Audi A8 sharpens up with design tweaks to enhance the sedan’s flagship aura

Spot the differences.


Audi showed restraint when it came time to freshen the A8 sedan, and here it is in the metal. Revealed on Tuesday in Europe, these changes mark a few minor updates for the Europe- and China-spec car, but definitely expect the minor changes to land in the US. Audi declined to comment on specifics for the US-spec car but said we’ll learn more at a later date.

Back to the changes themselves, though, the car sports a revised front grille that’s even wider than before. New chrome angles also grow to highlight the A8’s big maw. The headlights are new, too, with Audi’s nifty Digital Matrix LED technology with 1.3 million micromirrors. The headlights have incredible precision to shut off various portions when needed to keep from blinding other drivers. New to the tech is its ability to provide lane and orientation lights for highways. For example, the sedan can provide a blanket of light brighter than ever for a specific highway lane, which Audi says can help drivers motoring through construction sites to keep in the correct lane. At the rear, new OLED taillights provide drivers with more options to choose expressive clusters if they want them.

Aside from a few other minor changes, such as more upright side air intakes, that’s it for the flagship sedan. Powertrains soldier on with choices of a 3.0-liter V6 and 4.0-liter V8. A diesel-drinking V8 is also available and a plug-in hybrid will join the options list in the months to come. The S8 remains the sedan’s royal performance offering with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 pushing 563 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

On the tech side, Audi’s MMI system still serves the car, as does the “Hey Audi” wake command, with a 10.1- and 8.6-inch dual display handling infotainment and climate operations. Ahead of the driver is Audi’s well-known virtual cockpit that’s totally customizable for what the driver wants to see in front of them. It’s easy to get comfy inside, especially with the China-centric A8 L model. The rear seats offer a “relaxation seat” option that includes a footrest with massage and warming functions, power headrests and numerous power options to adjust the seat. A center console for storage, chilled bar area, four-zone climate control and entertainment screens are all on the menu as well. And we’re not even talking about the A8 L Horch.

Prices start at $115,000 based on current exchange rates, and expect to learn more about the US-spec A8 sometime next year.

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