Among the changes, Audi is trumpeting improvements to the car’s handling, the area in which it has traditionally lost ground to its European luxo-sedan brethren. The rear-biased quattro system will also be enhanced with Audi’s “sport differential” torque-vectoring system, and if other markets clamors for it, Audi will offer the front-drive A8 outside of Europe. Inside, expect a raft of changes to the interior and a “more innovative” MMI system.
As before, the A8 will come in regular and long wheelbase versions, and provide a wide range of engines for world markets, from a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel through to the S8’s V10. The transmission will be the same 8-speed ZF unit used by the 2009 BMW 7 Series.
All of it will be wrapped in sheetmetal that Audi says will be “stronger, shaper, more precise,” a design that will make efforts to highlight the car’s aluminum build technology. Said head designer Stefan Sielaff, the car will present “a strong three-dimensional theme,” and be “the first of a new styling language at Audi.”