Audi A8 ultra-luxury model confirmed, next generation may be all-electric
29 May 2019 - autoblog
Audi is coming for Mercedes-Maybach
With loads of technology, a positively plush interior, and a price tag starting over $80,000, you would think there wasn't much space above the 2019 Audi A8, but clearly Audi sees things differently. The company announced at its Annual General Meeting that it is indeed working on a super luxury variant of the full-size luxury sedan. There's also a chance of the A8 going fully electric in the future.
We'll focus on the super luxury A8 first, since we still have several years before the next A8. The announcement describes it as "especially luxurious and prestigious," and it confirms previous rumors of a special A8 variant, possibly with the old Auto Union (the overarching company Audi used to be a part of) brand name, Horch. The move would be similar to Mercedes using the Maybach name for a unique brand over a decade ago before making it a special version of the S-Class. It also seems likely Audi will offer the W12 in this trim level. The company confirmed the engine would remain in use in the A8 when the new model was introduced, though it didn't say exactly when and in what trim it would be available. If the W12 does become available, we'll be curious if it's offered in America, since the engine was dropped in 2017. The twin-turbo V8 engine that's on the way would also likely be a strong choice for the super A8, and is supported by the previous report on the upcoming car.
As for the next-generation A8, it may not have any cylinders at all. Audi Chairman of the Board Bram Schot said in a speech that it could go all-electric: "The next generation of the Audi A8 might well be all-electric. That has not been decided yet, but I can well imagine it. We are thinking about revolutionizing the top-end class with a completely new concept for the A8."
Considering the latest Audi A8 was just launched for the 2019 model year, and the last A8 lasted from 2011 to 2018, the next-generation A8 will be entering a very different car market. Everyone, including Audi, will have far more electric and hybrid vehicles. And with the A8's position as the luxury and technology leader for the brand, it would make sense to go fully electric. Volkswagen Group will also have high-end electric powertrains available, such as what's powering the Porsche Taycan. We could possibly see a plug-in hybrid variant continue to be offered, too, just in case there are some customers that demand longer-range or flexibility with refueling, but it's hard to see why the next A8 wouldn't be electric.