I am in Miami as a guest of Audi to witness the reveal of the new 2011 Audi A8. Audi chose Miami to reveal their new flagship in part as the kick off of the Art Basel show – self described as the most important art show in the U.S.
We learned very little about the new car other than some top line specs: The new A8 will come to market with either of two engines, a 4.2L V8 with 372 hp and a 4.2L V8 TDI with 350 HP They will be followed by a 3.0L V6 TDI with 250 HP. Both engines have Audi’s legendary Quattro system as standard and are mated to a new 8-speed tiptronic transmission.
They also mentioned another 3.0L V6 TDI that will be introduced later in model year. It is a FWD vehicle and they estimate a 39.2 MPG on the highway.
No confirmation yet if all these model variants will be available in the U.S.
It was difficult to get close to the car as there were hundreds of journalist ignoring the celebrities in attendance (Chris Noth, Christina Ricci and some guy from Southland) and rushing the vehicles on stage. It isn’t as radical as I thought and it actually looks considerably smaller than the current A8 but again, take all comments as light commentary. The lighting wasn’t optimal, there were too many people there and I had a few champers in me.
I did manage to muscle my way into the rear seat of one A8 and the dashboard, and the entire interior for that matter, look sumptuous. Phenomenal materials and understated design that are the calling card of Audi are all present.
I’ve included all the photos available from Audi below. You can judge the design for yourself. Note that this is one of those vehicles that looks better in person. I look forward to getting behind the wheel in the near future.