2011 Audi A8 Arrives

The battle in the full-size, high-zoot luxury sedan segment has been kicked up another notch. Let me introduce you to Audi’s new flagship, the 2011 A8.

A complete redesign over the current A8, Audi clearly made a decision for very restrained and evolutionary changes as opposed to a radical redux. Both the interior and exterior of the car won’t strike you as a significant departure from that earlier model. It’s what you don’t see where the major changes lie, as an entirely new architecture is used, with copious amounts of aluminum and magnesium in place to keep the overall weight to a minimum.

The 4.2 liter V8 motor has been carried over from the previous model but has been revised for a horsepower bump to 372 as well as a 15% gain in fuel efficiency. The Quattro all-wheel drive system is Audi’s latest, featuring torque vectoring as well as other goodies. More tech bits include an updated MMI navigation and control interface as well as full LED headlights – a first in this class.

Audi claims their new flagship will be the sportiest drive in the segment, but competition from BMW’s newly redone 7-series and the revised Mercedes S-class is sure to be fierce. Upcoming comparisons will reveal the true nature of this battle.

For now, Audi appears to have maintained the understated elegance and presence that previous A8s were known for, as well as their best in class interiors. Should the A8 drive as well as advertised, Audi will have a winner on their hands. The car should be in showrooms Q3 of this coming year.