Audi unveils A8 facelift with sharper styling
FLAGSHIP sedan gets a nip and tuck, with new headlight tech and an ultra-luxurious A8 L Horch variant that is exclusive to China.
The Audi A8 has received a subtle facelift for 2022, with new styling features, advanced lighting technology and a top trim reserved for the Chinese market.
• Slatted grille replaced with a bolder mesh pattern on the updated A8
• A8 L Horch to take on the Mercedes-Maybach S-class in China
• Launch of standard A8 L facelift expected next year
2022 Audi A8 facelift: design
The luxury sedan’s front end has been redesigned with a wider grille that now uses a bolder mesh pattern, compared to the outgoing car that had a slatted design for the grille. The air intakes at the edges of the bumper have been angled slightly to make them appear more upright.
A new S Line package will be available for the first time on an A8 in global markets, adding bespoke styling features including S8-inspired blades in the side intakes.
Optional chrome and black exterior packages have been carried over from the pre-facelift model, while the colour range has been updated with four new metallic and five new matte shades.
All new A8 models are available with Audi’s Digital Matrix LED headlights, which use around 1,3 million micro-mirrors to split the light into individual pixels, similar to a digital projector. This allows the car to emit a “carpet of light” into the driver’s lane only. No blinding flashlight into oncoming traffic.
Digital OLED brake lights are now included as standard, with proximity sensors that activate them if another car comes within two metres of a stationary A8.
2022 Audi A8 facelift: cabin and features
On the inside, the cabin is a familiar affair, though Audi says it has updated the infotainment system with its latest MIB 3 software.
There are two 10.1-inch infotainment screens that have been added to the rear seats and are controlled by a touchscreen remote in the centre armrest. Optional extras include a cooler with a bar compartment, a fold-out centre console table and a perfume function.
The updated A8 splits 40 driver assistance systems over several different packages – for example, the “Park” package features Audi’s remote park assist, allowing the car to automatically manoeuvre in and out of parallel or bay parking spaces without the driver needing to be in the car.
The “City” package includes Audi’s pre-sense 360-degree safety system to lift the suspension up in a side impact to protect the occupants, while the “Tour” package features adaptive cruise assist to automatically adjust its speed.
Audi A8 L Horch: Audi’s plan to take on the Mercedes-Maybach S-class
Considering that China accounts for 60% of all A8’s sold worldwide, Audi has created the new A8 L Horch trim level exclusively for the Chinese market.
The model is designed to rival other super-luxurious sedans, such as the Mercedes-Maybach S-class, which, coincidently, will be launched next year. At 5,45m long, the Horch is 130mm longer than even the long-wheelbase model – the A8 L.
The China-focused A8 features new wheels and chrome exterior styling, with optional two-tone paint - a first for the A8. The interior receives diamond quilting, deep-pile rear floor mats and foot-massaging relaxation seats as standard. The Horch is powered by the same 3.0-litre V6 found in the standard A8.
2022 Audi A8 facelift: engine-gearbox options
The engine line-up remains unchanged, with the six-cylinder 3.0 TDI diesel and 3.0 TFSI petrol producing 210kW and 250KW respectively. The TFSIe plug-in hybrid option delivers 340kW - slightly more than the range-topping 4.0 TFSI petrol, a detuned version of the V8 found in the S8. All engines are connected to an eight-speed ‘Tiptronic’ automatic gearbox and Audi’s ‘Quattro’ all-wheel drive system.
The 420kW V8-powered S8 performance variant gets predictive active suspension, a sport differential and dynamic all-wheel steering included as standard. It promises 0-100kph time of 3.8sec.
Audi has confirmed that the A8 will not have a full-electric variant, with the flagship sedan set to be replaced by the production version of the Grand sphere concept as the company transitions to being an electric-only brand by 2033.