2013 IAA: Audi brings the facelifted A8, A8 L and the new S8 [Live Photos]

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 12, 2013

Audi presented a new A8 at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show that’s expected to propel the brand to become one of the innovation leaders in the luxury class. The new A8 is built with lighter materials and is available with engines that are more powerful. It features new assistance systems and Matrix LED headlight technology.

Audi revealed that the short-wheelbase A8 3.0-liter TFSI has a curb weight of 4,034-pounds – the best in class for all-wheel-drive models. Its body is built of mostly aluminium and has a weight of only 509 pounds. The regular models will have the same length, wheelbase and height but the A8 L will be longer by 5.12 inches. In terms of design, the changes on the A8 include a grille that’s more expressive and a hood that’s more sculptured.

The lower edge of the headlights appears to be straighter than the previous model. When taken as a whole, the front end looks more menacing and more aggressive. Audi will provide optional headlights with Matrix LED technology.

This means that the high beam is comprised of 25 individual light-emitting diodes per unit that can be turned on and off or separately dimmed depending on the circumstances. In addition, its headlamps come with intelligent cornering as well as new-look daytime running lights and dynamic turn signals. Furthermore, the rear LED lamps are flatter.

Audi will probably release more information as the 2015 launch date nears. So far, we know that the A8 will go on sale in the U.S., offering it with supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6 (310 hp), the twin-turbo 4.0 TFSI V8 (435 hp), the 3.0 TDI clean diesel (258 hp) and the 6.3-liter W12 (500 hp). The Audi S8 is available with a 4.0-liter TSFI V8 that can deliver 520 hp, enabling the vehicle to go from zero to 62mph in 4.2 seconds and to offer a fuel rating of 23.3 mpg.

Audi claims that the W12 can deliver 20.1 mpg due to cylinder-on-demand technology that can deactivate the fuel injection and ignition on six cylinders at lower speeds. Audi said that performance is improved with majority of engines. The 4.0-liter TFSI model is capable of accelerating from zero to 62 in just 4.5 seconds. Its engine also features cylinder-on-demand, deactivating four of the eight cylinders.

The 3.0 TDI clean diesel is clearly the most efficient engine, with a rating of 40 mpg. Audi will offer a 385-hp 4.2-liter TDI clean diesel and a hybrid in Europe but to date, there are no plans for those cars to be offered in the U.S. All A8s are available as standard with an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. An optional sport differential is available for the rear axle, distributing the power between the rear wheels as required. The sport diff is standard in the S8 and the Euro-market A8 4.2 TDI.

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