Audi might have doubled down on its SUV and crossover offerings in recent years, but the A8 fullsize sedan remains its quintessential flagship car. The fourth generation of Ingolstadt’s range topper is entering the second phase of its life cycle with several exterior changes and all the tech the Four Rings has available right now.
Starting at the front, the base of Audi's singleframe grille is now wider than before and you'll also notice a more generous use of chrome adorning the fascia. The bumper's side air intakes feature a more upright layout and on top of them sit the redesigned headlights encompassing no fewer than 1.3 million micromirrors for the digital matrix function making them highly adaptable.
For the first time since the A8's inception back in 1994, Audi will be offering its luxobarge with an optional S Line exterior package bringing some sporty design cues derived from those of the performance-oriented S8 model. At the back, digital OLED taillights come as standard and feature new graphics in line with recent Audi models, lending the Mercedes S-Class rival a more modern appearance when viewed from behind.
Rounding off the tweaks on the outside are four new metallic paint schemes (District Green, Firmament Blue, Manhattan Gray, and Ultra Blue) along with five matte shades (Daytona Gray, Floret Silver, District Green, Terra Gray, and Glacier White). The chrome and black exterior packages have been carried over.
With the interior already being top-notch in the A8 before its facelift, the German luxury brand has only made subtle changes to the posh cabin. The latest Audi Virtual Cockpit is joined by an optional head-up display while the center console accommodates a pair of touchscreens measuring 10.1 inches and 8.6 inches. Since we're talking screens, there are two more in the back for the rear-seat entertainment system featuring 10.1-inch displays.
The most important novelty inside is represented by the A8L Horch, which was actually revealed last week. Representing a China-only affair, the extra-long sedan stretches at a stately 5.45 meters (17.9 feet) long, thus making it a substantial 13 cm (5.1 inches) longer than the A8 L. It goes without saying the longer distance between the two axles has allowed Audi to create an even more spacious rear seat compartment comparable to what you'll find in the Bentley Flying Spur.
The ultra-luxe version for the People's Republic gets extras such as deep-pile floor mats, "Horch" embossing in the cushions, along with more diamond quilting and lots of real wood trim. Outside, it can be visually distinguished thanks to its different grille with vertical bars, hand-applied two-tone paints, even more chrome, Horch emblems, and an upsized panoramic roof.
While the A8 L Horch comes exclusively with a V6 engine in China, the European A8 / A8 L is available with a choice between the 3.0 TFSI and 4.0 TFSI units in various states of tunes, plus a diesel and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. These are carried over from the pre-facelift model and all feature mild-hybrid technology and are linked to an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox sending power to the Quattro AWD system. Sadly, there's no word right now about the majestic W12.
Audi will have the updated A8 on sale in Europe from December, with pricing in Germany for the base model kicking off at €99,500.