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New Audi A8 revealed

15th Dec 2009 8:00 am

The new Audi A8 has just been launched in Miami, ahead of its arrival in UK showrooms next March.

The new Audi A8 has just been launched in Miami, ahead of its arrival in UK showrooms next March.

The new car has lost the mass and bulk of the current model’s styling, replacing it instead with design themes from the A4. Much of the A8’s exterior design is lifted from the A4, especially around the front and rear.

It’s a bigger car than its predecessor and at 5137mm long, 1949mm wide and 1460mm tall, it’s longer and wider than a Mercedes S-class or a BMW 7-series but lower than both. That makes it the biggest car in its class. As with all previous A8s, the car is built from aluminium, and using new alloys has cut 6.5kg from the A8’s weight.

The front and rear lights use LEDs that offer illumination more like daylight than conventional headlamps. They also use less energy and weigh less.

At the time of its launch, there will be two engines available, both V8s - the 4.2 FSI petrol with 372hp and the 4.2 TDI diesel with 350hp. The petrol V8 enables the A8 to reach 100kph in 5.7sec while the diesel is actually quicker – touching the 100kph mark in 5.5sec.

All A8s come with an eight-speed auto and Quattro four-wheel drive as standard, and there’s a sport differential option which splits torque between the rear wheels. Audi has added a new safety system called pre-sense, which activates the hazard lights, closes the windows and sunroof and pre-tensions the seat belts if the brakes are fully applied.

Inside there’s an all-new interior. The gear selector is now an electronic shifter, with four positions; Audi says it’s shaped like the thrust lever on a powerboat. The MMI system has been moved from the centre console to the fascia, and now features a touchpad panel, which allows you to write letters or numbers on the screen to enter phone numbers or navigation destinations.

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