In 1982, Ferdinand Piëch signed an agreement with Aluminum Company of America. The objective was to design and develop a car that would be substantially lighter than any other vehicles in its class (to compensate for the fact that standard all-wheel drive was around 100 kg heavier than competitors' rear-wheel drive). In the late 1980s, it was decided that the target vehicle would be a successor to the V8 (Typ 4C) flagship introduced in 1988. By 1991, a final design by Chris Bird and Dirk van Braeckel was chosen and frozen for series production in 1992. In September 1993, the Audi Space Frame (ASF) Concept was unveiled at the 1993 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) as a D2 Typ 4D prototype in polished aluminum. Pilot production began in December 1993 and development ended in early 1994, at a total cost of $700 million (£418.1 million).
The Audi A8 (Typ 4D) was presented in February 1994 and debuted at the 1994 Geneva Auto Show in March, with full-scale factory production commencing in June 1994, although it was not until October 1996, for the 1997 model year that it became available in North America. Unlike its predecessor, the Audi V8 model, which was built on an existing steel platform, the A8 debuted on the then-new Volkswagen Group D2 platform, an all aluminium monocoque, marketed as the "Audi Space Frame" (ASF), which helped to reduce weight and preserve structural rigidity. The saloon/sedan was offered in both the A8 (standard wheelbase), and the A8 L extended or long-wheelbase (LWB) version. The A8 L adds 5 inches (127 mm) of rear legroom. Updates to the car in 1997 included the addition of six interior airbags.The A8 was designed as a competitor to fellow German rivals Mercedes Benz S Class and the BMW 7 Series.
In 1997, Audi introduced the first series production ESP Electronic stability control for all-wheel drive vehicles (Audi A8 and Audi A6)– the world's first production cars with both front and rear side airbags.
For 1997, the new A8 was available with either front-wheel drive (FWD), or the Torsen-based quattro permanent four-wheel drive. The FWD models are powered by a 2.8-litre V6 engine, producing 142 kilowatts (193 PS; 190 bhp), and a 3.7-litre V8 engine producing 171.5 kilowatts (233 PS; 230 bhp), while the quattro received a 4.2-litre V8 producing 220 kilowatts (299 PS; 295 bhp).
The A8 is available with standard luxury amenities, including dual-zone climate control, wood and leather interior trim, 14-way power and heated seats, and an enhanced Bose audio system.
In 1999, Audi's flagship received side curtain airbags, new colours, and restructuring of option packages. The North American "warm weather package" added a solar sunroof which allows the interior ventilation fans to run, keeping the interior cool while the car is parked with the engine turned off. Changes to all models included a larger passenger-side mirror, and a first aid kit located in the rear centre armrest.
In 1999 for the 2000 model year came a minor front-end restyle, with new, larger, clear headlights, a revised grille, and lower front valance with standard projection fog lamps. On the interior, the seats received a new, horizontal stitch pattern. Also, the 3.7-litre V8 FWD model was dropped, leaving the 2.8 V6 model and the long-wheelbase and short-wheelbase 4.2-litre quattro. These restyled cars also featured revised external door handles and an integrated radio antenna. For 2000, the North American A8 line-up was expanded to include the A8 L.
In 2001, Audi introduced its new W12 engine, a compact 6.0-litre unit developed by effectively mating two VR6 engines together at the crankshaft. The engine quickly became available in the A8, though only to European and Asian customers. From its introduction through its discontinuation in 2003, only 750 of the D2 "W12" models were produced. 2001 also marked the debut of the high-performance S8 variant in North American markets.
In 2002, the A8 L received standard xenon high-intensity discharge lamp (HID) headlights, and a heated steering wheel. A tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), an updated Symphony II stereo, and new exterior colours were also added. For 2002, all A8 variants received a trunk/boot interior release lever to facilitate escape in the event an individual became trapped within.
Factory production of this generation ceased at Number 105,092 on August 4, 2002.
In 1997, IVM Automotive of Munich, Germany built a two-door Audi A8 Coupé. The car was unveiled at the 1997 Geneva Motor Show. Audi contracted IVM to build the prototype, and was considering production of the vehicle. The coupé had a re-engineered aluminium body, shorter than the production A8 saloon. Like the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, there was no central "B" pillar, giving the car a seamless design with a gradually sloping roofline. The car included custom leather seats which could seat four. Ultimately, Audi decided not to put the A8 Coupé into production, citing lower-than-expected sales figures for the similar BMW 8 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé. Only one A8 Coupé was ever built. The single prototype, painted in a colour called "Ming Blue pearl", remains the property of IVM Automotive, and resides in Munich. Its last public appearance was in 2002 on a series of test drives.
