Upcoming A8 EV touted to be the most powerful Audi ever

    Going by the Grandsphere concept, the A8 EV could have up to 720hp of power.

    Published On Apr 24, 2023 08:00:00 AM

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    Next-gen Audi A8 Grandsphere concept
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    While Mercedes and BMW already have an all-electric limousine heading their respective EV line-ups, the new electric Audi A8 will finally go on sale next year as a highly luxurious, technologically advanced and radical-looking flagship. Due to be revealed exactly 30 years after the 1994 unveiling of the first A8 – notable for pioneering an aluminium ‘spaceframe’ platform – the new flagship EV is set to once again spearhead a technological rebirth for Audi as it ramps up to go all-EV in just three years.

    1. Next-gen Audi A8 expected to get 120kWh battery with 800V architecture
    2. Production car will be based on the Grandsphere concept
    3. Has been conceived with level-four autonomous driving capability

    Next-gen Audi A8 platform, battery and range

    The next-gen Audi A8 will use the largest version of the Porsche-/Audi-developed PPE platform that will make its debut this year under the new Q6 E-tron, and is set to feature the most potent powertrains and radical technology available to the German brand.

    Armed with a sizeable, 120kWh lithium-ion battery, which is expected to make production, the Grandsphere concept had a claimed 750km range. That figure is expected to decrease slightly when the car dons numberplates and is fully homologated, but it should still offer one of the longest ranges of any EV on sale.

    More intriguingly, early indications suggest it could be the most powerful car in the Audi stable when it is launched. The concept packed 720hp and 960Nm – more than today’s V8-propelled Audi RS6 Competition – for a near-4.0 second 0-100kph time. While these figures will not be exactly replicated by the production car, they hint at an outright focus on performance.

    The car will also be equipped with 800V charging functionality so will be one of the fastest to top up, netting a maximum charging speed of 270kW. The PPE platform can accommodate rear-wheel steering at up to 5-degree for tighter turn-in, as well as an electronic locking rear differential for improved torque-vectoring behaviour, and these features are expected to be carried over to the new A8.

    But while its performance stats and dynamic credentials will be headline attributes, the new A8 will be more technically remarkable for the advances it makes in self-driving ability.

    Next-gen Audi A8 to get autonomous drive 

    The Grandsphere was designed around its theoretical capacity for level-four autonomy, with a retracting steering wheel and pedals, automatically adjusting seats with individual sound systems and a raft of gesture-controlled functions. The A8 will be more conventional inside, but the more recent Activesphere concept gives clues to Audi’s plans to usher in a step change in autonomous driving with its next-gen EVs.

    “We don’t want to overload you” with information, Audi user experience boss Sid Odedra told our sister publication Autocar UK recently, suggesting the Sphere concepts’ shunning of physical controls and traditional screens in favour of sensor controls and holographic projections is not far from what will become reality.

    “We’re not giving you less, actually,” Odedra said of Audi’s new minimalist interior treatment. “We’re giving you more. With less, we’re going to give you more of a digital experience with less physical architecture.”

    Arriving at the crest of a wave of more than 20 new Audi cars due over the next three years, the Audi A8 EV will be crucial in providing the foundation for the brand to overhaul its positioning and differentiate itself more clearly from its Volkswagen Group siblings with a focus on high-margin premium cars in all core segments.  

    Also See:

    BMW i7 M70 xDrive revealed as the brand’s most powerful EV yet

    Copyright (c) Autocar UK. All rights reserved.

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