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The upcoming facelifted Audi A8 made headlines this week when spy photographers caught it in several locations on public roads. That the car is clear for such travel suggests its launch will be in the next few months and our intel suggests a reveal around September’s Franfurt Auto Show and deliveries in the market (at least in Europe) before year’s end.
For those not following along, the A8 has reached its mid-lifecycle and is due for a product improvement or “P.I.” – internal speak for facelift. These sorts of changes are usually more conservative than the jump to a whole new platform, meaning most bodywork will carry over.
Looking over these phtoos, it appears the tail of the car will not change other than handsome new taillights with more refined light sculpturing. At the front the changes are subtle, but also more substantial with a reshaped grille that is more hexagonal at the top, reshaped headlights and a chin that is more consistent with more recent Audi designs and notably the A6 S line.
As for engines, the A8 lineup is already quite fresh. The S8 is just launched within the last year, as are 4.0 TFSI, 3.0 TFSI, 3.0 TDI, 2.0 TFSI hybrid (Europe) and 3.0 Bi-TDI (Europe). Given the freshness of this engine portfolio, we don’t expect further major changes in this department.
Inside there may be more room for upgrades. Audi’s latest MIB (modular infotainment matrix) with NVIDIA Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 chips dropped or is dropping in A3/S3 models and would make sense in the case of the A8. This new tech made headlines at CES for a number of reasons, but the most notable to us was Audi’s willingness to provide for plug-n-play retrofits thanks to the more rapid lifecycles in consumer electronics versus car production. We can see other A3 upgrades like the cleaner-looking MMI master dial with integrated touch pad for its cleaner design than the A8′s current rectangular pad.
Perhaps also the A8 will offer Audi an opportunity to do more screen/graphics-based instrumentation as is expected in the upcoming TT. We’re guessing regarding the instrumentation but doing so noting that the current A8 broke new ground for Audi in this department.
No doubt more details will be revealed as September’s Frankfurt motor show approaches. For now, enjoy more spy photos of the upcoming A8 via our photo gallery linked below and to the right.