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Sneak peek: Audi teases with next A8

Peek a boo: Edgy Audi comes out of the closet.

First official (partial) image of Audi’s next-generation A8 flagship surfaces

4 Aug 2009

AUDI used the opportunity presented by its recent centenary celebrations in Germany to issue teaser images of its next-generation A8 limousine, which is due to make its global debut in November before going on sale in Australia in the second half of next year.

The radical new proportions of the fourth-generation Audi luxury flagship are partly revealed in a shot that shows technical development board member Michael Dick with the new A8, which is draped in a semi-transparent car cover.

An accompanying sketch shows the next A8’s edgy new front-end design, which comprises a squared-off teardrop-style headlight with single gas-discharge beam and a row of bright LED daytime running lights underneath, framed by a heavily flared wheel-arch, a muscular bonnet crease and prominent full-frame grille.

Originally due to emerge alongside the all-new A1 city-car and A5 Sportback at the Frankfurt motor show in September, the redesigned A8 is now expected to appear at the Los Angeles motor show, following extensive testing at Germany’s famed Nurburgring.

7 center imageLeft: Audi's Michael Dick keeps the A8 under wraps.

It is expected to be up to 100mm longer than Audi’s all-new Jaguar XJ rival, and will again be based on an aluminium spaceframe chassis.

Power is expected to come from more efficient diesel and petrol engines, including 3.0 and 4.2-litre V8s and a revised 5.0-litre V10 for the top-shelf S8. While there is no indication yet a hybrid version to match forthcoming foes like BMW’s 7 Series or the Mercedes-Benz S-class, the new A8 is expected to feature idle-stop technology.

“Right now, the new Audi A8 is undergoing its final stages of fine-tuning and is running test laps cloaked in strictest secrecy,” said an Audi statement. “For the time being, we can’t present you any more than the appetiser outline of a headlamp.”

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