Audi A8 facelift: Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series rival gets an update
Taking the fight to its rivals from Bavaria and Stuttgart, the Audi A8 has been given a facelift. The flagship Audi luxury limousine now gets reworked styling which is more in line with the rest of Audi’s model lineup, with updates to the interiors as well. There’s also a new variant of the A8 that caters to the super-luxury side of things, sitting above the regular A8 and rivalling the likes of the Maybach S-Class.
Audi A8 design
At first glance, the styling of the facelifted A8 does not seem to stand out as such due to its overbearing similarity with the rest of the sedans in Audi’s lineup. It’s only on closer inspection that you realise that this is no entry level A4 - with the 5.19 metre length giving away any pretensions of being an entry-level sedan much earlier. The A8 now wears Audi’s singleframe grille, which sits more upright and gets a healthy dose of chrome. Available as an option are Audi’s Digital Matrix LED headlamps, which sport a new light signature for the DRLs. The facelifted A8 also gets a prominent chrome bar that runs from the reprofiled fog lamp housings across the width of the front bumpers, along with additional chrome present on the rear bumpers. You also get OLED tail lamps on the flagship Audi. For the first time, the A8 gets an S Line exterior package, giving it a sportier appearance similar to its go-faster sibling, the S8. You also get five matte paint finishes with this facelift – Daytona Gray, Floret Silver, District Green, Terra Gray, and Glacier White, along with a slew of metallic options already available.
Audi A8 interiors
On the inside, the A8’s interiors have been given a refresh as well. Like its predecessor, the A8 continues to be loaded with tech such as the haptic feedback touchscreens. With the basic layout remaining largely unchanged, you now have the option to choose between Valcona leather and a new cognac brown option for the leather upholstery. The interiors of A8 S Line feature darker tones such as black and merlot red, in a bid to highlight a sportier intent. Audi will also be offering a sustainable microfiber material Dinamica option for the door panels, roof lining and pillar trim, for the more environmentally conscious customer. You get two 10.1-inch full HD screens at the rear for entertainment, coupled with a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system that cranks out 1920 watts!
The A8 also has a new top-spec variant specific to the Chinese market – the A8 Horch – which gets diamond quilting in the interiors, logo embossing in the cushions, a relaxation seat that provides massage functions, a larger panoramic sunroof and deep-pile floor mats in the back. The Horch also gets significant visual differentiation on the outside, with emblems on the C-pillar, the ‘H-crown’ rim design, and a two-tone colour finish which is applied by hand. The Horch is Audi’s equivalent of a super-luxury arm like Mercedes-Maybach, and it would be interesting to see how the A8 Horch stacks up against the Maybach S-Class.
Audi A8 engines
Globally, the Audi A8 will be powered by a choice of three petrol engines, the 3-litre V6 TFSI and the 4-litre V8 TFSI which is offered in two states of tune. The 3-litre V6 produces 335bhp of power and 500Nm of torque from 1,370 to 4,500rpm, enabling the A8 to accelerate from 0 to 100kmph in 5.6 seconds. The larger 4-litre V8 makes 454bhp of power and 660Nm of torque in its lower state of tune, with the same biturbo motor making a whopping 563bhp of power and 800Nm of torque in the Audi S8. All these engines are mated to an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox with the power being sent to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro AWD system. These engines also come with mild-hybrid technology as standard, featuring Audi’s 48-volt main electrical system. The carmarker from Ingolstadt did mention that the A8 will also come with a diesel engine and that a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) would follow.
Audi A8 pricing and rivals
The current Audi A8 which is on sale in India is priced at ₹1.57 crore. In case of the facelift, you can expect the flagship Audi limousine to be priced at a 5 to 10 per cent premium over the existing car, given the number of significant updates that it carries. This puts the A8 up against its traditional rivals – the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.