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Audi sharpens A8 and adds more tech

Minor facelift brings more chrome and more technology

Audi has carried out a minor facelift to its A8 large saloon, with subtle styling changes and more technology.

The visual changes are very much detailing, the shape of the grille made wider with more chrome added and the air intakes and headlamps modified to make the car’s front end look more purposeful.

Audi is also offering new exterior styling options for the car – the S line exterior package, offered for the first time on the car, adds extra blades to the air intakes in similar fashion to the S8 performance model. New exterior colours available include a shade dubbed Metallic District Green.

The major upgrade to the A8 sees new Digital Matrix LED headlights available. The system uses around 1.3 million micro mirrors in each lamp, which split the light into individual pixels and allow highly precise adjustment of the beams.

The new headlamps are described as emitting a ‘carpet of light’, especially in the driver’s lane where the beam is said to be comparable to a video projector.

Digital OLED (organic light-emitting diode) lights are now standard on the back of the car and include a proximity sensor, illuminating automatically if another vehicle comes within two metres of a stationary A8.

Additions to the interior, adding to the car’s executive travel credentials, see a pair of ten-inch infotainment screens mounted in front of the rear seats – a touchscreen remote in the centre armrest controls them.

Audi has also tidied up the safety options into three packages dubbed ‘Park’, ‘City’ and ‘Tour’ and encompassing 40 different driver-assist systems.

The A8 is available in standard and long-wheelbase versions, with 3.0-litre V6 petrol or diesel engines offering 340 and 286hp respectively, a 3.0-litre plug-in hybrid with 462hp or with a 4.0-litre bi-turbo petrol V8 in the S8 performance model, producing 571hp and a 3.8-second 0-62mph time.

UK sales of the revised A8 commence in December, with prices starting from £73,375.

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.