William Maley

Karma News: Karma Revero Is A Reborn Fisker Karma

15 posts in this topic

William Maley    391

It seemed this day would never come, but the Fisker Karma has risen from the ashes to become the Karma Revero. Thanks to Chinese supplier Wanxiang buying the assets of Fisker Automaker back in 2014, the company would be renamed to Karma Automotive and work would begin on the resurrection. 

There aren't any real changes of note for the exterior aside from new badging and the 'Revero' name on the fenders. The interior does see a big change with a new infotainment system. The new system runs at 60 frames per second, can be updated over-the-air thanks to a dedicated 4G connection, and will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support in the near future.

The powertrain is still a plug-in hybrid with a GM-sourced turbocharged four-cylinder producing 260 horsepower. At least the rest of it has seen some major changes. The battery capacity has been increased from 20.4 to 21.4 kWh that will give 50 miles of electric only range. The 3.3kW on-board charger has been swapped for a 6.6 kW to provide faster charges. The Revero also features the ability to use DC fast-charging at 40 kW. A solar roof on top can provide up to 1.5 miles of electric range per day - depending on weather conditions.

Pricing for the Revero begins at $130,000 (about $27,000 more than the Karma) and you can place an order right now.

Source: Karma Automotive, Autoblog

Press Release is on Page 2


Karma Automotive Unveils 2017 Revero Luxury Vehicle

COSTA MESA, Calif., Sept. 8,2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Karma Automotive officially unveiled the 2017 Revero luxury hybrid automobile to a select group of customers, media and retailers at a private event in Laguna Beach, CA.  Orders are now being accepted for the much-anticipated, and stylishly appointed Revero.  The list price of $130,000 was announced at the unveiling.

Originally hailed as one of the most beautiful vehicles ever conceived, these one-of-a-kind cars embody the sensibilities of a passionate, charismatic, California-based company.  The car is being built in an all new custom, low-volume production facility in Moreno Valley, California. 

"The car unveiled tonight was designed with a specific customer in mind.  Karma customers are self-made, proud, risk-takers who love cars, and they can tell you about each one they have owned since childhood," said Jim Taylor, Karma Chief Revenue Officer.  "We are building each Revero with the workmanship and attention to detail required for a discerning customer looking for a car without compromises."

The Revero includes several features that set it apart.  A clean and elegant infotainment system has been designed from the ground up to be fast and intuitive, and will incorporate over-the-air updates as well as Apple CarPlay.  It will be the first car sold in the U.S. powered by electricity, gas and solar.  The solar roof not only charges the 12V battery, but also charges the HV battery adding to the electric range.  Individually hand-painted emblems grace the front and rear of every vehicle.  It is a small but symbolic statement about the company's desire to give each owner a unique vehicle. 

The Revero is quick, going from 0-60 in 5.4 seconds in Sport mode.  Owners can plug in for a battery range up to 50 miles and the gas-powered generator extends the total range to approximately 300 miles.  Fast-Charging brings the HV battery to 80 percent state-of-charge in a remarkable 24 minutes. 


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Drew Dowdell    4,988

These are such beautiful cars from the outside, but the interior leaves a lot to be desired, especially for that price.

I have driven one of the original Fisker Karmas, and it was a neat thing to drive. 

What they really need to do is get the Atlantic going. 

gallery_51_405_610533.pnggallery_51_405_332914.pnggallery_51_405_216078.png

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dfelt    1,771

We'll Damn, I actually thought they would go the full EV route. This is an over priced warm up of an old TV dinner.

:nono:

@ Karma :fryingpan:

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Drew Dowdell    4,988
10 minutes ago, dfelt said:

We'll Damn, I actually thought they would go the full EV route. This is an over priced warm up of an old TV dinner.

:nono:

@ Karma :fryingpan:

This car's layout works best with a gas range extender.   Full EVs generally need to be purpose built to be efficient in packaging.

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dfelt    1,771
2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

This car's layout works best with a gas range extender.   Full EVs generally need to be purpose built to be efficient in packaging.

That would explain the conversion to have the Corvette Engine in these auto's.

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Drew Dowdell    4,988
Just now, dfelt said:

That would explain the conversion to have the Corvette Engine in these auto's.

The have very long hoods. The pictures have always distorted the size and scale of these cars.  They could probably fit a V12 under there with no problem.

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dfelt    1,771
2 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The have very long hoods. The pictures have always distorted the size and scale of these cars.  They could probably fit a V12 under there with no problem.

:metal: You Rock! :metal:

That clearly explains what is missing in the photo, does not look that long and it has been forever since I have seen one in person, so that is good to know.

