Audi will unveil the new, fourth-generation A8 on July 11 at an event in Barcelona, Spain.
Describing the upcoming flagship sedan, CEO Rupert Stadler said the car will be “generously dimensioned” and feature “a completely new operating concept.”
The operating concept he’s referring to is a driver assist feature with Level 3 self-driving capability. Level 3 is where the car can handle certain situations with no need for monitoring by the driver. In other words, a hands-off, eyes-off experience.
All self-driving systems to date are at Level 2, because they require constant monitoring by the driver. Level 5 is where a car can handle all situations by itself and no longer requires a driver on board.
Audi Prologue Piloted Driving concept, 2015 Consumer Electronics ShowEnlarge Photo
Audi says its new A8 will offer Level 3 self-driving capability in traffic jams at speeds of up to 37 mph. The car is expected to also be able to handle some parking maneuvers by itself.
Judging by our spy shots of prototypes, evolutionary styling is on the menu. The wheelbase has been increased slightly which should lead to a bit more space in the cabin. Audi's series of Prologue concepts hint at the new look.
Underpinning the car is the latest evolution of the Volkswagen Group's MLB platform and in the powertrain department there should be V-6, V-8 and W-12 options. While we won’t see a diesel offered in the United States, a plug-in hybrid option should be offered for eco-minded buyers. A sporty S8 is also in the works.
Sales of the new A8 should start late this year or early next.