As I write this, there leaves no doubt in my mind that the new Audi A8 (D5) is going to be one of the hottest stars at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The full size luxury sedan comes with a number of autonomous driving system meeting level 3 requirements. Already, the A8 sounds quite awesome, but it will be joined by two other concept that are even more high tech - one with level 4 capabilities and another one with a level 5 status, sans the steering wheel and pedals.
The first concept, with level 4 capabilities, will have a coupe-SUV shape based on the E-Tron Sportback concept that we first witnessed at this year’s Auto Shanghai. It will still come with the same dimensions of 4.9 feet in length (16.1 feet), that carries three electric motors delivering a combined output of 496 horsepower (370 kilowatts). This concept enables the car to drive at speeds of 81 miles per hour (130 kph) on the highway, and it can even change lanes automatically without the help of a human being.
The even more advanced concept, on the other hand, will have the shape of a large car (D segment) with at least four electric motors. Naturally, we would expect a lot of power from this, and the automakers say that these will have a battery pack with enough power for 435 to 497 miles (700 to 800 kilometers) and Audi. They also said that the model will feature a “spectacular and groundbreaking” design both on the exterior and the interior.
Moreover, Audi released a teaser sketch of one of the two concepts. Though they would not say which one it is, we think that it is the level 5 autonomous car. The rendering looks like it has got a lower roof and hexagon shaped windshield, unlike that of the E-Tron Sportback that uses conventional glass. The front fascia looks imposing with the new single frame grille accented with an illuminated four-ring badge in white and surrounded by interesting panels that feature graphics that seem to be showing opposing triangles.
After announcing their two new concepts, Audi has also been working on the hotly anticipated RS4 Avant which they also plan to reveal at the same time as a new rear-wheel-drive model coming from Audi Sport. Having said that, we think that we are dealing with the rumoured R8 GT that will lead the future of RWD performance cars.
With several automakers and a number of hot cars aligned at the Frankfurt Motor Show, will Audi successfully take the spotlight with the lineup they are bringing in?