Audi’s luxury limo is getting a mid-life update, with revised styling front and rear and a new S line option.
The 2022 Audi A8 will arrive in Australia in mid-2022, with local pricing and specifications to be announced closer to launch.
The launch of the updated A8 also coincides with the return of the Horch nameplate on an even more luxurious flagship variant, though this is for the Chinese market only.
The updated A8 has a more vertical look up front with a more upright grille that has a wider base, with a member of the Audi Design team noting the pre-update version’s more horizontal grille was perhaps going too far in that direction.
The S line features a unique grille and front bumper treatment.
The matrix LED headlights and daytime running lights have also been restyled to look more like those of the A7 and Q8.
Down back, the A8 is the latest Audi to pick up digital OLED tail lights which, like the LED units of the current car, sit within a full-width lighting assembly accentuated with a chrome strip.
There are two OLED signatures to choose from in the regular A8 and three with the sportier S8, which has yet to be revealed.
When you select Dynamic mode, the lights change to a distinct signature. All OLED segments are also illuminated when another vehicle comes within 2m of a stationary A8.
The rear bumper has been restyled and the S line features a unique rear valance, while the S8 has its own lower rear treatment with four exhaust outlets.
The interior is largely unchanged, with a new cognac brown Valcona leather option plus Dinamica microfibre trim for the doors. This material is also optionally available for the pillar trim and headliner.
S line models are distinguished from ‘regular’ A8s by their three-spoke steering wheel design.
Up front, the dual 10.1-inch and 8.6-inch touchscreens are carried over, with the A8 running on Audi’s latest MIB 3 infotainment system.
There are additional 10.1-inch touchscreens on the front seatbacks, while the 23-speaker, 1920W Bang & Olufsen sound system can be controlled by a smartphone-sized OLED touch screen now mounted firmly in the centre armrest.
The relaxation seat option continues to be available on the A8 L. This consists of a footrest on the back of the passenger seat that can warm and massage your feet, as well as a back massage function with 18 pneumatic cushions.
An extended centre console is available, and can be specified with an optional fold-out table and a cooler. It also houses a screen to control, among other functions, the four-zone climate control.
The engine range continues to consist of 3.0-litre turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel V6s, the former available with a plug-in hybrid system, plus a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8. All powertrains feature a 48V mild-hybrid system.
The 50 TDI produces 210kW of power and 600Nm of torque, good for a 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds. It features adaptive air suspension and progressive steering, with dynamic all-wheel steering an option.
The S8 pumps out 420kW of power and 800Nm of torque, has a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds, and features predictive active suspension, a sport differential, and dynamic all-wheel steering. Carbon-fibre ceramic brake discs are optional.
These are the only two powertrain options in the current Australian-market A8, and Audi has yet to confirm whether this will change with the 2022 update.
We continue to miss out on Audi’s plug-in hybrid options. The A8 60 TFSI e quattro now uses a 14.4kWh (net) lithium-ion battery, and has system outputs of 340kW and 700Nm.
The 2022 A8 is available in a choice of 11 exterior colours, including District Green, Firmament Blue, Ultra Blue and Manhattan Grey.
There are also five matte colours: Daytona Grey, Florette SIlver, District Green, Terra Grey and Glacier White.
Buyers can also opt for a bespoke colour as part of the Audi exclusive program.
Interior colours comprise the aforementioned cognac brown, as well as black and Merlot red, while there are six new wheel designs with wheels ranging from 18 to 21 inches.
In Australia, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan dominates this class. To the end of September, it’s logged 175 sales for a 35.9 per cent share of the segment.
It’s followed by the BMW 7 Series (66), Lexus LS (30) and then the A8 (23).
MORE: Everything Audi A8