audi's design boss Marc Lichte has already promised the stately EV will be "very close" to the Grandsphere. It won't be identical, but the concept represents a "very concrete teaser" of how the A8 successor is going to look. It's expected to eschew the traditional three-box formula in a favour of a swoopy shape, possibly with a more practical liftback configuration.