RAC Cars News


Large scale Audi revamp on the cards

By raccars Published


Audi is planning a makeover of some of its most important and luxurious models.

The German car maker's revised model line-up should be complete by 2018 and will be characterised by smart new styling and autonomous driving technology. The A6, A7 and A8 will all be revamped and there will be a new range topping luxury SUV in the form of the Q8.

Audi is promising pioneering modern technology on the new models and plans to offer greater differentiation in the styling of its larger cars after criticism that they look too similar. While a familiar Audi design language will link them, each model will be given more individual styling details.

Audi A8

The first model to receive the make-over treatment will be the A8, which will be introduced next year. It will offer industry-first autonomous driving technology up to Level 3, which means that the driver can relax and let the car take over at speeds below 60kmph during motorway traffic jams. The system is called Traffic Jam Pilot and one of its functions is to keep an eye on the driver and bring the car to a stop if he or she appears to have fallen asleep. Audi claims that it is ready to accept liability in the event of any failure of the system.

A8 owners will also be able to use an iPhone app called Park Pilot to park their vehicles by remote control and the car's integrated sat nav system will have an automatic favourites saving system which will learn the driver's regular journeys and store them automatically. The company has promised to introduce further advanced technology based upon the car learning the driver's behaviour so that it can work out how to create easier, more relaxing journeys.

Audi's vast array of chassis set-ups can be confusing so the company is also working on a way of narrowing down the most suitable options for prospective buyers.

Audi A7

Shortly after the A8, Audi will introduce the new A7, with a sportier design than the current car. In addition to shorter overhangs, the new A7 will be slightly wider and lower, with the design team taking inspiration from racing yachts. Audi has purposely translated a little of the RS line-up's athleticism to the new design of the standard models and plans to offer even more thrills and excitement with the new RS line up.

At the front you'll notice a new DRL set-up and a slimmer, more aggressive front grille and headlight arrangement, part of Audi's plan to ensure that each car can be distinguished by its different headlight design. The A7 will feature the firm's most up to date LED matrix headlights.

The A7's wheel arches will be bold to convey the presence of the quattro four wheel drive system, but a sleek look will be maintained by carefully delineated strakes along the flanks. The long, rear sloping roofline will be retained from the current car but the rear light cluster will be updated in the form of a single long, slim bar light across the back.

Audi A6

A new A6 will be third stage of the plan, set for 2018. It will be available in saloon and estate formats and will share its platform with the A7 but will offer a unique new front headlight layout for individuality. The side flanks will be straked but to a different silhouette, while the C pillar slopes racily backward in the style of a coupe. At the back there will be a more traditional twin taillight cluster.

Overall it's a sleeker and sportier look for the A6.

In all three cars there will be a high tech, minimalist interior. Two large, smoothly integrated touchscreens will replace any buttons, similar to the Prologue concept seen in LA a couple of years ago.

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