Audi hasn't made any major changes to the A8 for seven years. Nevertheless, the design still looks timeless and attractive today. So it was hardly because of him that the Audi flagship no longer had BMW 7er and Mercedes S-Class could keep up. It was mainly the technical deficit. While the two southern German competitors burned off a technical fireworks display in the course of the new presentation and a facelift, the A udi A8 on the laurels of earlier days. But the backlog ranged from small to large. The new company is now supposed to close these gaps in one fell swoop. Does this work?
New touchpad in the Audi A8
While the predecessor bravely kept up in the infotainment area until the end, the operation with the could not look good buttons located far back on the center tunnel are no longer quite convincing. Therefore, the button unit with the new, slimmer rotary push button is now in front of the automatic lever. The functions are now grouped more clearly - the Americans in particular wanted their own radio department - and thanks to the clear shape of the buttons, they can also be felt blindly. There is also an absolute novelty in the higher equipment levels: the touchpad. According to Audi studies, it enables significantly less distraction-free inputs while driving as a rotary push button and touch screen. The main reason, however, is more of an Eastern nature: the Chinese can finally write their countless characters into the system with their fingertips.
The Audi A8 overtakes the BMW 7 Series in terms of internet functions
At the same time, Audi electronics boss Ricky Hudi had the technology thoroughly modernized. The current exclusive cooperation with the video giant Nvidia and Google catapults the new Audi A8 to the top of the visual display. Stylized maps are a thing of the past, and from mid-2010 extremely detailed and realistic Google Earth graphics will come into the car.To do this, the Audi A8 uses the basic navigation data on the CD and combines it with the satellite images loaded using UMTS (GPRS /EDGE) high-speed wireless technology. At the same time, the route guide provides important route information for the assistance, lighting and safety systems. In addition, the big Audi overtakes the BMW 7 Series in terms of internet functions and offers its own clever services such as a wonderfully implemented weather radar and exclusive online access to the gigantic POI search via Google Maps.
The Bang and Olufsen system of the Audi A8 has an output of 1,400 watts from 19 channels
Hard-working i-phone users can also use the CD display -Cover look forward. The touchpad can then be used to scroll through the collection like on the cult Apple phone. Fortunately, Audi has not succumbed to the temptation to make a motley mouse cinema out of the menus. On the contrary: the new, deep black eight-inch monitor shows calm and razor-sharp graphics. There was also a lot to do in the audio sector. The old Bose sound system suffered from a lack of tweeters in the treble. With the new system, they finally shine again. As always, the top system comes from Bang and Olufsen. It remains with the tweeters extending out of the dashboard, but now 1,400 watts from 19 channels push.
Impact protection system now also for the Audi A8
The driver assistance . Ironically, the Audi A8 recently had the oldest and technically worst adaptive cruise control system at Audi. The new Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC for short) now also masters stop & go traffic such as the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes S-Class. To do this, it uses two 77-gigahertz long-range radars, which are located far outside on the front of the body, and a camera in the windshield. The Audi A8 finally offers 'pre sense', the counterpart to the Mercedes Pre-Safe system. In three expansion stages (basic, rear and plus) the system recognizes an impending accident and initiates safety measures. Similar to Mercedes, it works with a three-stage braking strategy that even leads to autonomous emergency braking at the very end (half a second before the impact). The impact speed should be reduced by up to 40 km /h. However, the Audi system still does not recognize any stationary objects - Volvo, Lexus and Mercedes are still ahead.
The Audi A8 night vision device detects living beings at a distance of 300 meters
Two other foreign words from the assistance department will fill the Audi A8 data sheet in future: extended Night vision and speed limit detection. In its night vision system, both Audi and BMW use a rather expensive infrared thermal imaging camera. She is suitableespecially good for recognizing pedestrians. It is shown in the large central display between the instruments. The system looks up to 300 meters and automatically detects whether there is a living being in the danger zone on the road. Depending on how acute the situation is, it is then colored yellow or red (particularly dangerous).
For the new Audi A8, there is an optional full-LED solution
The base of the Audi A8 comes with a bi-xenon lighting system at the start. Using the so-called Adaptive Light System, their lighting effect is optimized for city, country roads, highways and intersections. With the latter, for example, the data from the navigation system is also used to illuminate the intersection widely at an early stage. With the sliding headlight range control, the light cone adapts itself to the oncoming traffic. What is unique is that the entire Adaptive Light package is also available as a visually impressive full LED solution. The light-emitting diodes should be maintenance-free and particularly efficient. Audi also promises very little glare.
The Audi A8 lacks hybrid technology and a start-stop system
When it comes to networking, mainly in the chassis and transmission area, Audi uses BMW now also the Flex-ray data bus. It works more reliably and 20 times faster than the CAN bus that is still in use. The further developed air suspension, the completely redesigned eight-speed automatic machine and the sport differential with power distribution across the rear axle (as in the Audi A4 ) can be supplied with data even more precisely. So in some areas the new Audi A8 is ahead (infotainment, lighting), in others it is at least with the music (transmission, chassis). However, two important technologies are still urgently lacking in the drive area: hybrid and start-stop.
But now it was time to add more. The BMW solution in particular has become too good. The basic technology also comes from the Baden-based supplier Harman Becker, but Audi secured an impressive range of functions and displays with exclusive contracts with Nvidia and Google (Earth and Maps).
The Audi A8 does not see standing objects as a danger
The Audi A8 is also the first luxury liner to use the particularly fast UMTS mobile radio system at the start. Touchpad input is also a novelty. In the assistance systems, the other sensors in particular ensure better functionality. In addition to two 77 GHz radars, the ACC system now uses the windscreen camera, which is becoming almost mandatory, and even the data from the ultrasonic parking sensors in stop & go traffic. As far as the deceleration on moving objects is concerned, the Audi A8 is currently availablethe top, also because it avoids the mistake of automatically overtaking on the right when the car in front changes to the left lane. The Audi A8 is still blind to stationary objects.
It is currently the only luxury car that implements these functions with both basic xenon and full-LED headlights.
The light changes from right-hand to left-hand traffic
Another new feature is that the map data from the navigation system are used via a data bus for optimal illumination. In this way, motorway entrances and intersections can be illuminated in a targeted manner, but also crests and valleys can be better illuminated. If you drive to England, you will even experience how the light changes from right-hand to left-hand traffic as if by magic. The LED light does not have any moving parts and is only controlled by switching on or off LED segments. With its night vision assistant, both Audi and BMW rely on so-called long-range or thermal infrared technology. It converts differences in heat into brightness levels. In this way, pedestrians can be recognized over a distance of 90 meters with an automatic warning at a light angle of 24 degrees.
SARA bundles all pitch, yaw and roll sensors at a central point in the middle of the body. The further developed air suspension with integrated adaptive dampers can react even more precisely. Air is supplied from its own 5.8 liter pressure reservoir in the rear of the Audi A8.
The new Audi A8 transmission should save six percent fuel
It should enable faster level control processes. The newly developed automatic converter draws level with BMW through eight gear steps. But more important is the increased maximum gear spread (now 7.0) and the minimization of friction. According to Audi, the new transmission alone should enable six percent less consumption. The sport differential with lateral force distribution on the rear axle already used in the Audi A4 will also work in the Audi A8 for an additional charge. It should meanwhile hardly generate any losses when driving straight ahead.