MIAMI - Audi has pulled the wraps off the 2011 A8 sedan, a year ahead of the fourth-generation car's U.S. launch, according to Inside Line. Audi is only showing the standard-wheelbase edition; the long-wheelbase A8 will be revealed next year.
Audi said the A8 NWB (for normal wheelbase) is being positioned as "more of a driver's car, with sportiness and driving dynamics in focus," while the A8 LWB "will balance prestige, sportiness and comfort."
The 2011 A8 NWB is nearly 3 inches longer and 2 inches wider than its predecessor, with a wheelbase that is nearly 2 inches longer.
Audi elected to show only the initial A8 NWB V8, although it said "other models will follow to create a full A8 model line, including performance, prestige and alternative-fuel variants."
The A8 NWB V8 is powered by a 4.2-liter FSI V8 that makes 372 horsepower and 328 pound-feet of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic. Audi says the car will sprint from zero to 60 mph in less than 5.7 seconds and is expected to deliver 15-percent better fuel economy than its predecessor. All-wheel drive is standard, and a sport differential is optional.
The new model features driver-selectable settings for suspension, steering, throttle, transmission and cornering lights. Among the available driver-assistance technologies are adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, night vision with infrared thermal imaging and pedestrian detection, lane- and side-assist technology and automatic emergency braking.
The 2011 A8 also has a standard Bose surround-sound audio system, as well as an optional Bang & Olufsen advanced system with 1,400 watts and 19 speakers.