► First drive of facelifted Audi A8
► Pushed in Euro-spec 60 TFSI kind
► Luxurious limo examined in Norway
Life for the Audi A8 has been more durable because the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class sashayed into view in 2020 to reset expectations of what’s anticipated of a luxurious automotive. As much as that time, the Audi A8 was simply the most superior automotive cash should buy – and as such, proved to be an excellent luxurious limousine.
For 2022, the elements have been ever so barely remixed – a tacit admission from Audi that the S-Class is now king, and that when you need the last word from Ingolstadt you’re going to have to attend for the all-electric substitute for the A8. That’s to not say it doesn’t minimize the mustard – removed from it.
What’s new in regards to the 2022 Audi A8?
There are visible tweaks to the grille, entrance bumper and rear diffuser, in addition to new headlamps, and the newest model of its split-screen infotainment set-up. For the primary time, it comes with Digital Matrix LED headlights and natural LED (OLED) taillights. Every headlight options 1.3 million micromirrors and the power to challenge swimming pools of sunshine onto the highway floor.
The engine line-up is available in 5 flavours, beginning with a 282bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel within the 50 TDI Quattro. A 335bhp 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine powers the 55 TFSI Quattro, whereas a 454bhp 4.0-litre V8 seems within the 60 TFSI Quattro. The performance-focused S8 has 565hp from the identical engine, and all automobiles include a brand new eight-speed computerized transmission.
As earlier than, all fashions are mild- or plug-in hybrids, and you should purchase them with self-parking know-how, and so they both include computer-controlled air suspension or the actually intelligent predictive adaptive suspension set-up that pushes the A8 to the entrance of the pack dynamically. The brand new A8 is available in standard- and long-wheelbase varieties, with orders opening in December 2021 forward of UK deliveries early in 2022.
What’s it like inside?
The dashboard stays just about because it was. It’s a modern and polished affair with the newest model of Audi’s Digital Show and a haptic-touch delicate display screen and central infotainment display screen. There are three digital screens going through the motive force, however they’re not significantly giant or intuitive and are a good distance behind Mercedes-Benz’s sensible set-up within the S-Class.
Different tech you possibly can specify in your A8 embody a distant parking system, energetic pedestrian safety, anti-kerbing warning, adaptive cruise management, and absolutely energetic suspension (known as AI Management) with highway floor recognition know-how. Lastly, the automotive’s navigation and infotainment methods characteristic car-to-x functionality.
What about these new headlights?
These new headlights actually one thing else, and are able to some fairly spectacular lightshows and so they inform us they’re able to portray gentle on the highway floor like no different automotive. We gave them a good testing, and may affirm that as adaptive headlights, they’re very good, casting a robust beam that by no means blinded oncoming drivers.
However we additionally discovered it troublesome to see a lot enchancment over the present – wonderful – A8 set-up, aside from a swanky gentle present when you flip it off on the finish of a journey. They’re more likely to be optionally available on the Vorsprung and S8 fashions, and your neighbours will love you for specifying them.
And what’s it prefer to drive?
The driving place is superb, and visibility blindspots, equivalent to the one created by its cumbersome A-pillar, are dealt with by a 360-degree digicam system. Varied different security methods, equivalent to one which warns you when you’re about to kerb a wheel take up the pressure, too. All of the requirements wanted in a flagship saloon are current and proper.
It’s the identical story within the rear, the place head and legroom are wonderful, and the seats are supremely snug and adjustable. There are optionally available reclining methods, and even a massaging footrest for these who spend numerous time behind their Audi.
On the highway, it’s excellent news too. We tried the predictive energetic suspension, which does an exquisite job of eliminating physique roll no matter how onerous you drive it. The result’s that it turns the A8 right into a devoted handler with a stunning quantity of agility. All with out dropping any of the usual air-suspended mannequin’s trip high quality.
Within the system’s Consolation+ mode you get all of it – cosseting trip, cornering precision and a barely combined message over whether or not this can be a driver’s automotive or a luxurious limo. For the UK it appears to be like prefer it’s an choice just for the Vorsprung and S8 fashions.
The usual air suspension system is hardly shabby although. You get three driving modes: Consolation, Steadiness and Dynamic. However when you worth dealing with, even in Consolation mode, you’ll be shocked at simply how agile it is in bends. There’s some physique roll in Consolation mode, although, however not sufficient to trigger concern, and all in all, it’s a outstanding efficiency for a automotive of this measurement
What are the petrol engines like?
We have been solely capable of drive the V8-powered 60 TFSI mannequin on the facelift launch, but it surely’s a peach – as is the case in just about all automobiles it’s utilized in. There’s energy all by the rev vary, and it’s immediately accessible it doesn’t matter what pace you’re driving it. We significantly like how hushed it’s whenever you’re not pushing and the way a lot it snarls when you find yourself.
Our earlier expertise of the V6 A8 55 TFSI can be very optimistic. It’s refined, keen, responsive and fortunately revs cleanly to 7000rpm. Ditch the rear seat passenger, and also you’ll choose driving the A8 in Sport mode. In Effectivity mode, the A8 will coast when off the throttle, however solely between 35 and 100mph, exaggerating its extra lugubrious nature.
What’s the diesel like?
With 282bhp to haul this huge saloon, it goes reasonably properly in TDI kind and can speed up from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds, and on to a restricted most pace of 155mph. Drivers gained’t be disillusioned, even when it’s removed from being the nicest A8 to drive. One of the simplest ways of describing it’s easy. Acceleration is speedy, however in Effectivity mode, it by no means actually feels it because of a barely lazy throttle.
If you would like essentially the most environment friendly A8 as of late, go for the plug-in hybrid, which is roofed in a separate evaluate.
Audi A8: verdict
We love the tech on supply, and the tweaked appears to be like are suitably refined sufficient for these straitened occasions. We are able to see why Audi is so pleased with it, particularly when it comes to trip and dealing with. It’s snug, good to drive and extremely succesful, however beginning to really feel its age inside in contrast with S-Class.