The new Audi A8 is the latest iteration of the four-ringed brand’s flagship luxury car. It’s the car that Audi will use to compete with the mighty Mercedes-Benz S-Class and high-tech BMW 7 Series. And to show it off, Audi has brought the new A8 to the New York International Auto Show and we’re bringing you live photos of it from the show.
In person, the new Audi A8 is better looking than it is in pictures. When you see it in photos, it seems a bit too understated and almost boring. However, in person you can see all of the subtle design features that make it look good. For instance, there’s a sharp crease that runs the length of the car’s shoulder line, which gives it some depth and makes it look expensive. The rear fenders are also boxed out more than we previously though, which looks aggressive and sporty and it looks good on such a luxurious, understated car.
So while the A8 can come off as boring in pictures, it looks much better in person. And I understand the irony of telling you that while showing you pictures of it on the internet…
Inside is wear the real magic happens, though. The cabin of the A8 is top notch and one of the best we’ve seen in a long time. The doors open almost effortlessly and you sink into incredibly comfortable seats. In front of you lies Audi’s latest Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster and it looks, remarkably, even better than the previous iteration, even if not all that different.
This was also the first time I used Audi’s new MMI system, with its dual-touchscreen setup. There are a lot of Audi fans that are worried about this setup, as they feel it will be far too difficult and confusing to use, especially considering how easy the current MMI system is to use. However, I’m happy to report that this new setup is probably the best touchscreen infotainment system I’ve ever used.
It features haptic feedback (a little vibration when you press the screen), as well as a pressure capacitive screen and audible clicks every time you press something. But the way it works is brilliant. So just touching the screen with normal touch pressure only illuminates what icon you’re touching but doesn’t actually engage the click. So if you just touch the “Radio” icon, for example, it will light up a bit and then if you press harder, you will feel the haptic feedback, hear an audible click and that will engage the actually button press. So even though its touchscreen, it feels incredibly intuitive and works quite well. The graphics are crisp and the resolution is clear. It’s also rather easy to figure out and doesn’t bury things in submenus that are difficult to find.We can’t say for sure how easy it is to use while driving, obviously, but our first impressions are very good.
In the back seat, you’re greeted by a massive cabin, featuring two incredibly comfy seats. Those seats also recline quite far, allowing even the rear passenger behind the driver to really stretch out and get comfortable. The car we were in also featured a rear seat entertainment system, that had two Android-based tablet screens attached to the front seatbacks, which were touchscreen capable as well. In between the two rear passengers is an armrest that features the rear seat controls as well as a little removable tablet that can control the seats as well as other features of the car. It’s really cool stuff.
Overall, the Audi A8 really impressed us in person. It’s not the flashiest luxury car on the planet, or anywhere actually, but it’s handsome and incredibly luxurious. It also packs some seriously cool technology and some of the best seats I’ve felt in a long time. If you’re shopping for a new six-figure luxury car, check out the Audi A8.