The next-generation Audi A8 is around the corner, and a recent report suggests that the big sedan is in for a round of revolutionary changes. Allegedly offered only with electric power, the flagship will get a more streamlined design and a lot more horsepower than its predecessor.
Without citing sources, British magazine Autocar wrote that the fifth-generation A8 will ride on a version of the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture currently being developed jointly by Audi and sister company Porsche. This is the same architecture that will underpin the Q6 E-Tron and the second-generation Macan, though it will be stretched to serve as the foundation for a 200-plus-inch-long sedan.
The publication adds that the PPE platform’s 800-volt architecture will make the A8 compatible with 270-kilowatt charging, and it speculates that the sedan could be the most powerful regular-production model that Audi has ever launched. For context, the GrandSphere concept (pictured) presented in 2021 as a thinly-veiled preview of the next A8 used a pair of electric motors (one per axle) whose combined output checked in at 710 horsepower and 708 pound-feet of torque. Electricity will reportedly be stored in a 120-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
Speaking of the GrandSphere, many of its defining styling cues will be carried over to the new A8, meaning the sedan will ditch the three-box silhouette that has characterized it since the original model made its debut in 1994. “The GrandSphere is a very concrete teaser. It’s not far away from what will become production. It’s not 1:1, but it’s very close,” Marc Lichte, the head of Audi’s design department, said in 2023.
Big changes will be found inside as well. The next A8 will benefit from the latest advancements in semi-autonomous driving technology, and its cabin will be configured accordingly. Digitalization will play a big role in shaping the interior. Audi claims it designed the GrandSphere from the inside out, meaning with a focus on passenger comfort, and it’s reasonable to assume this thinking will permeate the upcoming A8.
Audi hasn’t said much about the next-generation A8. If the report is accurate, we should learn more about the flagship in the coming months.