Future Cars: Audi’s All-New A8 Luxo-Saloon Grins Big For 2018

When it comes to large luxury sedans, Audi’s A8 is one of those vehicles that just quietly get the job done.

Arguably opponents like Jaguar’s XJ and Maserati’s Quattroporte exude much more flair, yet something can be said for a restrained appearance.

However, there’s no denying that the current A8 is looking rather long in the tooth – fortunately, the good news is that an all-new version is just around the corner, and our illustrated image offers the closest look yet.

Audi Prologue Design

Inspired by Audi’s stunning Prologue Concept, the styling is crisp and contemporary. No one will mistake the large hexagonal grille for anything else, with its chrome horizontal bars and visual width. Like the recently revealed A5 Coupe, the new D5-generation A8 sports a familiar glasshouse supported by fresh new sheet metal. Subtle front and rear fender flares, lower door scollops and full LED lighting, are the more note-worthy design elements shared with the Prologue.

Bentayga Power?

Word around the automotive underground has the new A8 shaping up like an absolute powerhouse; sitting at the top is a 6.0-litre, bi-turbo W12 borrowed from Bentley’s Bentayga (600hp and 664 foot-pounds of torque anyone?). Alternatively, the SQ7’s 4.0-liter TDI V8 could slot alongside with 435hp and 664 lb-ft. The rest of the lineup will mirror what’s on offer today, with TDI and TFSI power-plants in V6 format, while an E-tron variant could potentially be an alternative to Tesla’s Model S – depending on battery range of course. A turbocharged V8 – possibly with an electric charger too, will grace the sportier S8 that will compete against Merc’s AMG and BMW’s M  performance machines. 

MLB underpinnings

Under the all-new body is the MLB Evo platform derived from other Audi and Volkswagen models. This will help the A8 shed further weight and provide suitability with new alternative powertrains like electrification. The new platform will also help with improved interior dimensions and ergonomics, while visually, it shares a similar footprint to the outgoing car – albeit with a longer front overhang. Drivers will benefit from Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, autonomous driving modes and an infotainment system with gesture control, among many other high-tech features.

Lavish Opposition

The new A8 will be one of the freshest offerings in its segment, yet it will be tough pinching sales from other highly polished rivals like BMW’s 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Jaguar XJ, Maserati Quattroporte and to an smaller degree – Tesla’s Model S. Audi’s Ace card will be its powertrains and technology, even if the styling is a little subdued.

Expect regular and long-wheelbase models to debut in 2017. A Mercedes-Maybach, S600-rivalling variant is also rumored to make an appearance down the track.

Final thoughts; does the new A8 look fresh enough to consider over the competition? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

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  • matrem

    Sorry, I needs to look more radical than that.

    • TheHake


    • BGM

      It’s a big A6 which is a big A4 which is a big A3… It doesn’t need to be radical. What it needs is to have the entire Audi management team thrown out and people with some balls hired in.

  • “Final thoughts; does the new A8 look fresh enough to consider over the competition?”

  • Ary Wisesa

    I agree that Audi A8 is one the best large luxury sedans in the world. I once had a chance to ride in it. Its interior fit and finish are superb and very well made. But when it’s parked side by side with a newest Mercedes S500, suddenly it looks a little bit “regular”. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but in my opinion it lacks that “look-at-me-I’m-rich” aura exuded by the S-Class. Maybe a large luxury saloon should have certain lines that make it looks elegant, imposing, and luxurious.

    Anyone who loves cars can almost always tell that an Audi A8 is a luxury sedan, but in Indonesia, many people don’t even know if Audi is a luxury brand. The same thing can’t be said about Mercedes S-Class: when one passes by, almost everyone will look at it with admiration and they usually can tell “Wow, a luxurious sedan” just by looking at it. It indeed looks expensive and luxurious. No wonder in Indonesia, Audi sale is far behind Mercedes and BMW, and even Lexus beats it in term of sale.

    Could it be because of that elegant curvaceous lines like those on the Jaguar, Mercedes and Maserati that make people associate/perceive them with luxury? In my opinion, BMW E38 7 Series is one of the best-looking BMW sedan ever. Mercedes W126 and W222 S Class are also beautiful. Maserati M139 Quattroporte is always goodlooking and has Italian sexiness. Jaguar XJ X350 is also elegant and classical.

    I don’t say Audi A8 is not goodlooking, indeed it’s one of the bestlooking large sedans in the world, but maybe Audi should make it look more different from scaled-up A3. So when it arrives on the luxurious 5 stars hotel lobby, it can naturally screams “I’m luxurious” and announce its arrival by itself. Well, that’s just my opinion. 🙂

    • Matthew Boyd

      Good opinion. Makes sense too.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Really unexciting. Needs a lot more of that Prologue conceept in it. That said, it will probably look just like this.

  • klowik

    I thought it’s the side profile that needs more changes. From the side It looks the same as the current one.

  • MarkoS

    The Audi would be my top pick. It is confidence that doesn’t try to hard.

  • Elmediterraneo

    The exciting design of the Prologue will be more on the A7 than the A8.

    By the way I predict this engine line up (in Europe) :
    A8 3.0 TDI V6 272 hp : from the new Q7 (most of the sales in Europe)
    A8 3.0 TFSI V6 333 hp : from the new Q7
    A8 e-tron 3.0 TFSI or TDI V6 +400 hp : depending on the market
    A8 4.0 TDI V8 435 hp : from the SQ7
    A8 4.0 TFSI V8 +450 hp : new generation V8 from the Audi-Porsche collaboration
    S8 4.0 TFSI V8 +610 hp : the new V8 in a version more powerful than the 605 hp S8 Plus
    A8 6.0 TFSI W12 608 hp : with the W12 of the Bentley Bentayga

  • Bob

    based on the a4 and a5 I predict this car will be disappointment (but I hope not) 🙂

    • Matthew Boyd

      Don’t worry, I think you’ll like what Audi has in store for the A8. I’d love to send you a preview photos but I’d get fired :(.

    • Elmediterraneo

      I’m gonna learn you 3 rules to follow with every new Audi
      – The exterior will be following the previous generation
      – New technical platform with new engines
      – The all interior is completely new and a class above Mercedes or BMW

  • Enter Ranting

    Put a VW badge on the front, and it could be a stretched Jetta.

    • BGM

      BURN!! That’s a low blow man..

  • MarketAndChurch

    I think the D-pillar will have the signature “blade” seen on the prologue coupe’s rear-pillar.

  • nauticalone

    I like the understated confidence here on A8! Looks good Audi…better than new A5 / S5


    Whale mouth. Horrible.

  • roy

    this is not even close

  • Mynameis Taylor

    I think it’s a handsome, conservative looking car. It’s stylish without being too flashy. For the A8, I think it works. However I do think the new A4/A5 is really underwelming. I think this new A8 is better looking than the BWM 7 series………….. but let’s be honest, the MERCS are killing it

  • yo

    um. This still looks like a 1993 model with a modern headlight. EPIC FAIL

  • Breaking Cycles

    Audi does a good job of making their cars sporty but also stealthy. Luxurious but also understated. They’re not gaudy like BMW’s or Mercedes.