C

CNET Drives the 2019 Audi A8

The Audi A8 is the brand’s flagship and it’s designed to be the most high-tech car in its lineup. So, naturally, we’re going to want to check out some of its technology, right? Well, that’s what CNET is here for, to check the tech.

In this new video review from CNET, we get to learn about a lot of the technology in the new Audi A8. We know all of this tech already but you, as the potential consumer, might not. So it’s worth watching and talking about.

For instance, the Audi A8 is the first Audi sold in America to use the brand’s 48-volt MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle) system. Now, it’s a very mild hybrid setup, as the only electrification it has incorporated into is powertrain is its BAS (Belt Alternator Starter). Essentially, a BAS is an electric motor that can power the engine’s crankshaft via a belt drive. So, at high speed, the car can shut the engine down and let the BAS power the crankshaft to put some very little power to the wheels, allowing the car to coast at speed without using any gas. That’s about all it can do but it’s something. That BAS is powered by the 48-volt electrical subsystem in the car.

It also will be getting an electromechanical suspensions setup next year. In Europe, the Audi A8 already has this trick suspension setup, which can raise the wheels up while going over speed bumps to make them more comfortable or even tilt the car to one side in anticipation of a side impact collision. It’s  really quite clever and that’s also powered by the 48-volt system.

Most notably, though, the new Audi A8 gets the brand’s new Touch Response MMI system,  which is the dual touchscreen setup that we’ve seen so much of recently. It looks awesome and it works surprisinly well but it isn’t perfect, thanks to its glossy panel being a fingerprint magnet and its slight increase in difficulty of use while driving.

Overall, though, the Audi A8 is a technological powerhouse and one of the most impressive cars on the road. Is it the best luxury car? Maybe not but it’s probably the most high-tech one.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.