Audi is currently working on the next generation A8 that will be unveil sometime in 2009 as a 2010 model. It will have big competition when it will be launched, because by the same time two new models will be launched on the market: the next generation BMW 7-Series and the long-waited Porsche Panamera.
Comparing to the current generation A8, the 2010 model will be three inches longer but will retain its aluminum structure to keep weight down. It will have a sporty silhouette with precisely drawn lines. The headlights technologies used in the A5 will also be borrowed in the A8: daytime running lights, comprising a strip of eight LEDs on each side.
We do not expect many changes for the interior design. Audi will concentrate on performance and take a serious stab at eliminating some longtime A8 complaints—namely, mediocre handling and ho-hum steering feel. A 40/60 percent front/rear torque split, more equal weight distribution.
As many of Audi’s model, including the latest A5 at the 2009 A7, the A8 will be based on Audi’s MLP platform. The MLP platform is defined as "a set of modular, longitudinal building kits… that are shared among a product family. The modular approach can bring cost savings and enable a quick introduction of variants." Audi will be looking to make the A8 lineup a more athletic group of luxury sedans by lowering the car’s weight and distributing it better on the Modular Longitudinal Platform it will share with the bulk of Audi’s passenger car lineup.
Under the bonnet you will see a range of petrol and diesel engines including the V12 used in the Q7 V12 TDI and the V10 first used in the R8. The V10 engine will deliver up to 420 hp and the V12 TDI will have a maximum output of 500 hp and 738 ft.-lbs. of torque.
Audi will also offer an S-version, the S8 that will be powered by a tuned version of the current V10 with a maximum output of 520 hp.
It will also come in a hybrid version where the V6 engine will be combined with an electrical engine with an output of 80 hp. Audi will collaborate with Porsche and Volkswagen in the development of a hybrid system. The first model equipped with a hybrid engine will be the Cayenne and will debut at the end of 2008 or the beginning of 2009. The system will be used in all the future models from Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche.
The 2010 Audi A8 will be electronically limited to 155 mph and will make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in about 5 seconds.
Audi launched the A8 in 1994 in order to replace the Audi V8 Quattro of 1989-1994, developed by combining two Volkswagen Golf GTI engines. The A8 débuted as a model line in its own right for the 1994 model year in Europe and for the 1997 model year in the United States and was unique at the time for having an aluminium bodyshell, based on Audi Space Frame technology, a distinction that is now shared by the Jaguar XJ .
The first-generation Audi A8 used Audi’s D2 platform . The second-generation A8, which was introduced in the 2004 model year, uses Audi’s D3 platform .
First generation (1994-2003)
The A8 debuted in Europe in 1994, although it wasn’t until 1997 that it became available in North America. Unlike the V8 model, which was built on an existing steel platform, the A8 debuted on Audi’s then-new D2 platform, an all aluminum space frame which helped to significantly reduce weight without being any less rigid.
In 1997, the A8 became the first car in the world ever to offer six interior airbags.
In 2001, Audi offered a W12 engine for the first time in the Audi A8 L 6.0 W12 . The D2 platform Audi A8 L 6.0 W12 is even rarer than the D3 platform W12, and only 750 were produced from 2001–2003. This first generation W12 sedan was only sold in European and Asian markets.
Second generation (2004-current)
A second generation went on sale early in 2003 using Audi’s D3 platform. The model was longer than before, with room for four or five adult occupants in the cabin depending on rear seat configuration. Legroom in the rear was more than sufficient for six-footers-plus to stretch out in absolute comfort.
For the 2005 model year, Audi offered an A8 4.2 TDI quattro with a new 4.2 L Diesel V8 engine that generates 240 kW (322 hp) of power. Audi claims this model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds. The speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). The car has a six-speed transmission.
For the 2006 model, under the hood you’ll find one of two engines. For starters, there’s a refined 4.2-liter, 40-valve V8 that makes a scintillating 335 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. If that’s not enough, consider the 6.0-liter W12 power plant, which provides 450 hp, 428 lb-ft of torque and a 5.8-second 0-to-60-mph time. In either case, a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission sends the power to all four wheels through Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Standard A8 and A8 L models come with a 4.2-liter, 40-valve V8 that generates 335 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. Named after the engine that makes it special, the W12 model has a 12-cylinder engine that make 450 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. The engine consists of two narrow-angle, 15-degree V6 engines joined at the crankshaft, a more compact design than a conventional V12. Both engines are matched to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission that drives all four wheels through Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Earlier this summer Porsche’s board of management has announced that they have taken the decision to build a four-door coupe, called “Panamera” at the Company’s Leipzig Plant. To fourth model line using a front mounted engine and rear/all wheel drive is currently under development and is scheduled to enter the market in 2009. The investments for the production of the new model are estimated at around 150 million $.
The Panamera is expected to be offered with a range of normally aspirated and turbocharged V8 (already in use on the Cayenne) and V10 engines (derived from the extreme Carrera GT) ranging between 4 and 6 liters of displacement and producing power values amid 300 and 650 bhp.
As the Panamera will be a sports car it will have more in common with the 911 and Boxster/Cayman models, but it will share the engine layout with the Cayenne. A front mounted engine has not been seen in a Porsche sports car the since the 924 model that and gradually evolved into the 928.
Wearing the D1 Project Code-name the new four-door coupe will feature a tall roof for easy entry and exit, and enough luggage room in the rear for a vacation. The Panamera is anticipated to carry a price tag ranging between $125,000 and $175,000.
The most obvious difference between this conceptual 2009 7 Series and the current version is the shape of the rear end. Forget the old Bangle Butt, as it was so callously called, this 7’s tail section will have a much smoother design that better integrates into the car’s overall lines.
The 2009 7-Series will be powered by an evolutions of the current six-, eight- and twelve-cylinder units. The petrol versions will go direct-injection with a fuel economy bias for Europe and a performance bias for the rest of the world. The diesels get even more power and torque along with an increasingly expensive desmogging equipment. There will also be a hybrid model, sporting the gas-electric powerplant BMW’s been developing with odd bedfellows DaimlerChrysler and GM.
Voted 2006’s Best Luxury Car by respected motoring magazine What Car?, the new S-Class combines state-of-the-art technology with effortless performance and peerless refinement: “When Mercedes -Benz launches a new S-Class the rest of the world gasps in amazement;” explained David Motton, Editor of What Car? magazine.
Revered for its peerless combination of elegance, performance, and innovation, the all-new S-Class is larger inside and out, with even greater luxury than ever before. A more powerful V-8 engine, industry-leading technology, and some of the most sophisticated automotive safety systems in production today, reassert the S-Class as the foremost luxury sedan in the world.
The new V-8 engine, now with four valves per cylinder and displacing 5.5 liters, is turbine smooth and virtually silent, only finding its voice at the upper reaches of the rev range. The S550 gathers speed quickly, more quickly than before, but doesn’t rocket forward with a vengeance (for that you need the twin-turbocharged V-12, which, according to the factory, sends the S600 from 0 to 62 mph in a supercar-like 4.6 seconds).
In testing, the 5.5-liter V8 with 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque propelled the 4,270-pound S550 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. The quarter-mile flew by in 14.2 seconds with a trap speed of 101 mph. The quickest runs were accomplished by letting the engine and seven-speed transmission do all the work.