Be interesting to see how they sell and what they end up doing to continue to drive sales. Based on what you have said, then it makes sense to be a Plug-In Hybrid that covers long distance as they they focus on the next generation of the auto.

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Suaviloquent    713

They should make like a pivot point thing in the pancake batteries, and BOOM! Now it fits in the super long hood of the thingy.

Except the handling of the car will be like a slug and the rear wheels will have no traction....

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Guest marti   
Guest marti

The car is overpriced. The price was good when it was launched from Fisker Automotive. It needs to be full EV which is what the entire world is looking for. Tesla is the most successful EV manufacturer with thousands and thousands of happy customers. Where does this car stands except for the fact that it's a luxury vehicle. It's a henrik fisker creation; even though Fisker created hybrid he is also working on a new EV http://www.autoblog.com/2016/08/31/henrik-fisker-electric-vehicles-stealth-mode/ When Fisker launched this car back in 2011 everyone praised his work, tesla was rising back then. And unfortunately Fisker shut down and Tesla moved ahead to lead the table. Hoping for the best from Henrik Fisker, he is the only competition for Tesla.

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martinez86    1

Karma Revero is reborn with nothing new but same old trunk. I expected that it will come full EV but it's stil a hybrid car with slightly modified specifications. It's terrible how they have kept the same old batteries in the car that caused issues on Fisker Karma - Henrik Fisker's version. The world needs new EVs, I am bored of Tesla's; although they are awesome there has to be new technologies innovated. Hope techies like Henrik Fisker will burn their energies in creating more awesome technologies than Karma Revero - the 2011 version.

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martinez86    1
2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I'm not familiar with Fisker battery problems, what were they?

A123 had 2 recalls, 1st just when the company launched car in 2011, and second in 2012, the cause of the shutdown of consumer reports Fisker Karma that gave the car company terrible PR. There was a safety hose that was not packaged properly by A123 and issued a voluntary recall. The cost of the recall was so high, that A123 had to file for bankruptcy. Check on http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1074491_a123-systems-to-recall-electric-car-battery-packs-for-fisker-others

