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Audi Ireland
Audi A8

Audi's new A8 flagship saloon has arrived in Ireland

Audi A8 to be the first Audi model to offer mild hybrid engineering as standard.

LAST WEEK AUDI Ireland launched the new A8 and confirmed that the luxury saloon will start from €99,950 OTR.

The A8 is the German manufacturer’s flagship model, so as you would expect its 58 per cent aluminium bodywork is loaded with high-tech features and luxurious touches.

One of the main things you notice is how free the cabin is from buttons and switches – save for a few on the steering wheel and doors. Dominating the interior is a sleek 10-inch touchscreen which blends into the gloss black dash when not in use.

A second touchscreen below this one is used to access the car’s air con and comfort functions, as well as make text inputs. This is done through a combination of acoustic and tactile feedback, along with the use of gesture control.

The car also features something called intelligent conversation, meaning the driver can activate an array of functions using a new, natural form of voice control.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

The A8 is also the first Audi model to offer mild hybrid engineering as standard. From launch the car will be offered with two re-engineered V6 turbo engines: a 286hp 3.0-litre TDI and a 340hp 3.0-litre TFSI. Later down the line an eight-cylinder 435hp 4.0-litre TDI will join the range. Crowning the range will be a 585hp 6.0-litre W12.

Audi Ireland Audi Ireland

Each engine operates in conjunction with a water-cooled belt alternator starter (BAS) and a lithium-ion battery with 10 Ah charge, which form the nerve centre of the 48-volt electrical system. This mild hybrid technology (MHEV, mild hybrid electric vehicle) enables engine-off coasting and energy recuperation.

The coasting function works from 55 to 160km/h – when the driver’s foot is taken off the accelerator the engine shuts off whenever possible for up to 40 seconds to save fuel. Once the throttle is pressed the engine is activated without any delays in acceleration. The new hybrid system is said to improve fuel economy.

Audi Ireland Audi Ireland

But perhaps the most exciting new development of the A8 is its Level 3 highly automated driving capabilities. One of the automated driving systems is the Audi AI Traffic Jam Pilot which takes over the starting, accelerating, steering and braking in slow moving traffic up to a speed of 60km/h, on motorways where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways.

Two other systems on the A8 are the AI remote parking pilot and AI remote garage pilot, which autonomously steer the car into and out of a parking space or a garage, while the manoeuvre is monitored by the driver, either inside or outside the car. However, due to the different local laws and regulations regarding autonomous driving, Audi will incrementally introduce the traffic jam pilot system in its production models.

You can order the new Audi A8 from 2 October.

READ: The Suzuki Swift Sport loses weight and gains a turbo >

READ: The all-new Nissan Leaf goes 378km on a single charge >

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