2011 Audi A8 Premium Luxury Reveal
- December 2, 2009
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- Posted by George Peterson
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On Monday November 30, Audi AG revealed the all new Audi A8 flagship sedan to the world media in Miami, Florida. There were 850 journalists in attendance from the USA, Europe, South America, China, Japan, Russia… anywhere you can name.
Capping Audi’s Centennial Anniversary, the launch of the A8 is very significant to the company. The A8 is being introduced in Europe and China earlier in 2010 with the USA getting A8 in Winter 2010 or Spring 2010.
Study Team Visits USA and China The A8 has a special place in AutoPacific’s heart. In early 2006, AutoPacific hosted an Audi study team working on finalizing the concept of the A8. The team was in the USA for about three weeks. After visiting the USA, they spent a month in China where Audi outsells BMW and Mercedes-Benz by two-to-one. This group of engineers, planners, designers, financial experts and production managers were extremely enthusiastic, very knowledgeable and anxious to do what was right for the car and for Audi.
The results of their work is the all new 2011 Audi A8. Wow, what a car!
A8 Styling Re-sets the Bar in Premium Luxury Car Class The all new A8 is a much more distinctive car than the product it replaces. You can argue that it is much more distinctive than any other premium luxury entry in the USA today – more distinctive than the S-Class, the 7-Series and the Lexus LS. Maybe the new Jaguar XJ could give it a run for its money but clearly the A8 is the new styling leader of the class.
Perhaps the most distinctive exterior features of the A8 are its headlamps and taillamps. The headlamps are particularly eye catching unlike anything yet seen in the auto world today.
Audi A8 Interior Superb – Sets New Interior Standards While the Audi A8 exterior is head turning, the luxury experience is capped by its outstanding interior. Audi is known for great interiors and great interior materials. Not only is the A8 no exception, it sets new standards. The front seat area is very luxurious and takes Audi’s instrument panel themes with its MMI (Multi-Media Interface) improved further.
One of the controversial decisions Audi made with the A8 contrary to consumer demand and the executions its companion brands – Volkswagen and Porsche – concerns the A8’s navigation screen. Where consumers prefer and most manufacturers have gone that way is to use a touch-screen navigation screen. Audi, cringing at fingerprints on the nav screen, and believing its MMI is so good and easy to use have opted not to use a touch screen.
Audi also uses aluminum around the vehicle – aluminum scuff plates, aluminum trunk sill and even aluminum speaker grilles on the door trim panels and on the side of the console. It comes across as finesse, finesse, finesse.
So, OK, the car looks great. It has a distinctive design and outstanding interior. Finesse is present at every turn. What we won’t do in this piece is pay a lot of attention to the powertrains or engineering detail of the car. Suffice it to say, the platform is totally Audi with Quattro all wheel drive standard. There are four engines. And at the North American Auto Show in Detroit in January, Audi will show a long wheelbase version and a hybrid version.
Audi has blown its German competition into the weeds with the A8. How will BMW and Mercedes respond?