S-Class Maybach: Dude..WTF!
The 4th gen Audi A8 has received its mid-cycle refresh and the lineup now includes an ultra-luxurious variant called Horch—which we’ll talk about in a minute. The refreshed lineup will go on sale in December in European markets with prices in Germany starting at EUR 99,500 for the base A8 and EUR 144,800 for the S8.
The styling revisions are mostly on the front fascia where the Singleframe grille now appears to be a bit larger and sports a different pattern depending on the base model or the long-wheelbase model. The new side air intakes on the front bumper match those on the other updated Audi models. And of course, there are a few exterior appearance packages as well, such as chrome, S line and black appearance package.
The headlights have been upgraded to Digital Matrix LEDs with DMD (digital micromirror device) technology. Each headlight unit has approximately 1.3 million micromirrors that break down the light into tiny pixels, which enables the beam to be controlled with maximum precision. The taillights continue to be OLEDs. One of the features of these taillights is that when in ‘Dynamic’ mode, the lights change to a wider signature that is only available in that mode. The OLEDs also work in conjunction with the assistance systems; if another vehicle comes within two meters (6.6 ft.) of a stationary A8 from behind, all OLED segments get activated.
The wheel range for the enhanced A8, which goes from 18- to 21-inches, includes six new designs including some from the Audi Sport division. In top versions like the S8, Audi offers carbon fibre ceramic brake disks as an option. The predictive active suspension continues to be carried over, obviously. One of the special features of this active suspension system is that in comfort+ mode, its curve tilting function reduces the lateral acceleration that acts on the occupants. Upon entering a curve, it rises the side of the body on the outside of the curve and lowers the other side, thereby tilting it into the curve up to three degrees.
However, the adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is standard. Progressive steering is another standard feature. Dynamic all-wheel steering is available as an option, but is standard in the S8.
The original A8‘s cabin already looked pretty high-tech back in 2017, and so the new one doesn’t need to put too much effort into looking more high-tech. I mean, how do you make an already high-tech cabin more high-tech? Well, you don’t. At the front, there are two displays in the centre of the dashboard: a 10.1-inch at the top and an 8.6-inch at the bottom. And of course, there is also the ever-so-fantastic Audi virtual cockpit for the driver. The rear-seat occupants can have their own full HD 10.1-inch displays. A 23-speaker 1,920-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system is also available.
As for ADAS, besides standard systems, the options are clustered into Park, City, and Tour packages. The highlight of the Park package is the remote park assist plus, which can automatically maneuver the limousine into and out of a parallel or bay parking space. The City package includes intersection assist, cross-traffic assist, side assist, exit warning, and the Audi pre sense 360° safety system, which includes a side crash protection with the help of the active suspension. The Tour package is standard in Germany and includes adaptive cruise assist.
Moving on to the juicy bits of the story, the powertrains include a 3.0L TFSI with 250 kW (340 metric hp) and 210 kW (286 metric hp) outputs depending on the market, and a 338 kW (460 metric hp) 4.0L TFSI which in the S8 pumps out 420 kW (571 metric hp). Both engines are coupled with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. A diesel powertrain and a PHEV powertrain will follow at a later date.
A8 L Horch
Now, coming back to the A8 L Horch, depending on your taste, you’ll be glad or sad to know that it’ll be exclusive to the Chinese market. The name ‘Horch’ pays homage to August Horch who founded an automobile company which we now know as Audi. You might be surprised to know that Horch worked for Karl Benz before founding his first company A. Horch & Co. But anyway, at first glance, the changes might seem subtle, but if you look closely, you’ll notice that it is even longer, 13 cm (5.1-inch) longer than the A8 L to be precise. And of course, the wheels are a bit too Maybach-esque. And just like the S-Class Maybach, a two-tone paint finish is also available. The taillights feature a model-specific signature.
Besides metaphorical acres of legroom, the cabin features Horch branding on the cushions and centre armrest. Notice the diamond quilting on the seat surfaces and door cards.