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      Dimensions of the X-Class
      Vehicle length
      5340 mm
      Vehicle width
      1920 mm
      Vehicle height
      1819 mm
      Wheelbase
      3150 mm
      Load bed length
      1587 mm
      Load bed width
      1560 mm
      Load bed height
      474 mm
      Maximum payload capacity
      1042 kg
      Braked towing capacity (depending on engine and equipment)
      1650–3500 kg
      New benchmark in comfort and quality feel
      In the interior, the X-Class elevates comfort and quality feel to a new level within the segment for mid-size pickups. The instrument panel has the concave trim element typical of a Mercedes. It stretches across the entire width of the instrument panel – a novel feature in this vehicle segment. It creates an open feel and purist modernity. There are three trim variants to choose from for the X-Class POWER: a pixelated look in matt black, an aluminium effect with longitudinal grain and a brown matt woodgrain effect. To complement the high-quality feel, the upper section of the cockpit is available with ARTICO man-made leather in either black or nut brown. The characteristic round ventilation outlets add a sporty touch. Depending on the design and equipment line, these come in either high-gloss black or silver shadow, creating a high-end cool touch effect. With the PROGRESSIVE and POWER design and equipment lines, the centre console is also prominently framed by a decorative trim in silver shadow. The large door handles are also finished in silver shadow. The cool touch effect is reinforced by the freestanding central display, which is familiar from the V-Class. In conjunction with the COMAND Online multimedia system it has a screen diagonal of 8.4 inches, making it the biggest display in the segment. With a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and the high-contrast IPS technology (In-Plane Switching), it offers a brilliant display that markedly increases the image quality of the 360-Degree Camera and the navigation maps.
      The control and display concept shows the familiar high levels of convenience and ergonomic comfort. The instrument cluster consists of the large, analogue round dials from the C-Class and V-Class. In the X-Class PROGRESSIVE and POWER they are tubular. A 5.4-inch colour multimedia display is nestled between the round dials. Thanks to the push-buttons on the standard-fit three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, the settings on the colour display can be controlled without drivers having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The steering wheel with its 12 buttons in total is height-adjustable, thereby improving ergonomic posture and allowing a relaxed seating position. In the X-Class PROGRESSIVE and POWER, the steering wheel, shift lever knob and handbrake lever are also covered in leather. In conjunction with the Audio 20 CD and COMAND Online multimedia systems, and in addition to the central control unit, the X-Class contains the multifunction touchpad familiar from the passenger car model series – the multifunction touchpad is another novelty in this segment. It is located in an ergonomic position on the centre console and, like a smartphone, it can be controlled using gestures or by entering letters and characters.
      Electrically adjustable comfort seats also available with lumbar support
      Plenty of attention was paid to comfort when developing the seats, too. Premium materials and a seat structure featuring optimum lateral support, a high seat position and the use of ergonomically formed soft foam make sitting comfortable for both the driver and front passenger, even on longer journeys. With their clear, ergonomic and functional design, the comfort seats can be adjusted in the longitudinal direction as well as for height and backrest tilt. The X-Class POWER has electrically adjustable seats and electric two-way lumbar support as standard. The rear seat row for three people is positioned at a comfortable height and has reinforced seat side bolsters for optimum support in the outer seating positions. These seats are also equipped with attachment points for an i-Size/ISOFIX child seat as standard.
      Widest selection of materials and colours in the segment
      As well as various trim elements, there are six seat covers to choose from, including two leather variants with contrasting topstitching, and there are two colours for the roof liner as well. The X-Class thus provides the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment. The seats in the X-Class PURE are fitted with black Tunja fabric as standard. Black man-made leather is available as an option. The comfort seats in the PROGRESSIVE variant are covered in black posadas fabric. Familiar from the Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series, ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black is available if desired.
      As standard, the X-Class POWER comes with ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black with additional contrasting topstitching in alpaca grey. Black leather with alpaca grey topstitching or nut brown leather with black topstitching are optionally available. Topstitching in a contrasting colour raises the aesthetic appeal of the seats even further. Exclusive topstitching also appears on the ARTICO man-made leather coverings on the upper section of the instrument panel, the armrests and the beltlines of the doors. This emphasises the premium effect of the interior as a whole. For the first time in this vehicle segment there are two variants of roof liner to choose from: macchiato beige fabric and black fabric. On the X-Class POWER, the A-pillar is also covered in fabric of the same colour.
      Made-to-measure individualisation – Style Packages and an extensive range of accessories
      Optional equipment as well as a specific Style Package for each of the PROGRESSIVE and POWER lines enable further individualisation. For example, side running boards and an electrically opening rear window can be added to the X-Class. What's more, Mercedes-Benz had an in-house team of designers and developers create an extensive range of accessories. These allow the X-Class to be modified even more to suit personal tastes and requirements – in respect to design, functionality and off-road capability. For example, there is a choice of styling bar, side bar, soft tonneau cover, hard tonneau cover and roll cover, as well as a canopy which makes the pickup look like an SUV. The canopy continues the X-Class's lines perfectly, merging with the vehicle body to create a distinctive silhouette. Other items available include a bed liner, a bed divider system, load-securing rails in the floor and a technical underguard.
      High-torque, enjoyable performance with four and six cylinders
      As from its market launch, there are two powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines to deliver spirited performance. The high-torque common-rail diesel drive system with a displacement of 2.3 litres is available with a choice of two power outputs. In the X 220 d with single turbocharger it generates 120 kW/163 hp and in the biturbo X 250 d no less than 140 kW/190 hp. Both diesel models are available as left- or right-hand drive vehicles with purely rear wheel drive or with engageable all-wheel drive. Due to very specific market requirements, for example in Dubai and Morocco, the 122 kW/165 hp X 200 petrol model is only available as a left-hand drive vehicle with rear wheel drive. All engines are characterised by quiet, low-vibration running and excellent power delivery coupled with low consumption figures. Power is transferred via a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed automatic transmission is available on request for the 140 kW/190 hp X 250 d and X 250 d 4MATIC models.
      A high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released mid-2018, ensuring even greater agility on- and off-road. It will generate 190 kW/258 hp and a maximum torque of 550 Nm. With that the X 350 d occupies a leading position in the segment. The top X-Class model will come as standard with permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC PLUS with steering-wheel shift paddles and ECO start/stop function. The DYNAMIC SELECT system is available in addition. To date, the inclusion of a drive program switch has been rare in the pickup segment. This technology enables the driving experience to be tailored to individual preferences – from relaxed comfort to engaged sportiness. There are five drive programs to choose from: Comfort, ECO, Sport, Manual and Offroad. These modify the engine characteristics, the automatic transmission's switching points and the ECO start/stop function.
      Dynamic and comfortable driving enjoyment on a par with Mercedes-Benz passenger cars
