Audi unveils even more luxurious A8
Audi insiders refer to a new, "unadulterated" level of luxury in the latest model, with the A8 of old receiving a big dollop of new technology and an upgraded line-up of EU6-compliant engines.
But first things first, the exterior. Updates include the re-sculpting of the bonnet so it now includes a pair of elegant creases that run its entire length.
A new, single frame grille and front bumper set the A8 apart from its predecessor while a pair of high-powered MatrixBeam LED headlights complete the frontal refresh.
It's a similar story at the rear, with a new light cluster bringing the A8 up to date, but a big change under the skin is said to improve performance and fuel economy.
The model is now based upon a new, lightweight aluminium Audi Space Frame that reduces overall weight and in turn means fuel costs are cut and performance figures improved.
Customers will be able to choose from seven petrol and turbo diesel engines, all of which have been tweaked and refined.
The supercharged 3-litre TFSI petrol engine is boosted from 288bhp to 308bhp, the V8 twin-turbo 4-litre TFSI moves from 418bhp to 432bhp, the highly efficient 3-litre TDI clean diesel increases from 248bhp to 256bhp and the 4.2 TDI clean diesel gains 32bhp, taking it to 382bhp. Its already mighty torque output is also increased by 50Nm to a prodigious 850 Nm.
All-wheel-drive quattro A8s mated to the 4-litre TFSI engine can happily complete the 0-62mph sprint time in just 4.5 seconds, while the most efficient diesel engine - the 3-litre TDI - returns up to 47.9 mpg, corresponding to 155 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
The range-topping A8 L W12 boasts a 6.3-litre engine that produces in excess of 498bhp yet, thanks to Cylinder on Demand technology, can return 24.1mpg on the combined cycle.
Inside, a raft of optional luxury materials are available to customers who wish to own an A8 with a bespoke, hand-built feel to it.
Other luxuries include DVD players, footrests, WLAN technology and a rear entertainment system from Bang & Olufsen.
The new Audi A8 is expected to reach its first UK customers in January 2014 with prices to be confirmed later this year.