While the Mercedes-Benz S-Class dominates the full-size luxury car segment, the upcoming Audi A8 is awaiting its chance to take on the giant from Stuttgart. The 2019 Audi A8 is a highly anticipated car in the segment, as it’s going to feature a ton of interesting luxury technology as well as the first-ever Level 3 Autonomous self-driving system. Although, it won’t actually debut with it.
Government regulations currently restrict Level 3 autonomy, so even though the Audi A8 is technically fully capable of such things it won’t actually have the option. So the excitement around that, and it being the first car to the market with such tech, has now been tempered. That doesn’t mean we aren’t excited about the debut of the new A8, though.
With a starting price of $83,800, the Audi A8 is just a few hundred dollars more than the base BMW 7 Series but a few thousand dollars less than the base S-Class. So it fits right into the segment, in terms of pricing. Plus, it comes with a great engine as-standard and a ton of impressive features.
So under the hood of the base model A8 will lie a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 that makes 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It’s basically the same engine as the Audi S4, just in a different state of tune and, in the case of the A8, it makes a bit less power. However, it makes the same amount of torque and the ZF-sourced eight-speed will make the most out of all of its power, so it should be plenty quick enough.
That turbocharged V6 will also be a MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle), as it will use a 48-volt electric system that will power a BAS (Battery Alternator Starter). A BAS is basically an electric motor that mounts to the crankshaft of the engine, which allows it to act at a starter motor for the engine as well as allow the engine to shut down at high speed, in which case the BAS would turn the crank on its own and send power to the wheels that way.
It also gets 18-way seats and adaptive suspension as standard. The 2019 Audi A8 will also have a trick electromechanical suspension setup that can not only absorb bumps beautifully but it can also raise or lower the car on its own, as needed. The cool thing about that last feauture is that, in the event of a side impact collision, the A8 will lift up and so the bottom sill of the car takes the brunt of the impact. It does this milliseconds before the crash, so as to save lives.
The new Audi A8 is going to be a very cool car and it’s one we’re very excited about, when it finally debuts in the US.