      The X-Class is the first pickup to deliver both excellent off- and on-road performance. The wide track, long wheelbase and comfortable spring and damping tuning typical of a Mercedes open up a new world of driving enjoyment and driving dynamics on the road – without resulting in compromises when off-road. A special feature in this segment: coil springs are used both at the front and the rear, which contributes to a harmonious suspension comfort. The comfort suspension is designed in such a way that it achieves a high level of driving dynamics and ride comfort on the road, while also delivering maximum off-road capability in conjunction with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The elaborately designed comfort suspension consists of a double wishbone front axle and a rear multi-link solid axle that is ideal for transporting heavy loads and has good articulation capability. This combination ensures that the suspension is comfortable and the handling is safe given any permitted load condition.
      With 1632 millimetres at the front and 1625 millimetres at the rear, the X-Class has a wider track than most competitors. This provides the ideal prerequisites for optimum driving stability and higher cornering speeds. At 3150 millimetres, the wheelbase is also longer than many other mid-size pickups. This reduces vibrations during the journey and makes for smooth and reliable straight-running stability. Mercedes-Benz is the only manufacturer in the segment to opt for large, internally vented brake discs on both axles as standard. The front axle has brake discs with a diameter of 32 centimetres and the rear axle with a diameter of 30.8 centimetres. Together they ensure short braking distances, good response times and high thermal capacity.
      The comfort suspension is part of the standard equipment in all European markets. Its ground clearance is 202 millimetres. A 20-millimetre higher suspension is available as an optional extra. The increased ground clearance improves off-road capability even further, including a higher seat position and sharper off-road look. In all markets outside Europe, the X-Class comes with the higher suspension as standard. The safe and comfortable handling typical of a Mercedes is retained despite the higher suspension.
      Engageable or permanent – 4MATIC all-wheel drive for any surface
      Engageable 4MATIC all-wheel drive, which is available on the X 220 d 4MATIC and X 250 d 4MATIC diesel models, masters any terrain. With it, the front wheels can be engaged or disengaged by electric means depending on the surface. As from mid-2018, Mercedes-Benz will also make its pickup available with permanent all-wheel drive. This will ensure that the X-Class delivers maximum performance and traction, even at top speed on roads. The permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive system will only be offered in conjunction with the six-cylinder engine. Off-road, both 4MATIC variants benefit from the same superior assertiveness thanks to the low-range gearing and optional differential lock on the rear axle. All the all-wheel drive models come with Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) on board as standard.
      Excellent off-road characteristics
      Fording depth
      600 mm
      Ground clearance
      Front axle 202 mm
      Rear axle 221 mm for suspension with raised ground clearance
      Angle of approach/departure front/rear
      28.8°/23.8°
      30.1°/25.9° for suspension with raised ground clearance
      Maximum tilt
      49.8°
      49° for suspension with raised ground clearance
      Ramp breakover angle
      20.4°
      22° for suspension with raised ground clearance
      Maximum gradeability
      100%
      Comprehensive range of safety equipment
      Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the X-Class stands out for its exemplary level of safety. The pickup bearing the star comes with a comprehensive array of comfort and safety equipment that is exceptional in this vehicle segment. The X-Class’s high level of occupant protection results from its especially solid car body with a high-strength passenger cell and a structure with a front and rear that can absorb energy through well-aimed deformation. Furthermore, passive safety is provided thanks to standard equipment such as seven airbags and the i-Size attachment system for two child seats. The airbags in the front for driver and front passenger come with a two-stage, deferred triggering mechanism. For active safety, three driver assistance systems are at the ready, simultaneously increasing safety and comfort: Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Sign Assist. Additionally, there are Trailer Stability Assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, emergency call system, cruise control and LED headlamps that deliver the brightest light output in the segment thanks to six LEDs respectively. If required, a 360-Degree Camera is available in addition to a reversing camera. Given this extensive level of equipment, the X-Class perfectly fulfils the requirements placed on a modern family and lifestyle vehicle.
      The first intelligently connected mid-size pickup
      The X-Class is the first mid-size pickup to feature a communications module with an integrated SIM card. This makes it possible to use the extensive Mercedes me connect services and to access the vehicle by smartphone. Thus X-Class drivers in 21 European markets can, for example, call up useful information such as fuel level and tyre pressure, and find out the X-Class's location when it is parked or being driven by someone else. In addition, with the Mercedes me app complete door-to-door navigation is possible. Further Mercedes me connect services include the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system and the standard services Breakdown Management, Accident Recovery and Maintenance Management as well as Remote Vehicle Diagnostics.
      In addition to this, control and display systems – that have already been used successfully in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series – are being introduced in the mid-size pickup segment for the first time: these include the multifunction touchpad and fully integrated COMAND Online multimedia system with hard-disk navigation, LINGUATRONIC voice control and internet access via smartphone. Other than COMAND Online, the proven Audio 20 USB and Audio 20 CD audio systems are also available.
      First pickup with Live Traffic Information
      Transferring traffic information in real time is a further highlight of intelligent connectivity thanks to the communications module with an integrated SIM card. In conjunction with an account in the Mercedes me portal, and within Europe, the COMAND Online navigation system can show the beginning and length of a traffic jam on a map to within 100 metres of the exact position and compute a dynamic route with shorter travel times. The potential loss of time is taken into account automatically in real time for the arrival time displayed by COMAND Online navigation. The system also provides a 3D view with three-dimensional urban models, making orientation in unfamiliar city centres easier. Moreover, special personal destinations can be saved or imported via SD card, and four alternate routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation.
      In conjunction with the optional Garmin® MAP PILOT system, in most European countries the Audio 20 CD also becomes a fully-fledged navigation system with Live Traffic Information. With both systems, X-Class drivers benefit from early information about disturbances such as traffic jams, increased traffic volumes or other possible delays along the route, allowing them to adjust their route planning in good time. The relevant pre-installation for the Garmin® MAP PILOT is likewise available as an option.
      Portfolio expansion in production cooperation with Renault-Nissan
      With the X-Class, Mercedes-Benz Vans is expanding its portfolio to a fourth model series and is closing the gap between commercial vehicles and passenger cars. As such, the pickup marks another milestone in the growth strategy "Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global".
      The pickup with the star is being manufactured in a production cooperation with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Production for the markets in Europe, Australia and South Africa will start at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. The X-Class for the Latin American market will roll off the assembly lines at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, starting from 2019. With the pickup, Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance are expanding their strategic cooperation which began seven years ago. This affords Mercedes-Benz fast and cost-efficient entrance to the high-growth segment of mid-size pickups. In addition, both companies benefit from optimal utilisation of the production capacity. Nissan is the second-largest manufacturer of mid-size pickups with a payload of one tonne in the world, and can look back on more than 80 years of experience in producing and marketing these types of vehicles.

