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The addition of Predictive Active Suspension means the Audi A8 continues to fend off the competition as an accomplished flagship sedan.

01 Dec 2020


Utilising mild-hybrid technology to improve the fuel economy of a 1,995kg car may seem hardly worth the effort but Audi has found a new ingenious use for all that hybrid tech with the A8.

The mild hybrid system is now used to power the car's Predictive Active Suspension, which utilises electromechanical actuators to actively lift up or force down each of the car's wheels individually, in response to road imperfections detected ahead of the car. The end result, Audi claims, is both improved handling and increased comfort on the road.

Easy eight

Choose from two different levels of suspension compensation, or turn the system off if you wish
The new option works well on the A8. On the go, the car irons over humps and travels over pockmarked roads with minimal disruption to body composure.

But where the Predictive Active Suspension truly excels is when travelling over raised pedestrian crossings.

Approach one of these and the expected rise and fall of the car's body just barely materalises, allowing you to instead continue on with all passengers undisturbed.

All-wheel steering also comes as standard on all A8s in Singapore, even on regular wheelbase variants. With a 12.5m turning circle - close to that of the Audi A4 - this A8 feels more manoeuvrable than its 5,172mm length would suggest.

If you're looking for the luxury and space of a flagship luxury saloon without the added hassle when it comes to tight parking spaces and multi-storeys, you will do well to opt for the short wheelbase variant as well.

Progress through technology

There is plenty of space all round even in the short wheelbase variant
Leave the narrow streets for the open road and the A8 is just as accomplished.

Audi claims the new suspension is able to reduce body roll at 1g of lateral acceleration to just two degrees with the car set into its 'Dynamic' driving mode, from an initial five degrees of roll without the predictive suspension.

Meanwhile, setting the car into its 'Comfort +' mode will also allow it to perform transverse force reduction, countering body roll at higher driving speeds by actively leaning into a corner, to the effect that even a full cup of coffee will not spill in the A8.

Predictive Active Suspension also allows the A8 to rise by up to 50mm for easier entry and exit
I'm not sure if you'd be able to detect that three degree reduction, but the way this car resisted body roll was definitely impressive across long sweeping turns.

Set the car into the right mode and if you pay close attention to the height of both corners of the car's dashboard you might even be able to spot the transverse force reduction at work.

And if you're afraid passengers will not be able to tell if your car has the Predictive Active Suspension opted, fret not. The system has one last party trick: It is able to raise itself by up to 50mm every time a door handle is pulled for easier ingress and egress for all.

The devil in the details

Turbocharged V6 is smooth and sufficient for everyday traffic
On the go, the 335bhp V6 delivers sufficient power. With the car set into either of its comfort settings, responsiveness at initial accelerator pedal travel can feel dull, but smooth acceleration is very easy to achieve as a result.

Those looking for that sensation of limitless power in their luxury barge will have to opt for the long wheelbase variant if they want the more powerful V8, however.

At $26,793, the Predictive Active Suspension can be a costly addition even for a $430,999 car (Prices as of 27 November 2020). But if you're looking for the last word in smooth and undisturbed progress, every little bit will help.

Car Information

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Audi A8 Mild Hybrid 3.0 TFSI qu Tip (A)
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Price

: $430,999

Engine Type

:

V6 Turbocharged MHEV

Engine Cap

:

2995cc

Horsepower

:

250kW (335 bhp) / 6400 rpm

Torque

:

500 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Tiptronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

5.6sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

12.2 km/L

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