You’ve never seen lights like this before.
Audi’s latest A8 sedan features new technologies, including world-first headlights that illuminate the lane of your choice with a precise “carpet of light” that’s much brighter than the road around it.
Equipped with 1.3 million “micromirrors” controlled by the car’s computer, digital headlights can highlight road hazards such as pedestrians or animals, operate high beams without dazzling other drivers and signal your intention to change lanes by lighting your desired path on the road. Owners can choose to project “welcome home” messages onto their driveway at the end of a drive and customize the look of the high-tech OLED taillights.
Audi board member Oliver Hoffmann said the smart lights are an example of Audi retaining its best features for its premium limo.
“We do our best to always introduce the latest technology to the A8 first, then to other series and segments,” he said.
“The approach we bring to the production of this car radiates throughout the rest of our portfolio.”
Expect the fancy headlights to spread to other models in Audi’s lineup in the near future.
But other features will remain exclusive to the brand’s most expensive machines.
The large sedan has “predictive active suspension” controlled by electric motors that help the car react to bumps in the road and even lean into corners to eliminate body roll. The A8 can quickly lift one side of the car if it detects the possibility of a “T-bone” side collision, using the sedan’s reinforced floor to protect passengers in the event of a severe collision.
It has more driving aids than anything else in the Audi range and customers can have their car fitted with perfume, a 23-speaker Bang and Olufsen stereo and a bar fridge placed between the rear seats.
Fully loaded versions have seats with 18 air bladders that inflate and deflate to massage the body of those lucky enough to ride in the back.
A footrest mounted on the back of the front passenger seat folds down to reveal a fabric section that provides a heated foot massage for VIP passengers.
None of this is cheap.
These massaging rear seats are part of a $20,000 package that includes airplane-style trays and twin TV screens.
The updated Audi A8 starts from $202,700 plus on-road costs, or $222,700 for the roomier long-wheelbase version. These cars are powered by a 3.0-liter V6 developing 210 kW and 600 Nm.
People who want more power can upgrade to the 420kW, 800Nm V8-powered twin-turbo Audi S8 for $273,400 more on the roads, bringing home a massive car that can rip 60mph in just 3.8 seconds.