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    • By William Maley
      Mercedes-Benz shocked everyone last fall with the announcement of the X-Class concepts and saying that a production version would be debuting sometime in 2017. That day was today as Mercedes unveiled the 2018 X-Class in Cape Town, South Africa.
      The production version doesn't stray too far from the concept with the trademark grille that is prominent on Mercedes' SUVs, large headlights, and wheels ranging in size from 17 to 19-inches. We should note that the X-Class is basically a Nissan Navara wearing a Mercedes-Benz dress. You can some of the Navara's design is present such as the design of the cab. Certain trims appear to get roof rails and a tonneau cover.
      The interior looks to be very Mercedes-esq as many parts such as the knobs, switches, instrument cluster, and infotainment system all come the German automaker's parts bin. A 5.4-inch infotainment system comes standard, while an 8.4-inch system is available as an option.
      Mercedes-Benz will be offering a variety of powertrain options including four engines, two transmissions, and three types of drive systems. The engine lineup is comprised of,
      X200: 165 horsepower four-cylinder gas engine X220d: 163 horsepower 2.3L turbodiesel four X250d: 190 horsepower 2.3L biturbo diesel-four X350d: 258 horsepower V6 diesel A six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission routes power to either the rear wheels or all four wheels via an engageable all-wheel drive system or permanent 4Matic all-wheel drive. 
      Under the skin lies the frame from the Nissan Navara. Mercedes has made some tweaks to the suspension with coil springs for the front and rear to improve ride quality. The front uses double wishbones, while the rear features a multi-link solid axle.  This will help when the X-Class is either hauling something in the bed or towing. Mercedes says the truck can haul up to 2,500 pounds and tow more than 7,000 pounds.
      Like other Mercedes models, the X-Class will come with a number of active safety features such as active lane control, automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, and a 360-degree camera.
      The X-Class will launch in Europe towards the end of the year, while other markets such as Australia and Argentina will follow. For the time being, Mercedes has no plans to bring the X-Class to the U.S. 
      Source: Mercedes-Benz
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Pickup meets lifestyle – the Mercedes-Benz X-Class