Audi introduced the S8 4.2 quattro into the European market in 1996. The S8 followed the naming convention of other high-performance Audi "S" models such as the Audi A6-derived S6 and was similar in vein of Mercedes-Benz AMG models. In markets such as the UK, the S8 was only available with the automatic transmission. Cosmetically, Audi differentiated the S8 from the A8 with solid aluminium alloy door mirror housings, chrome-effect beltline and lower front grille trim, and polished twin exhaust pipes, along with subtle "S8" badging. 14-way power adjustable and heated sports front seats with memory function were fitted as were heated rear seats. Standard alloy wheels were 18-inch cast aluminium alloy "Avus" six-spoke style. After the 1999 facelift, 20-inch polished nine-spoke RS wheels became an option. In 2002, 18-inch nine-spoke RS wheels became a no-cost option.
At the same time of the A8's facelift in late 1999, the S8 received the same cosmetic upgrades. This update marked the release of the S8 to the North American market. Production of the D2 series S8 ended in September 2002.
The D2 series S8 featured an uprated, 250 kW (335 hp) version of the 4.2-litre V8 with four valves per cylinder. From late 1999, Audi increased this to five valves per cylinder with power increased to 265 kilowatts (355 hp) and 430 newton metres (317 lb·ft). From launch in 1996, European-market models came standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A sports-recalibrated version of the ZF 5HP24 five-speed tiptronic automatic, featuring "Dynamic Shift Programme" (DSP) was released a year later and was the only transmission available in most other markets.
A retuned, 20-millimetre (0.8 in) lowered sports suspension included a 30 percent stiffer spring rate and 40 percent more compression damping in the shock absorbers. Speed-sensitive "servotronic" power assisted steering was also standard.
The brakes featured Bosch 5.3 anti-lock braking system (ABS), with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), and worked radially ventilated front discs. From 2002, an upgraded Bosch 5.7 electronic stability programme became standard fitment.
The second-generation Audi A8 (Typ 4E) built on the Volkswagen Group D3 platform was unveiled via press release in July 2002 and introduced in November 2002 in Europe and in June 2003 (as a 2004 model) in the United States. The model was longer than the previous generation, with room for four or five large adult occupants in the cabin, depending on rear seat configuration. The D3 development program began in 1996, with the design process commencing in Ingolstadt in 1997. The whole Audi design studio based in Ingolstadt first contributed sketch proposals, from which numerous different themes emerged. Six of them were developed into full size clay models and worked up in a traditional manner adjacent to full size tape drawings. At least three one quarter scale models were produced to explore other design variations.
The six full size exterior clay models were reduced to two in late 1998 and these continued to be refined in parallel for a year. At the end of 1999 the final theme selection was made, by Miklós Kovács and Imre Hasanic the main contributing designers. This lengthy development time was in part due to the body being made from aluminium, a material less able to take the small radii of sharp feature lines such as those on the (steel bodied) A4 (B6) designed in 1998.
In parallel to the exterior design development the interior design was progressed with a total of four full size models produced and the production car's horizontally themed instrument panel design dominant from early on, with Norbert Schneider, Mark Bergold and Enzo Rothfuss the main contributing designers.
Grouping major controls nearer the driver for a more driver focused identity whilst creating a more airy and spacious feel were early priorities for the interior design team was headed by Jurgen Albamonte. This was in part facilitated by the Multi Media Interface (MMI) designed by Jurgen Schröder, that pioneered on the D3 A8 after the Audi Avantissimo concept car preview, and also by class leading colour and trim from Barbara Krömeke and Melinda Jenkins.
Under the supervision of Dany Garand, during the first half of 2000 exterior and interior clay models were digitized and developed using digital design tools in a supporting, not leading, capacity. The D3 final production design was later frozen in the summer of 2000 for an August 2002 start of production.
The A8 was previewed 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show by the Audi Avantissimo concept car. This concept introduced much of the technology later available on the series production A8 D3, including: Multi Media Interface, 6-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles, V8 biturbo engine (RS6), self-levelling adaptive air suspension with continuously controlled damping, electric park brake, bi-xenon headlights with static Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) curve headlights, dashboard, driver identification systems with fingerprint scanner.
