Audi is a brand that defines luxury through technology, so you can bet that its new flagship, the 2019 AAL, the most Audi of all Audis, is jam-packed with all sorts of cool tech.
Grab shotgun with me and we'll dig right in.
Every part of the AAL's experience has been touched or enhanced in some sort of way by an advanced technology.
And that starts in the engine room where we have a 3 litre twin spool turbocharged engine that makes 333 horsepower, and 369 pound feet of torque.
Now that V6 is made with an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the standard Quatro all wheel drive system.
It's a pretty standard Audi setup: Turbo charged engine; Quatro all-wheel drive.
But I believe this is the first production version of Audi's 48 volt mild-hybrid system, and it's a very mild hybrid system, it doesn't turn the wheels like a Prius does.
But it does actively generate energy when you slow the car down.
And it saves that in a 48 volt system.
Now the higher voltage means that it's allowed to do things, like make better use of the stop start system.
So when you come to a stop at a traffic light, when you go to pull away, it starts right up.
There's no sort of hiccup there.
It's a really smooth operation.
The model hybrid system also powers accessory functions, things like the standard air suspension.
And with the extra voltage, it can make ride height adjustments a lot faster than a comparable 12 volt system could.
It can also react to changes in the road conditions a lot faster.
[INAUDIBLE] as well.
In the future the 48 volt system will even enable some really cool features like an active electromechanical suspension.
And that'll have some cool tricks like the ability to actively resist roll when you go into a corner or even when you're coming up to a bump it Raise the right head a little bit, and then just pull the wheels up over the bump for a smoother ride.
I was able to test that system in Europe, and it sounds pretty cool, and feels even better.
But it's not gonna be available for the States until next year.
As it sits right now though, the A8 is still a very comfortable car.
On the road it feels very smooth and it still manages to be quite nimble because we've got an optional dynamic all-wheel steering upgrade in it.
And what that's gonna do is add the ability for the rear wheels to steer either counter to or complementary to the front wheels.
And that means that at high speeds when you're changing Lanes.
The car feels more stable and at low speeds it feels a little bit more nimble and agile.
In fact, the all-wheel steering system means that this long wheel based A8s, the longest version of Audi sedan platform actually has.
It has a smaller turning radius than an A4.
However, the V6 engine does feel a little sleepy, particularly at low speeds around town, and in stop-and-go traffic, where that stop-start system is good.
But it's not perfect yet.
Audi says that they are bringing some sort of a V8 version to the market.
And you can expect a plug in hybrid version to follow.
But they're not gonna give us any details yet about what to expect and when to expect it.
Now in the cabin, comfort is key is still the theme here.
It's a very well appointed cabin, some really nice materials.
And some materials that I didn't think I would like but I kind of do.
There's a lot of gloss black on the center console and this long sort of horizontal area on the dashboard, and that gets really fingerprinty You're gonna wanna make sure that you carry around some sort of a microfiber towel to wipe off the screen and the dashboard, or it's gonna drive you nuts.
And you're gonna spend a lot of time touching because you've got the new MMI touch response system in the dashboard.
That's a two screen touchscreen interface that's new for the 2019 model year.
Here, it's got a really responsive setup, and some nice haptic feedback.
In front of us, we've got the second generation of Audi's virtual cockpit, with its high resolution screen and faster response.
And we're not even gonna get into all the cool stuff in the back set just yet.
Because we've got a whole separate video dedicated to all the technology in this care, you're gonna wanna check that out.
Can't spend all day talking about the dashboard.
Besides we've gotta talk about some of the safety technology.
This is one of the most advanced sensor packages on an Audi vehicle yet.
We've got a total of 24 sensors around the car.
Everything from Short range radar to long range radar.
Even Audi's first application of a Lidar sensor.
And what that's gonna allow it to do is get access to the most advanced parts of Audi's driver aid technology suite.
Now here in the states that means we that we've got a feature called Advanced Lane Keeping Assist.
Its kind of like Audi's traffic jam assist system on steroids except this one works at highway speeds.
And the way that it works is it uses camera's and radar sensors to watch the car ahead of you to maintain a safe following distance.
It also kind of locks in on that and keeps you centered behind that car.
Meanwhile it's also watching the lane markers to keep you centered in that as well.
And it gives you a really strong sense of steering assist.
If you're not paying attention you can kind of actually feel the car pull you around the corner.
But it is a hands-on system so you have to keep you hands on the wheel.
We even find some advanced technology in the exterior design.
Which is still classic Audi.
But a little bit more geometric.
A little bit more sharp for this generation.
If you get the lighting package, you get an OLED light display out back.
Which looks really cool.
It has some nice animations at night time when you approach the vehicle and up front we have Audi's Active Matrix headlights that can actually steer light around corners.
And dip light around cars that are coming the other direction, so you get high-beam levels of illumination without blinding the car ahead of you.
Trouble is, they're not strictly legal in the United States yet, so Audi's disabled that feature.
If you check the box for active lighting, you get the active lights, but they just act like regular high beams.
When the law changes, Audi's gonna push a software update that's gonna make these lights act like they should, and it's gonna be a really cool feature.
It's just no real way of knowing how long you're gonna have to wait for that.
Overall, this car is a very nice package.
There's so many smart features, good performance, and advanced technologies baked into this car that just Really make it something special.
The way that Audi approaches luxury with intelligence, and with tech smarts is kinda unique to the brand, and something that should be appreciated.
The 2019 Audi A8L, and we only get the long wheel base here in the States, starts at around $85,000, figure $86,000 including destination charges.
But as we have it loaded up here with all of the driver aid features, cabin technology, and luxury amenities that we can cram into this bad boy, we're looking at about $125,000 as tested.
That's pricey, but it's par for the course when you play at this level.
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