Audi to upgrade A8 to better compete against Mercedes-Benz S-class

Article by Anita Panait, on August 8, 2013

Audi is upgrading its line-topping A8 later this year to better compete against a new generation of the Mercedes-Benz S class. Audi said in a statement will equip the A8 with new LED headlights, as part of the German carmaker’s bid to report a new sales record in 2013. The German carmaker is also planning its A3 models with high-speed wireless technology to increase its appeal.

Audi confirmed its forecast that its revenues for full year 2013 will increase "slightly," boosted by demand for the Q3 and Q5 sports utility vehicles and the new-generation A3 line. The carmaker is expanding its A3 line include a sedan version that will be marketed in Europe, China and the United States.

Audi aims to sell over 1.5 million vehicles in 2013, two years ahead of its initial target. Audi Chief Financial Officer Axel Strotbek said in the statement that the carmaker is making heavy investments in new products, developing leading-edge technology and expanding its production network worldwide.

Strotbek said that despite challenging economic conditions, Audi is sticking to its goals like posting an operating profit at the upper end of its range of 8-10 percent of sales. Audi is aiming of becoming the best-selling luxury carmaker by the end of the decade, besting fellow German premium carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Audi needs to improve its appeal for the richest vehicle buyers to achieve its goal. Audi is currently behind BMW and Mercedes in the executive-sedan segment, where sold just 38,600 A8s in 2012. In comparison, Mercedes sold 80,300 S-class vehicles and BMW delivered 59,200 units of BMW 7-series.

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class could be considered as a technological advancement, as it focuses on three engineering concerns: "Intelligent Drive", "Efficient Technology" and "Essence of Luxury." This allowed the S-Class to become the brand’s technological spearhead that is also ahead of its peers in the automotive world.

Just like the previous generations of the S-Class, the latest iteration should be able to set new standards in the automotive industry, thereby retaining its status as "the best automobile in the world."

According to Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, instead of focusing on certain aspects of automotive development – like choosing between power or efficiency, comfort or dynamism as well as safety or aesthetics – the carmaker opted to make the S-Class the best in every respect. This way, the S-Class truly represents the Mercedes-Benz brand promise.

Pursuing perfection to the last detail has allowed the S-Class to become the "Essence of Luxury" – something that is well reflected in the interior of Mercedes’ flagship. From the seats, cabin design, controls and air conditioning to the infotainment system, safety systems and comfort creatures, the new S-Class exudes the highest level of luxury, clearly indicating the high standards set by Mercedes for this vehicle.

Of course, Mercedes has also made a strong pursuit for safety. In fact, the carmaker started the Pre-Safe systems 10 years ago and then came up with Distronic Plus. Now, Mercedes is putting together high levels of comfort and safety into one package. Referred to by Mercedes as "Intelligent Drive," this is essentially an array of new systems that allow the new S-Class to offer greater degree of comfort and safety.

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