      Mercedes-Benz X-Class at a glance
      The Mercedes among pickups: The Mercedes-Benz X-Class unites the typical traits of a pickup - robustness, functionality, strength and off-road capabilities - with the classical characteristics of a real Mercedes - design, comfort, driving dynamics and safety. Brand characteristic SUV design: With the centrally positioned star, twin-louvre radiator grille, powerfully honed bonnet and headlamps extending far into the wings, the X-Class seamlessly fits into the Mercedes-Benz portfolio. Premium effect on a new level: Three trim parts for the cockpit, six seat covers including two leather variants with contrasting topstitching, and two colours for the roof lining provide the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment. A pickup to suit different lifestyles and work environments: The PURE basic variant for classic robust use, PROGRESSIVE for higher requirements in terms of quality feel and comfort, and POWER as the high-end variant for urban lifestyles. Top-of-the-range engine in the segment: A top-of-the-range V6 diesel with 190 kW/258 hp will be released mid-2018 occupying a leading position in the mid-size pickup segment. The market launch will start with the diesel X 220 d (120 kW/163 hp) and X 250 d (140 kW/190 hp) as well as a petrol engine (122 kW/165 hp) in selected markets. Individualisation on account of a diverse range of Mercedes-Benz accessories: As from its market launch, customers can add a styling bar, side bar, canopy, various covers as well as numerous cargo and off-road solutions – all developed and designed by Mercedes. Driving enjoyment on a par with passenger cars: Thanks to the wide track, the spring and damping system tuned for the comfort typical of a Mercedes, and the coil springs as well as internally vented disc brakes on the front and rear, the X-Class is the first pickup that offers not just excellent off-road but also superb on-road performance. All-wheel drive for any surface: The engageable 4MATIC all-wheel drive with low-range gearing and optional differential lock on the rear axle masters any terrain. From the middle of next year a permanent all-wheel drive will complement the portfolio. It will offer maximum performance and traction even while driving on-road with full speed. Star safety: Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the X-Class stands out for its exemplary passive and active safety equipment. This includes Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Sign Assist, among others. The first intelligently connected pickup: Thanks to Mercedes me connect, X-Class customers are connected to their vehicle via smartphone at all times and can call up useful information such as the location of the vehicle or the fuel level, and navigate from door to door. Attractively priced in the segment: The X-Class is available in Germany from 37,294 Euro (incl. 19 percent VAT). Market launch begins in November 2017 in Europe. South Africa and Australia will follow at the beginning of 2018, as well as Argentina and Brazil at the beginning of 2019. The first pickup from a premium manufacturer
      The Mercedes-Benz X-Class has been developed with the changing requirements of the international pickup markets in mind. The demand for mid-size pickups with typical passenger car characteristics and comfort features has been steadily on the rise for years. At the same time, the number of pickups for private use is increasing. They are no longer viewed purely as workhorses. As the first premium manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz is taking these changes into account – based on its comprehensive experience and competence in developing commercial and off-road vehicles, such as the Unimog and the G-Class for tough operation, vehicles which are equally suitable for work or leisure, such as the V-Class and Vito, and passenger cars that uniquely stand for modern luxury and driving pleasure around the world.
      The X-Class is aimed at very different customer groups: land owners and farmers in Argentina, business owners and building contractors in Australia, families with an affinity for premium products in Brazil, trend-conscious individualists in South Africa and Great Britain as well as sporty adventurers in New Zealand and Germany.
      The Mercedes-Benz pickup is attractively priced in the segment and is available in Germany from 37,294 Euro (incl. 19 percent VAT). Further market-specific prices will be made known successively.
      Tough work, plenty of pleasure: the new X-Class
      Like no other pickup, the new X-Class resolves apparent contradictions: modern design and uncompromising robustness, impressive off-road capability and a high level of driving dynamics, stylish comfort and great functionality. Making the X-Class the Mercedes among pickups. This tough performance pickup delivers a driveability and handling that matches many demands – both with regard to driving dynamics and ride comfort. This is attained thanks to a comfort suspension with the fine tuning expected of a Mercedes. It consists of a ladder-type frame, rear multi-link solid axle, front independent wheel suspension and coil springs on both axles. 
      Built on this platform, the distinctive design of the X-Class is available in three model variants to suit different lifestyles and work environments:
      The X-Class PURE basic variant is ideal for rugged, functional use. It fulfils all the demands placed on a workhorse. At the same time its comfort and design make it perfect for visiting customers or suppliers and for private activities. The X-Class PROGRESSIVE is aimed at people seeking a rugged pickup with extra styling and comfort functions – as a calling card for their own business, while also being a comfortable yet prestigious vehicle for private use. The X-Class POWER is the high-end design and equipment line. It is aimed at customers for whom styling, performance and comfort are paramount. The X-Class POWER is a lifestyle vehicle beyond the mainstream – suitable for urban environments as well as for sports and leisure activities off the beaten track. Through its design and high level of equipment it reflects an independent and individualistic lifestyle. Robust character with dynamic charisma
