Early engineering mules for the next-generation Audi A8 have hit international roads. The 7-series rival is likely to join the BMW in making its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt show in thinly veiled concept guise before going on sale in global markets in 2016.
Underpinning the new A8 will be the firm’s newly-developed MLB platform, which is set to be used first on the upcoming Q7 SUV replacement. The MLB platform is different from the Volkswagen Group’s revised MSB platform, which is being engineered by Porsche and will be used by the second-generation Panamera and third-generation Bentley Continental GT range. This means there will be two bespoke platforms for the VW Group’s full-size models.
Petrol engines are set to include a new V6, a revised version of the existing V8 with cylinder shutdown technology and a reworked W12. Added to this will be the bigger-selling four-cylinder, V6 and V8 models. Audi is also planning a plug-in hybrid version to rival Mercedes’ S500 plug-in hybrid as part of its roll-out of the technology. Rumours of a pure electric e-tron version to take on the Telsa Model S using the technology from the latest version of the R8 e-tron also keep surfacing.