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Audi has unveiled its future today with the debut of the all-new Audi A8. The fourth-generation A8 debuts Audi’s new design language, signaling the arrival of a new era for the brand. As a rival to the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi is hoping that the significant updates to its flagship will give it some of the spotlight that it deserves.

The new A8 will arrive in the U.S. next year as the 2019 A8

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The new A8 will instantly stand out from its predecessor thanks to its massive Singleframe grille, which now occupies most of the front fascia. It’s been updated to look a bit more muscular than before. As you move to the rear, the new A8 looks modern and clean with styling that is obviously inspired by the Prologue concept.

While on the outside the new A8 may not be all that dramatically different or should we say more than expected, inside Audi has pulled out all the stops to try to topple its BMW and Mercedes-Benz rivals. The interior is a technological tour de force with its three screens, lack of buttons and foot massaging feature. The overall styling of the interior is just as clean and modern as the exterior, but what most people will love, is the first class feel of the rear.

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The A8 will drive itself, park itself and massage your feet

The technology doesn’t stop there, since the A8 is the first production vehicle that has been developed specifically for automated driving. The A8 features the new Audi AI traffic jam pilot that takes over the driving on freeways and highways up to 37.3 mph. You can take your hands off the steering wheel permanently, since the traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking.

The Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot autonomously steer the A8 into and out of a parking space or a garage, while the maneuver is monitored by the driver. The driver also doesn’t even have to be in the car to let the A8 park itself.

Under the hood the new A8 will be offered with a range of engines that all feature a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. When the A8 launches in Europe this fall, it will be offered with either a 286-hp 3.0L TDI diesel engine or a 340-hp 3.0L TFSI V6. Two eight-cylinder engines, the 435-hp 4.0L TDI and 460-hp 4.0L TFSI engines will arrive shortly after. A 6.0L W12 engine will be added later.

The 2018 Audi A8 and A8 L models will go on sale in Europe this fall with pricing starting at 90,600 euros for the A8, while the A8 L will start at 94,100 euros. The new A8 will arrive in the United States in next spring or summer as a 2019 model.

Source: Audi

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Marc Carter is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of The Torque Report. When he's not writing news or reviews for The Torque Report, he also contributes to Inhabitat.com.