      With its progressive design, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class manages the fine balance between being both tough and stylish. The pickup embodies the enhanced Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity. By emphasising the surfaces and featuring stripped-down, extremely precise elements, the purist design draws attention to the basic virtues of a pickup in an emotionally appealing way – combined with almost unlimited functionality. The X-Class can haul a payload of up to 1.1 tonnes. That is enough to transport 17 full 50-litre barrels of beer in the cargo area. Able to tow up to 3.5 tonnes, it can also pull a trailer containing three horses or an eight-metre yacht.
      Thanks to its long 3150-millimetre wheelbase, the short and cladded front overhang, the backward shifted passenger compartment and the very long rear overhang, the X-Class has an elongated vehicle body which exudes pure dynamism. The design of the side windows with their dynamic kink along the beltline and taut lines contrasting with muscular, sculpted surfaces also allude to the longitudinal dynamics. Widely flared wheel arches, the commanding front and the purist design of the rear all accentuate the impression of width. Together they give the pickup a powerful on-road presence and make reference to the X-Class's excellent lateral dynamics.
      Powerful and commanding front with three different characters
      The front has the masterful looks of one of the brand's typical SUVs – with the centrally positioned star, twin-louvre radiator grille, high and powerfully honed bonnet and headlamps extending far into the wings. The front apron emphasises width and has its own distinct character depending on the chosen design and equipment line. On the PURE basic variant it is unpainted and with the PROGRESSIVE design and equipment line it is painted in the vehicle colour. The POWER high-end model variant likewise has a bumper painted in the vehicle colour and also comes with a chromed underbody panelling. There are nine attractive exterior colours and a variety of exclusive 17, 18 or 19-inch rims to choose from across the three design and equipment lines.
      Purist design for the rear with bumper including step as standard
      Like the front apron, the rear bumper also varies depending on the selected design and equipment line: it is painted black for the PURE line and in the vehicle colour for the PROGRESSIVE line. The POWER line has a chromed bumper for a particularly classy look. To conveniently access the cargo area for loading and unloading, the bumper has an integral step. If the standard 90-degree tailgate opening is not enough, as an option the X-Class can be ordered without the rear bumper. Then the tailgate opens to 180 degrees.
      In terms of width, the load bed is designed in such a way that a Euro-pallet can be loaded straight between the wheel arches. The X-Class is the only mid-size pickup to be equipped with lighting in the cargo area as standard. The third brake light contains LED lights which illuminate the whole load bed. Operation is by a switch in the centre console. As soon as the ignition is switched on, those lights turn off automatically. A 12-volt socket to power additional equipment such as compressors, for example, is also part of the standard equipment in the load bed.
      Dimensions of the X-Class
      Vehicle length
      5340 mm
      Vehicle width
      1920 mm
      Vehicle height
      1819 mm
      Wheelbase
      3150 mm
      Load bed length
      1587 mm
      Load bed width
      1560 mm
      Load bed height
      474 mm
      Maximum payload capacity
      1042 kg
      Braked towing capacity (depending on engine and equipment)
      1650–3500 kg
      New benchmark in comfort and quality feel
      In the interior, the X-Class elevates comfort and quality feel to a new level within the segment for mid-size pickups. The instrument panel has the concave trim element typical of a Mercedes. It stretches across the entire width of the instrument panel – a novel feature in this vehicle segment. It creates an open feel and purist modernity. There are three trim variants to choose from for the X-Class POWER: a pixelated look in matt black, an aluminium effect with longitudinal grain and a brown matt woodgrain effect. To complement the high-quality feel, the upper section of the cockpit is available with ARTICO man-made leather in either black or nut brown. The characteristic round ventilation outlets add a sporty touch. Depending on the design and equipment line, these come in either high-gloss black or silver shadow, creating a high-end cool touch effect. With the PROGRESSIVE and POWER design and equipment lines, the centre console is also prominently framed by a decorative trim in silver shadow. The large door handles are also finished in silver shadow. The cool touch effect is reinforced by the freestanding central display, which is familiar from the V-Class. In conjunction with the COMAND Online multimedia system it has a screen diagonal of 8.4 inches, making it the biggest display in the segment. With a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and the high-contrast IPS technology (In-Plane Switching), it offers a brilliant display that markedly increases the image quality of the 360-Degree Camera and the navigation maps.
      The control and display concept shows the familiar high levels of convenience and ergonomic comfort. The instrument cluster consists of the large, analogue round dials from the C-Class and V-Class. In the X-Class PROGRESSIVE and POWER they are tubular. A 5.4-inch colour multimedia display is nestled between the round dials. Thanks to the push-buttons on the standard-fit three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, the settings on the colour display can be controlled without drivers having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The steering wheel with its 12 buttons in total is height-adjustable, thereby improving ergonomic posture and allowing a relaxed seating position. In the X-Class PROGRESSIVE and POWER, the steering wheel, shift lever knob and handbrake lever are also covered in leather. In conjunction with the Audio 20 CD and COMAND Online multimedia systems, and in addition to the central control unit, the X-Class contains the multifunction touchpad familiar from the passenger car model series – the multifunction touchpad is another novelty in this segment. It is located in an ergonomic position on the centre console and, like a smartphone, it can be controlled using gestures or by entering letters and characters.