As with the previous version, two body variants of the second generation A8 are offered, the A8 (standard, or short wheelbase), and the long-wheelbase (LWB) A8 L. The A8 L adds 120 mm (4.7 inches) to the rear legroom and 11 mm (0.43 in) to the overall height of the car.
For quattro all wheel drive models, a ZF 6HP26-A61 (lower torque capacity 6HP19 version for 6 cylinder models) six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission with "Dynamic Shift Programme" (DSP) and "sport" mode, with optional steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters, is the only transmission offering. Output is transmitted via Audi's quattro generation IV all-wheel drive system using the Torsen T-2 centre differential with a default 50:50 torque split front/rear. If the road conditions change, the purely mechanical Torsen differential responds without any delay; it can divert up to 70 percent of power to the front or rear axles.World premiere of Multi Media Interface (MMI) in-car user interface (similar to BMW iDrive)
Multiplexed high speed MOST Bus optical fiber data networks (interconnecting tens of microprocessors on common databusses), integrated with MMI.
First Audi with Bi-Xenon HID headlamps for both low and high beam
World premiere of static Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) curve headlights (from Hella)
First Audi with 4-wheel Adaptive Air Suspension and Continuous Damping Control (CDC)-(Skyhook suspension).
First Audi GPS navigation system with DVD maps
First Audi with six-speed automatic transmission (Tiptronic)
First Audi featuring driver identification system.
In 2005, new internal combustion engines became available. For European and Asian market customers, the entry-level 3.0-litre V6 engine was replaced with a new 3.2-litre unit featuring Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI), which it shared with the Audi B7 A4 and Audi C6 A6. The top-of-the-line W12 version debuted that year. The advantage of the W12 engine layout is its compact packaging, allowing Audi to build a 12-cylinder sedan with all-wheel drive, whereas a conventional V12 could only have a rear-wheel drive configuration as it would have no space in the engine bay for a differential and other components required to power the front wheels. In fact, Audi's 6.0-litre W12 is actually slightly smaller by overall dimensions than the 4.2-litre V8.
In addition to the added power trains, Audi restyled the D3 platform A8 range slightly in 2005, giving all variants a taller, wider trapezoidal single-frame grille. The top-of-the-line W12 engined W12 version was the first model to be equipped with this grille; V8 engined models were fitted with the new grille the following year.
The D3 generation A8 introduced the 235 kW (315 hp) 4.2-litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) V8 engine (subsequently uprated to 240 kW (322 hp)). The engine uses two turbochargers and two intercoolers, with each turbocharger functioning exclusively for one bank of four cylinders.
The adaptive air suspension gives the vehicle clearance a range from its normal 120 mm up to 145 mm in lift mode and down to 95 mm in the Autobahn mode, which is automatically activated when a speed of more than 120 km/h is maintained for more than 30 seconds.
In September 2005 Audi became the first car maker to offer the 1,000-watt 14-channel ICEpower sound system option from Bang & Olufsen.
Changes include:Full speed range adaptive cruise control ACC Plus, can now brake until stop
Braking guard radar-guided forward collision warning system
Side Assist" detects cars in the A8's blind spots
Lane assist helps when the driver attempts to change lanes without signalling first.
It is an armoured vehicle with B6+ and B7 (European standard) ballistic ratings. It includes a W12 engine rated 331 kW (450 PS) and 580 N·m (428 lbf·ft), emergency exit system featuring pyrotechnic blown-out doors, fire extinguisher system with spray jets located in the engine compartment, underbody and in the wheel arches; smoke extractor in passenger compartment, run flat tires, bullet proof windows, the full protection plus package and LED flashers in the exterior mirrors. Buyers are also offered facility to dispatch two drivers on a special training course.
The S8 high-performance sports variant, now called the "Audi S8 5.2 FSI quattro" was announced in the last quarter of 2005 and full production started in June 2006 and ended in September 2009.
The S8 includes subtle detailing to distinguish it from its related A8. The trapezoidal "single-frame" grille bears the characteristic Audi "S model" vertical strut detail which are highlighted in a chrome finish. "S8" badging is displayed front and rear, whilst "V10" badges are displayed on each front wing above the side-repeater indicators. The rear boot-lid incorporates a subtle rear spoiler, and the rear is finished with four chromed oval exhaust tailpipes. Adaptive Xenon-plus high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps include static turning lights, along with "swiveling" dynamic cornering lights. Daytime running lamps are five light-emitting diodes (LEDs) incorporated into a cloverleaf designed reflector, incorporated into the main headlamp housing.
