Audi has refreshed its flagship A8 executive limo, with the luxury sedan receiving sharper styling and a revised infotainment system. It continues to be available in long-wheelbase form and with plug-in hybrid power.
The 60 TFSI e plug-in hybrid powertrain offered in the updated A8 and A8 L combines a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with an electric motor and produces 456 hp and 700 Nm of torque – enough to push the sedan from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds.
While the previous model used a 14.1 kWh battery, the updated version sees the battery size increased to 17.9 kWh. Audi has yet to confirm how far the new A8 will be able to travel on electric power alone, so we don’t know what difference that will make to its predecessor’s 29-mile range.
For reference, the latest iteration of the rival Mercedes S-Class plug-in hybrid can go over 60 miles on a full charge, but uses an even bigger 28kWh battery. The plug-in BMW 7 Series, meanwhile, has a maximum range of 32 miles.
There are four drive modes specifically for the A8 plug-in hybrid. “EV” focuses on fully electric driving and “Hybrid” combines the power of the gasoline engine and the electric motor, while “Hold” conserves the battery charge for later use in your trip and “Charge” uses the combustion engine to recharge the battery.
The updated A8 also gets a larger grille, along with redesigned side skirts and bumpers. In addition, the rear now comes with OLED taillights as standard; these come on if the car is stationary and it detects another vehicle approaching within two meters of it from behind.
Inside there are two central touchscreens: a 10.1-inch screen from which you can control the car’s media functions and a smaller 8.6-inch screen below that’s just for controls of air conditioning. There’s also a 12.3-inch digital driver display behind the steering wheel; the updated A8 gets new software for its trio of displays.
There are also new options specifically for rear passengers, with the A8 now available with a pair of 10.1-inch touchscreens; these can be linked to users’ smartphones, allowing them to play content from video and audio streaming services.
Other options include a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, four-zone climate control, massage seats and a fridge. Customers can also further refine the styling of their car with the “chrome exterior package” and the “S line exterior package”.
There are also several additional driver assistance systems available, which Audi has bundled into optional “Park”, “City” and “Tour” packages. The “Park” package includes remote parking assistance, which can maneuver the A8 more than five meters in and out of parallel or bay parking spaces, even if the driver is not inside.
The updated A8 will go on sale in Europe in December 2021, with prices starting at €99,500 (around £84,000) in Germany. Audi has not yet confirmed whether the revised version of its top-of-the-line sedan will be available in the UK at the same time, nor exact prices for that country.