The reveal date is officially official.

It would be the understatement of the week to say the third-generation Audi A8 (D4) is getting a little long in the tooth considering it has been on sale since late 2009, but thankfully an all-new model is less than four months away. Speaking at the Annual Press Conference 2017, Audi’s chairman Rupert Stadler revealed the flagship model is going to be introduced on July 11 at the first Audi Summit in Barcelona, Spain.

Billed as being a “high-end sedan,” the company’s overhauled range topper is going to feature a “completely new operating concept — generously dimensioned and intuitive.” The car will boast the most advanced autonomous driving system to come from Ingolstadt, but the entire functionality it will not be available from day one because the current legislation is not ready for it. Rupert Stadler has made the promise that “as soon as legislation is passed in our core markets allowing highly automated driving on the highway, and when that is legally safe, we will offer the new key technology in the A8.”

Next-generation Audi A8, A7, A6 official design sketch

As far as the design is concerned, “evolutionary” would have to be the most suitable word to use. Numerous spy shots and an official sketch released earlier this week have shown Audi will once again play it safe with the exterior styling. More significant changes will occur inside the cabin where the all-new A8 will be the first car to take advantage of the second-generation Audi Virtual Cockpit, which is the company’s fancy way of referring to its all-digital instrument cluster. In addition, the full-size premium sedan will boast the MIB2+ (Modular Infotainment Platform) powered by Nvidia’s Tegra K1 processor. Not only that, but it will also have Audi’s most advanced traffic jam pilot to date smart enough to “take over full control at times.”

Underpinned by the MLB Evo platform, the 2018 A8 is expected to shave off a considerable amount of weight even though it will likely be a tad bigger. The VW Group’s biturbo W12 6.0-litre will be offered, but it’s too soon to say whether it will have the same output as it does in the Bentley Bentayga: 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.

Check out spy shots of the new A8, S8:

The performance-oriented S8 has already been spotted testing and is likely set to get a biturbo 4.0-litre V8 shared with the Porsche Panamera Turbo where it pumps out 550 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque.

With the VW Group’s green push, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to assume a plug-in hybrid version is being prepared and it might be available from day one. It will be interesting to see whether the SQ7’s 4.0-litre V8 TDI engine featuring an electric powered compressor will find its way underneath the A8’s hood. If it will, expect output to be similar or identical to the 429 hp and 664 lb-ft available in the hot diesel-powered SUV.

Following its world debut in July, the new Audi A8 will travel to the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and should go on sale before the year’s end.

Special thanks go to Motor1 reader “Dusksky” for the tip!

Source: Audi

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