The D3 series S8 features a 5.2-litre all-aluminium alloy four-valves per cylinder V10 petrol engine. This engine is a derivative of the Lamborghini Gallardo's original 5.0-litre Lamborghini V10, which was also developed under the Volkswagen Group ownership. On this Audi-only variant, compared to the Lamborghini engine, it features a longer stroke and wider bore—which increases the displacement of the engine, and produces more torque at lower revs, making it more suitable for the larger and heavier full-sized luxury Audi application. It produces 331 kW (444 hp) of power and 540 N·m (398 lb·ft) of torque. By having its bore whittled out an additional 2 millimetres (0.1 in), displacement in the S8 application increases from 5.0- to 5.2-litres. The engine also features Audi's direct-injection system, called Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI).
A sports-optimised ZF 6HP26-A61 six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission with "Dynamic Shift Programme" (DSP) and "sport" mode, with steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters, is the only offering. Output is transmitted via Audi's quattro generation IV all-wheel drive system, initially using the Torsen T-2 50:50 dynamic centre differential, and from 2007 for the 2008 model year, utilising the Torsen T-3 asymmetric dynamic centre differential, with a "default" torque distribution of 40 percent to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear. If the road conditions change, the purely mechanical differential responds without any delay; it can divert up to 85 percent of power to the rear wheels, and as much as 65 percent to the front wheels.
The S8's top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). Audi's factory performance claims indicate a 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) time of 5.1 seconds whilst consuming 98 RON unleaded petrol. The S8 has similar performance to Audi's own top-of-the-line A8 L W12, though the W12 is more expensive, has more torque, and built on a longer wheelbase. Compared to the A8 L W12, the S8 has sportier mechanical features such as a firmer suspension, larger wheels, and ceramic brakes. The shorter wheelbase and 10-cylinder engine save weight for better handling, but at 5.4 seconds from 0–60 mph the S8 trails the W12.
The S8, like its related A8, utilises a multi-link suspension layout front and rear, with pressurised air springs. However, for the S8, the effective spring and damper rates are noticeably firmer, along with re-engineered suspension mounts.
The brake system consists of radially ventilated discs all round. The discs are clamped with gloss-black painted dual-piston calipers up front, and a single-piston sliding caliper at the rear, coupled to an electro-mechanical parking brake. A Bosch ESP 5.7 (later upgraded to ESP 8.0) electronic stability control, with ABS, brake assist, EBD complete the brake system. Optional "Audi ceramic" carbon fibre-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) composite front and rear brakes are available, which use radially vented, and floating SGL Carbon discs, with anthracite grey painted twelve-piston fixed Brembo monobloc alloy calipers. Standard alloy wheels consist of 20-inch "S design" alloy wheels.
The A8L Centennial Limited Edition (奧迪A8L百年限量版) is a limited (800 units total) version of the A8L 3.0 FSI with multitronic and the A8L 6.0 W12 quattro for the Chinese market, commemorating Audi's 100th anniversary. It included horizontal chrome-plated front grille (from the A8L 6.0 W12 quattro), "V6" metal logo at the upper left of the air-inlet grille (A8L 3.0 FSI), LED daytime running lights, heated leather steering wheel, 19-inch 12-spoke polished aluminium alloy wheels, heated steering wheel in grey leather with beige stitching, Bang & Olufsen advanced audio system, Alcantara equipment bag, Assam ash red veneer, floor mat with aluminium trim, a metal 'Audi exclusive' commemorative logo at inn door trims.
The vehicles went on sale on the 18 October 2009 as 2010 model year vehicles.
In North America, only the 4.2 V8, 5.2 V10, and 6.0 W12 petrol engines are available. The 4.0 TDI was discontinued when the 4.2 TDI was introduced.
The third generation of the Audi A8 was introduced in Miami on 30 November 2009. The chassis was built on the Volkswagen D4 platform.
Changes include:Full LED headlamps with Automatic high beam switching or Audi adaptive light (Xenon) with variable headlight range control
enhanced MMI Multi Media Interface with touchpad & handwriting recognition for the phone and navigation system, using Nvidia Tegra System on a chip for very high processing speed.
optional 1,400 watt Bang & Olufsen sound system.
driver assistance systems networked using FlexRay technology.
