In addition to its world-first innovations, the new 2019 Audi A8 keeps up with and or slightly trumps all the luxury-car Joneses.
Read more about the 2019 Audi A8 here:
Air Vent Shutters
Enter a slumbering A8, and you’ll see a broad swathe of unbroken wood veneer. Power it up, and three wood shutters motor back as the vent vanes motor out to become flush with the dash. That’s twice the motoring Jaguar attempts with its disappearing vents, and there’s even more complexity: A haptic touch-sensitive slider switch controls the air velocity or shuts the vent off so you can watch it close.
Parking and Garage Pilot
Part of the Audi AI suite of autonomous functions, these systems can handle parallel or perpendicular parking autonomously (even gas and brake) and allow remote parking from outside the car using the key or smartphone. Audi claims its laser scanner allows the A8 to park itself in tighter confines than competitors that lack that sensor are able to.
Maneuvering Assist and Curb Warning
Audi’s suite of 41 available driver-assist systems includes these newcomers to the Audi Park Assist package, which provide steering and brake support to avoid hitting static or moving objects at low speeds and to warn of potential rim damage when nearing a curb or other object.
Audi Connect Key
This permits up to five user profiles and one guest profile to personalize 400 functions. It also allows smartphones with near-field communications protocol (most Androids, no iPhones) to serve as a key. Drivers are welcomed by name and can driver can create different personal profiles for things such as weekdays or weekends and freeway or country roads.
Mercedes wasn’t going to stay ahead of Audi on this one.
Matrix LED reading lamps
Leveraging similar smart-beam tech from the headlamps, rear-seat readers can customize the beam size and intensity to suit their reading material.
Twin-Smell Perfume Dispenser
Because choosy plutocrats can never be satisfied by a single fragrance option and can’t be bothered to swap in a different fragrance on the run, Audi’s Air Quality Package builds in two smell choices: sea breeze or mountain air. Air is also ionized, making it attract dust into clumps that fall to the floor.
Naturally Tanned Leather
Audi eschews environmentally destructive chrome tanning, using plant-based materials instead, including sumac and strawberry leaves, for a surface finish that is more transparent and softer to the touch.
The standard catalogue includes 12 paint colors, three grades of leather (Valetta, Valcona and Unicum) in six colors with various contrast-stitching options, six wood trims, and six (mostly metallic) options for the inlay that bridges between the wood and the piano-black on the dash, and a choice of genuine or artificial leather on the dash. Not enough choices—just point your checkbook at Audi Exclusive.
Dynamic All-Wheel Steering
On its face, this seems like nothing new: A rear-mounted steering rack adds up to 5 degrees of counter steering at low speeds to shrink the turn circle (to 37.8 feet) or by up to 2 degrees of rear steering in the same direction for stability at higher speeds. But Audi claims some world-first magic in the way it works with the variable-ratio front steering to tailor the overall vehicle steering ratio between 9.5:1 and 17.0:1 to suit any situation.
Crossing Assist and Exit Warning
These new features of the City Assist package are part of Audi’s 360-degree safety system. When pulling out into a street or intersection, front corner radar units watch for potential collision risks and warn or brake the car as necessary. When stopped and about to open a door, the rear radar units warn if a bicycle or car poses a danger to opening a door.
Adaptive Driving Assistant
Call it adaptive cruise 2.0, this Tour Assist package uses map data, sign recognition, and car-to-X communications to automatically slow the car for speed zones, sharp curves, and when approaching a roundabout. It also helps guide the car through narrow-lane construction zones.
Everybody else has 4G, but pop for MMI Navigation Plus equips the car with the latest-technology phone module and connected services. This increases transmission rates to 300 MBit/s for downloads and to 50 MBit/s for uploads. It also enables Voice-over LTE, which greatly improves sound quality and enables simultaneous high-speed data and voice transmission.
Electric Door Releases
Like Teslas, Lincoln Continentals, and others, a mere few millimeters of motion trigger the release of any of the doors, but if they should fail there are cable backups built in.
Better Seat Massagers
It’s a numbers game and here are the A8’s: 16 small bubble-shaped air bladders in each front seat, 18 bladders in each back seat, up to 7 psi pressure, and seven massage programs with three intensity levels.