Audi Prologue Piloted Driving concept, 2015 Consumer Electronics ShowEnlarge Photo
Audi’s next-generation A8 is still a couple of years away from its market debut but there’s already a lot we know about the new flagship sedan. The car will ride on a stretched version of the MLB Evo platform that debuts in the 2016 Q7, bringing significant weight savings for the big sedan, and public road trials have already commenced with engineers using a handful of current-generation A8-based test mules.
The recent series of Prologue concept cars preview the new styling for the A8 and other large Audis, and the concepts also give us a glimpse at some of the technology that will be offered in the cars, such as powerful plug-in hybrid systems, autonomous driving aids, and advanced connectivity features. Now Auto Express has managed to confirm some of the technology that will be debuting on the new A8.
In the area of autonomous driving, or Piloted Driving as Audi calls it, the new A8 should be able to handle some parking situations as well as driving in dense traffic at speeds of up to 37 mph. Making this all possible is a series of scanners located around the car and a central computer, known as a central driver assistance control unit (zFAS), processing all of the data and making the necessary adjustments to the steering wheel, transmission and brakes.
Other advancements in the new A8 will come in the form of organic LEDs. These can also be used in the interior, for example in advanced digital displays that may combine some gesture control features. BMW’s new 7-Series arriving later this year will feature similar technology.
Finally, we should see Audi’s electrically-aided turbochargers used under the hood. The technology helps eliminate turbo lag for force-fed engines and makes its debut in a high-performance Q7 variant debuting next year. For fans of hybrid technology, the new A8 will offer an e-tron plug-in hybrid model combining a V-8 with a powerful electric drive system. In the Prologue concepts, the setup delivered upwards of 724 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque.
The new A8 is expected to debut on the market in 2017, as a 2018 model. However, we should see the car unveiled sometime next year.