Hard disk drive GPS navigation with 3D computer graphics with Google Earth.,
navigation system coordinates input to the adaptive headlights, transmission, adaptive cruise control and electronic stability control.
Infrared Night Vision Assistant with pedestrian recognition
broadband internet with UMTS 3G and WLAN-Hotspot
First production Audi with a Collision avoidance system: Pre sense (similar to Mercedes-Benz Pre-Safe). The full version of the system (Pre Sense Plus) works in four phases. In the first phase, the system provides warning of an impending accident, while the hazard warning lights are activated, the side windows and sunroof are closed and the front seat belts are tensioned. In the second phase, the warning is followed by light braking, strong enough to win the driver's attention. The third phase initiates autonomous partial braking at a rate of 3 m/s² (9.8 ft/s²). The fourth phase decelerates the car at 5 m/s² (16.4 ft/s²) followed by automatic deceleration at full braking power, roughly half a second before projected impact. A second system, called (Pre Sense Rear), is designed to reduce the consequences of rear-end collisions. The sunroof and windows are closed and seat belts are prepared for impact. The optional memory seats are moved forward to protect the car's occupants. The system uses sensor fusion with twin radar and a mono camera and was introduced in 2010.
The third-generation Audi A8 (L) (Typ 4H) is based on the Volkswagen Group MLB platform, but retains the Audi Space Frame aluminium construction of the previous A8, making it the lightest all-wheel drive car in the full-size luxury segment, while also giving it best-in-class fuel economy. The quattro all-wheel drive system splits torque with a default bias of 40 percent front and 60 percent rear.
The vehicle was unveiled in Design Miami 2009 on 30 November 2009., followed by the 2010 North American International Auto Show.
Early models include A8 4.2 FSI quattro (372PS), A8 3.0 TDI quattro (250PS), A8 4.2 TDI quattro (350PS). A8 3.0 TDI (204PS) was added later.
Initial internal combustion engine options comprise 4.2-litre Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) petrol and Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel V8s, with 273 kW (366 hp) and 258 kW (346 hp) respectively. A 3.0-litre V6 TDI with either 184 kilowatts (247 hp) or 150 kilowatts (201 hp) will be available later. A 6.3-litre W12 engine only for the long wheelbase model was made available in 2010, and compared to its predecessor it has a larger displacement and direct fuel injection. All engines are mated to the new eight-speed ZF 8HP automatic transmission. Although other Audi vehicles such as the 2010 Audi S4 and 2011 Audi A7 had switched from the 4.2l V8 to the 3.0L supercharged V6, the Audi A8 retained a higher-output 4.2L V8 as the base engine for the 2011 and 2012 model years in North America.
Taiwan models went on sale on the 11th November 2010 . Early models include 3.0 TFSI quattro (290PS).
The vehicle was unveiled in Auto China 2010., followed by the 2011 Taipei Motor Show (A8 L W12 quattro).
German models went on sale in the fall of 2010. Early models include a 3.0 TFSI quattro (290PS), a 4.2 FSI quattro (372PS), a W12 6.3 FSI quattro (500PS), a 3.0 TDI quattro (250PS) and a 4.2 TDI quattro (350PS).
Taiwan models went on sale on the 11th November 2010. Early models include a 3.0 TFSI quattro (290PS) and a 4.2 FSI quattro (372PS). The A8L W12 quattro was added in 2011. the A8L 4.0 TFSI quattro was added in 2012.
Chinese models went on sale in 2011. Early models include an A8L 3.0 TFSI low quattro (289PS), and an A8L 3.0 TFSI high quattro (333PS).
The concept vehicle includes a 2.0 TFSI engine rated at 211 PS (155 kW; 208 bhp) and 350 N·m (258.15 lbf·ft)@1500–4200 rpm, a disc-shaped electric motor rated 45 PS (33 kW; 44 bhp) and 211 N·m (155.63 lbf·ft), lithium-ion battery, luggage space of 400 liters (14.13 cubic feet), 21-inch wheels with 265/35 tires, Prism Silver body colour with Spectra Flair accent colour, 'hybrid' lettering on both front fenders, illuminated doorsteps with 'hybrid' insignia.
The vehicle was unveiled in 2010 at The Geneva Motor Show.
It is a version of the A8 L demonstrating 4G long-term evolution (LTE) broadband technology. Developed in collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent, the car's mobile broadband connection is a fourth generation (‘4G’) technology with data transfer speeds of up to 100Mbit/s.
