Next-Gen Audi A8 Caught Turning Laps at the ‘Ring
Audi’s flagship sedan to go on sale next year
Audi's next-generation A8 flagship sedan has been caught undergoing some high-intensity testing at the famed Nürburgring race track in Germany, and immediately you'll notice that the car looks more evolutionary than revolutionary. Earlier this year, Audi said that it will reveal its next iteration of its flagship sedan in 2017 and that it will come with semi-autonomous driving technologies.
Because this particular prototype is wearing the swirly camouflage, we can only see some of the car's exterior design details. The one that immediately sticks out is the reshaped hexagonal grille, which looks wider than before. Additionally, the headlights connect to the top part of the grille, making the front fascia look wider. Styling cues from the Audi Prologue Concept are most evident when looking at this next-gen A8 prototype from the side because its profile features the same coupe-like silhouette. The rear end, on the other hand, is much more squared off than before, and despite the taillights being covered, they appear thinner than the ones found on the current-generation A8.
While we still don't know what engine choices will be found under the hood, it's safe to say that the next-gen Audi A8 will feature an array of gas, diesel, and hybrid powertrain choices. However, it's possible that only the gas and hybrid variants will come to the U.S. after Volkswagen Group's diesel emissions scandal. The new 3.0-liter turbo V-6 found in the 2017 Audi S4 and S5 could serve as the base engine for the next-generation A8, while the current 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 could return in various states of tune as the optional engine. A performance-minded S8 could also return, but expect it to debut after the standard A8 greets the public at a major auto show next year. Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF should also return on the next-generation A8.
The latest iteration of Audi's MMI multimedia interface featuring the slick Virtual Cockpit should be available in the next-generation A8 range. It's possible that Audi could follow BMW and Mercedes' lead and only sell the long-wheelbase version of its flagship in the U.S.