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12 Oct 2017 | Text by Nigel Yong, Photos by Manufacturer. Direct from Valencia, Spain

Find out why the new Audi A8 is the brand's finest model yet, and why it's one to watch in the highly competitive luxury sedan segment.


Living up to its slogan of Vorsprung durch Technik, which translated in English means advancement through technology, Audi has created some of the finest, most high-tech cars known to mankind.

In terms of performance and motorsports, the company's advancements in technology have created wild pocket rockets like the Audi RS3 Sportback and ballistic warships like the Audi RS6 Avant. But unarguably, the greatest of Audi's technological achievements is its latest flagship, the fourth generation A8, which paves the way for Audi's autonomous driving future among a host of other 'firsts' that are expected to trickle down to its other models in time to come.

The new A8 isn't just more than qualified to take rivals like the BMW 7 Series, the Lexus LS and the Mercedes S-Class head on. It's by far and in every way and in every sense of the word, Audi's finest creation yet. Here are four reasons why we say so.


1. Rightful autonomy

This isn't an Audi prototype, a close-to-completion project or a motor show one-trick pony.

The Audi A8 counts as the world's first production car to provide Level 3 autonomy and this means that as part of the car's optional Audi AI system, the driver no longer has to be in charge of monitoring the road and driving in a jam up to 60km/h, should he or she so wish.

The A8 does the moving and shaking on its own; braking and maintaining lane discipline - the works.

Instead, the driver can enjoy the morning's papers, catch a movie or Instagram his or her outfit of the day. On top of that, the A8 can also find its own way safely into a parking space or a cramp garage, and you can even do this autonomous parking using your smartphone, from the outside of the car.


2. Living suspensions

Two of the most important characteristics of any luxury sedan are ride comfort and safety. On those fronts, the new A8 doesn't just tick the right boxes but scores eight out of five stars.

The second new technology, which shares the Audi AI nomenclature, is the car's active suspension system. It's an active individual electro-mechanical suspension setup, which works in conjunction with the adaptive air suspension system.

When the car's sensors detect a rut or road hump coming up, they prep the active suspension, which makes damping adjustments to cushion the impact. It's almost eerie in how well it works. Watch from the outside, and you can see the A8 crank itself up just before it hits a bump.

The electro-mechanical suspension works to improve safety, too. For example, if an impending side impact is detected, the car in a split second, legs-up 3.15-inches to redirect the crash forces into the more structural components down low, budging you out of harm's way.


3. Beauty in simplicity and intimacy in details

While the new A8 isn't as sportily designed as a BMW 7 Series wearing an M Sport kit or as hawkishly eye-catching as the new Lexus LS, the beauty of its design is that it makes no apologies for its militant adherence to minimalism.

Instead of opting for a clumsily loud outfit, as most local Chinese actors unfortunately do at Star Awards, the new A8 instead puts on an understated but sublimely tailored suit, one which Mr. Bond would most definitely approve of.

Take a closer gander and you'd notice its cleanly stretched lines and shoulder muscles, which span from front to back, and classy chrome accents.

More impressively, viewed in low-light conditions, the A8 reveals a technical masterpiece that's sheer artistry on its own. Like the Porsche Panamera, this Audi has a continuous LED light strip that runs along the trunk, and wafer-thin OLED lights that create a truly signature, unmistakable design element.


4. No equal in infotainment

If anyone knows how to make a great infotainment system, it's got to be Audi. The company has a natural knack for understanding ergonomics and interfaces, and the latest of its knowledge is poured into the system employed in the cabin of the new A8, where the most noticeable changes take place.

The new infotainment system trades the old one's large control knob and best-in-trade interface for a second display at the front of the center console. The lower display primarily serves the climate controls but doubles up as a keyboard or drawing board.

While pasts versions of said boards required a pause after each drawn character, this new one lets you write flowingly, moving left to right or simply drawing each new character on top of the last one.

The system also uses haptic touch response technology (a mechanical pulsation serves to confirm your selection), which improves user experiences to a whole new level. Finding your way through its menus and functions is also but second nature to anyone who's ever driven a car before. Simply put, the infotainment system in the A8 can be thought of as an iPhone 8, a technological delight that's easy to use and nice on the eyes.
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