During the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, announced that LTE technology would be used in cars by early 2011. The A8 L prototype was unveiled weeks later.
The A8 L Security is an armoured version of the A8 L with class VR 7 ballistic protection standard (tested as per BRV 2009 guidelines), resistance to explosions against a military hand grenade (tested as per ERV 2010 guidelines), with certain areas of the armouring complies with the criteria for class VR 9 and VR 10, a core safety cell made from hot-formed armoured steel, aramide fabric, ceramics, special alloyed aluminium and multilayer glass; overlapping protective materials at the joints, aluminum side sills with solid steel sections, aluminum alloy armored floor, side windows, windshield and rear window made of special glass with a polycarbonate coating; optional electromechanical window openers, closing assist feature comes standard for the doors, communication box in the luggage compartment (light ceramic doors, aluminum frame), optional battery and the fuel tank protection, two-way communication system with a speaker in the single-frame grille and microphones for the cabin and exterior, an emergency exit system with pyrotechnical separating screws in the hinges, fire extinguisher system, emergency fresh-air system with two oxygen cartridges, a smoke extractor for the passenger compartment, an LED signaling system for convoy travel, flashing lights, a siren, a preparation for professional mobile radio systems, a flag holder, a permanently installed telephone, an accident data recorder, an additional rearview camera and a heated windshield plus partially heated side windows, four-zone climate control system with an ionizer to freshen the air, electric rear blinds, the sonorous Bose surround sound system and a TV tuner, rear are two individual seats with power adjustment, front comfort seats with heating and optional massage and ventilation functions, standard full-leather package, optional relaxation seat (adjustable right-hand rear seat with a power-adjustable footrest, heating and massage), optional center console with large storage compartments and rear seat entertainment system with two 10.2-inch displays, optional folding table, optional refrigerator optional parking heater, Bluetooth car phone online, integrated UMTS module, optional separate telephone handsets, 19-inch forged wheels featuring in semipolished two-tone finish, 255/720 tires with a high load index of 117, synthetic rings on the rims, optional full-size spare tire.
The first model included a W12 engine rated 368 kW (500 PS) and 625 N·m (461 lbf·ft), with delivery began in late summer 2011. An additional engine model with improved fuel efficiency went on sale in 2012.
The vehicle was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
Deliveries began in late summer 2011.
The production version includes an electric motor rated at 40 kW (54 PS) and 210 N·m (155 lbf·ft), 1.25 kWh lithium-ion battery, 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels in turbine blades design (optional 19-inch), hybrid badges, metallic paint finish (optional Arctic Silver body colour), three-zone automatic air conditioning, LED headlights, and a BOSE sound system. Pure electric mode is available for either a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) or for up to 3 kilometres (2 mi) at a constant speed of 60 km/h (37 mph). It went on sale in 2012.
The vehicle was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
It is a limited (50 units) version of the A8 L W12 with seats upholstered in Cognac-colored leather by Poltrona Frau, inlays made from the wood olive ash natural, light gray-brown veneer, sill trims with "Audi exclusive concept" lettering, deep-pile carpeting.
The vehicle was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The long wheelbase version of the A8 hybrid was unveiled in 2010 at the Beijing Auto Show.
The D4 series Audi S8 4.0 TFSI quattro went on sale in 2012. Like the previous iteration, the S8 costs less than the A8 L W12.
The S8 can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 4.2 seconds. It is powered by a 4.0-litre TFSI biturbo V8 engine with 382 kW (512 hp). The engine utilises cylinder deactivation so it can run as a V4 for better fuel economy. The S8's engine is shared with the Bentley Continental GT, while a detuned variant of the engine makes 420 hp which is found in the 2013 Audi S6, Audi S7, and Audi A8. Direct competitors include the BMW Alpina B7 and Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, which also have biturbo V8 engines.
The vehicle was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, and went on sale in spring 2012.
Taiwan models went on sale in 2013.
As part of the Audi A8 launch in Taiwan, Audi built up Audi pavilion in Xin-Yi district, with Tom Dixon invited for the launch event. Yu-Cheng Chou and Chun-Ten Lin's art works were displayed with A8.
The Audi A8 3.0 TFSI quattro (290PS) was used in Transporter: The Series.
