German automakers are often reluctant to dramatically overhaul their design languages, but the styling of the new A8 is noticeably different from the previous generation. A wider, hexagonal-shaped grille complements HD Matrix LED headlights with laser technology. Taking cues from the Audi Prologue concept from 2014, the model features slim taillights and a lighting bar extending across the rear.
Last year, a Tesla was involved in a fatal crash when a driver used Autopilot and failed to take control of the vehicle despite numerous warnings—touching the steering wheel for only 25 seconds during 37 minutes of driving. The car collided with a semi truck that pulled out across the highway, which its radar and camera sensors failed to spot.
As far as engines go, the A8 will debut with a turbocharged V6 gasoline engine in a mild hybrid system. A V8 model will follow, as will a plug-in hybrid and a range-topping W12. Expect to see the 2019 Audi A8 in U.S. showrooms in mid- to late 2018 with prices starting around the $100,000 mark.
U.S.-market versions are expected to be powered by a 340-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 or a 460-hp, turbo V-8 — both of which are backed by a light-hybrid system that turns off the engine when coasting and captures kinetic energy when braking. Expected later is an e-tron plug-in hybrid version that can drive up to 31 miles on electric power alone and be optionally, wirelessly charged via a garage charging pad.