Early German A8 models include 3.0 TFSI quattro (290PS), 4.0 TFSI quattro (420PS), 3.0 TDI (204PS), 3.0 TDI quattro (250PS), 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro (250PS), 4.2 TDI quattro (350PS), A8 L W12 quattro (500PS), A8 hybrid 2.0 TFSI. Early German A8 L Security models include 4.0 TFSI quattro, W12 6.3 FSI quattro.
The updated A8 uses LED headlight technology, with automatic high beam lighting, Osram supplies the LEDs while Hella supplies the headlamp itself.
Early US models include the A8(L) 3.0 TFSI quattro (333PS), the A8(L) 4.0 TFSI quattro, the S8 4.0 TFSI quattro and the A8 L W12 6.3 FSI quattro. The A8 3.0 TFSI quattro and A8 4.0 TFSI quattro replaced the A8 4.2 FSI quattro. The A8 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro (240PS) was unveiled at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show, and was set to go on sale in Spring 2013 as a 2014 model year vehicle. The A8 L 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro (240PS) was set to go on sale in Spring 2013 on sale as a 2014 model year vehicle.
Chinese models include the A8L 30 FSI (204PS), the A8L 40 hybrid, the A8L 45 TFSI quattro (290PS), the A8L 55 TFSI quattro (333PS), the A8L W12 FSI quattro and the S8 4.0 TFSI quattro.
The A8 L 2.0 TFSI hybrid is sold as an A8L 40 hybrid in China.
The A8 L 3.0 TFSI quattro (290PS) is sold as an A8L 45 TFSI quattro in China.
All models include an eight-speed tiptronic transmission.
2013–2014 Audi A8 and S8 vehicles equipped with a standard sunroof, manufactured between March 12, 2013 and July 15, 2013 were recalled due to possible shattering of sunroof glass panel.
As part of the 2013 S8 4.0 TFSI quattro launch in the US, a TV commercial called 'Suspect' was produced in association with Venables Bell & Partners, USA, Furlined, The Whitehouse, 740 Sound Design & Mix, Lime Studios; starring Abigail Spencer. The ad takes cues from quintessential heist films with the S8 taking center stage against a mysterious and suspenseful bank robbery scene. As the thrill escalates, viewers will be left deciding whether a true robbery has transpired, or if the scene was purely a figment of the driver's imagination. With the power, speed and innovation of the S8 at the driver's fingertips, it's easy to get carried away behind the wheel of an Audi S model. The spot closes with the tagline "Heighten Every Moment." The commercial was premiered during the 2012 NFL season kick-off game on 05-09-2012. The "Suspect" commercial featuring the Audi S8 would also air in NFL on CBS and NBC, and select cable networks, including: Food, FX, National Geographic, ESPN, USA, CNN, and AMC. A 30-second version would also be viewable on CNN.com, Reuters.com, Wired.com, Yahoo! and more.
Changes include:Multi Media Interface with faster Tegra 3-Processor and Long Term Evolution broadband Internet.
First worldwide series production car with digitally controlled, full-LED glare-free adaptive highbeam: Matrix LED. The high-beam comprises 25 individual light-emitting diodes per unit that can be switched on and off or dimmed individually depending on the situation. This enables the headlight system to react extremely precisely to other vehicles while always brightly illuminating the road. Additional features of the new headlights are the intelligent cornering light, new-look daytime running lights and dynamic turn signals. The lighting system in the A8 uses predictive route data from the navigation system to adjust the distribution of light in response to the current driving situation. In combination with the optional Navigation plus with MMI touch, the system recognizes route data contained in the navigation system, such as curves and road classifications.
Cornering light. Using predictive route data supplied by the MMI navigation plus, the focus of the Matrix LED beam is shifted towards the bend even before the driver turns the steering wheel.
Night Vision Assistant can now recognize larger animals in addition to pedestrians. Pedestrian Marker Lights work together with the optional night vision assistant. As soon as a pedestrian is detected in a critical range in front of the vehicle, individual LEDs flash briefly three times in succession to alert that person, who is then clearly visible to the driver
Standard electromechanical power steering (optional dynamic steering varies its ratio with the car's speed)
Active lane assist, which makes slight steering adjustments when necessary
Park assist system with 360° display,
Side assist Blind spot monitor coupled with expanded version of the standard pre sense basic safety system
Active noise cancellation (ANC) for A8 L W12 quattro, cylinder on demand with six-cylinder mode.
Additional noise damping
Other changes: altered trunk layout with optional power trunk closing assist, flatter rear LED lights joined together by a continuous chrome strip, redesigned bumper houses two rhomboid tailpipes (except S8), available wheel sizes up to 21 inches with 275/35-series tires, optional sport differential (standard on S8 and A8 4.2 TDI clean diesel quattro)
The A8 Audi Exclusive Concept is a limited (50 units) version of the A8 L W12 quattro with interior leather upholstery from Italian furniture manufacturer Poltrona Frau in the color Agatha cognac, inlays are made of fine grain olive ash natural silver brown, Tierra Del Fuego body colour. Production was set to begin at the quattro GmbH facility in Neckarsulm starting in March 2014.
The Audi S8 includes a four-cylinder mode with ANC, two elliptical dual tailpipes, dynamic steering, sport differential, adaptive air suspension sport with an S-specific setup, 20-inch wheels, S8 emblems on front brake calipers, optional Audi design selection black/Vermont brown with Carbon twill copper inlays.
The Audi A8 hybrid includes a custom Audi luggage set for the trunk.
The vehicles were unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, followed by 2014 Detroit Auto Show, 2014 Toronto Auto Show.
German models arrived at German Audi dealerships in November 2013. Early A8 models include 3.0 TFSI quattro (310PS), 4.0 TFSI quattro (435PS), 3.0 TDI quattro clean diesel (258PS), 4.2 TDI clean diesel quattro (385PS), A8 L W12 quattro (500PS), A8 hybrid 2.0 TFSI (211/245PS), S8 4.0 TFSI quattro (520PS).
US models went on sale as 2015 model year vehicles. Early models included A8 3.0 (L) TFSI quattro (310PS), A8 (L) 4.0 TFSI quattro (435PS), A8 L 3.0 TDI quattro clean diesel (258PS), A8 L W12 quattro (500PS), S8 4.0 TFSI quattro (520PS). Engines are the same in Canada as the US but PS ratings are higher due to less emission control devices needed.
Available in V8 4.0 TFSI or W12 FSI engines, it is an armoured version of A8 L with VR 7 ballistic protection standard in accordance with the BRV 2009 guideline, with VR 9 and VR 10 in certain areas, and explosives resistance tested in accordance with the ERV 2010 guideline (Explosion Resistant Vehicles). The occupant cell is made of heat-formed armor steel, aramide fabric, ceramic, a special aluminum alloy, and multi-laminated glass, with protective materials overlap at transitions. The aluminum side sills incorporate ballistic-proof profiles. The armor-plated vehicle floor made from a special aluminum alloy for explosive weapons resistance. Door windows, windshield and rear window incorporate special glass with a splinter-inhibiting polycarbonate layer on the inside, with doorstop function and optional electromechanical side windows. Other optional security equipment include emergency exit system with pyrotechnic fracture bolts in the hinges detach the door from the body, fire extinguisher system with two tanks and nozzles spray to wheel arches, onto the underbody and tank, and into the engine compartment; emergency fresh-air system with two pressurized cartridges housed in the protected zone, security start with remote radio signal engine start, selective unlocking of doors, a smoke extractor for the interior, an LED signal system for convoy driving, pennant holder, flashing lights, a siren, a preparation for or installation of analog and digital radio networks for security authorities and organizations, a built-in phone, an accident data recorder, an additional rear camera, a heated windshield including partly heated side windows. Other features included LED (V8 4.0 TFSI) or Matrix LED (W12 FSI) headlights, quattro permanent all-wheel drive, armor-plated (ceramic doors, aluminum frame) communications box in the trunk with a supplementary battery, optional battery and fuel tank protection, intercom system with a loudspeaker in the Singleframe grille and microphones for the interior and the vehicle's surroundings, two electrically adjustable individual seats in the rear, front comfort seats with optional with massage and ventilation functions (optional front-passenger relaxation seat with electric-control footrest, ventilation and massage function), optional continuous center console with large storage compartments is also available, Rear Seat Entertainment with two 10.2-inch displays, optional folding table, a cool box and auxiliary heating; new Unicum leather interior upholstery, forged 19-inch wheels, 255/70 tires with high load index 117, polymer rings on the rims, direct-measurement tire pressure monitoring system, optional spare wheel, 4-zone automatic air conditioning with an ionizer, electric rear blinds, Bose surround sound system, a TV tuner, parking system plus with surround view camera.
Delivery was set to begin in the third quarter of 2014.
All models include an eight-speed tiptronic transmission.
The A8's aluminum chassis was built at Neckarsulm plant.