      Electrically adjustable comfort seats also available with lumbar support
      Plenty of attention was paid to comfort when developing the seats, too. Premium materials and a seat structure featuring optimum lateral support, a high seat position and the use of ergonomically formed soft foam make sitting comfortable for both the driver and front passenger, even on longer journeys. With their clear, ergonomic and functional design, the comfort seats can be adjusted in the longitudinal direction as well as for height and backrest tilt. The X-Class POWER has electrically adjustable seats and electric two-way lumbar support as standard. The rear seat row for three people is positioned at a comfortable height and has reinforced seat side bolsters for optimum support in the outer seating positions. These seats are also equipped with attachment points for an i-Size/ISOFIX child seat as standard.
      Widest selection of materials and colours in the segment
      As well as various trim elements, there are six seat covers to choose from, including two leather variants with contrasting topstitching, and there are two colours for the roof liner as well. The X-Class thus provides the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment. The seats in the X-Class PURE are fitted with black Tunja fabric as standard. Black man-made leather is available as an option. The comfort seats in the PROGRESSIVE variant are covered in black posadas fabric. Familiar from the Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series, ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black is available if desired.
      As standard, the X-Class POWER comes with ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black with additional contrasting topstitching in alpaca grey. Black leather with alpaca grey topstitching or nut brown leather with black topstitching are optionally available. Topstitching in a contrasting colour raises the aesthetic appeal of the seats even further. Exclusive topstitching also appears on the ARTICO man-made leather coverings on the upper section of the instrument panel, the armrests and the beltlines of the doors. This emphasises the premium effect of the interior as a whole. For the first time in this vehicle segment there are two variants of roof liner to choose from: macchiato beige fabric and black fabric. On the X-Class POWER, the A-pillar is also covered in fabric of the same colour.
      Made-to-measure individualisation – Style Packages and an extensive range of accessories
      Optional equipment as well as a specific Style Package for each of the PROGRESSIVE and POWER lines enable further individualisation. For example, side running boards and an electrically opening rear window can be added to the X-Class. What's more, Mercedes-Benz had an in-house team of designers and developers create an extensive range of accessories. These allow the X-Class to be modified even more to suit personal tastes and requirements – in respect to design, functionality and off-road capability. For example, there is a choice of styling bar, side bar, soft tonneau cover, hard tonneau cover and roll cover, as well as a canopy which makes the pickup look like an SUV. The canopy continues the X-Class's lines perfectly, merging with the vehicle body to create a distinctive silhouette. Other items available include a bed liner, a bed divider system, load-securing rails in the floor and a technical underguard.
      High-torque, enjoyable performance with four and six cylinders
      As from its market launch, there are two powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines to deliver spirited performance. The high-torque common-rail diesel drive system with a displacement of 2.3 litres is available with a choice of two power outputs. In the X 220 d with single turbocharger it generates 120 kW/163 hp and in the biturbo X 250 d no less than 140 kW/190 hp. Both diesel models are available as left- or right-hand drive vehicles with purely rear wheel drive or with engageable all-wheel drive. Due to very specific market requirements, for example in Dubai and Morocco, the 122 kW/165 hp X 200 petrol model is only available as a left-hand drive vehicle with rear wheel drive. All engines are characterised by quiet, low-vibration running and excellent power delivery coupled with low consumption figures. Power is transferred via a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed automatic transmission is available on request for the 140 kW/190 hp X 250 d and X 250 d 4MATIC models.
      A high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released mid-2018, ensuring even greater agility on- and off-road. It will generate 190 kW/258 hp and a maximum torque of 550 Nm. With that the X 350 d occupies a leading position in the segment. The top X-Class model will come as standard with permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC PLUS with steering-wheel shift paddles and ECO start/stop function. The DYNAMIC SELECT system is available in addition. To date, the inclusion of a drive program switch has been rare in the pickup segment. This technology enables the driving experience to be tailored to individual preferences – from relaxed comfort to engaged sportiness. There are five drive programs to choose from: Comfort, ECO, Sport, Manual and Offroad. These modify the engine characteristics, the automatic transmission's switching points and the ECO start/stop function.
      Dynamic and comfortable driving enjoyment on a par with Mercedes-Benz passenger cars
      The X-Class is the first pickup to deliver both excellent off- and on-road performance. The wide track, long wheelbase and comfortable spring and damping tuning typical of a Mercedes open up a new world of driving enjoyment and driving dynamics on the road – without resulting in compromises when off-road. A special feature in this segment: coil springs are used both at the front and the rear, which contributes to a harmonious suspension comfort. The comfort suspension is designed in such a way that it achieves a high level of driving dynamics and ride comfort on the road, while also delivering maximum off-road capability in conjunction with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The elaborately designed comfort suspension consists of a double wishbone front axle and a rear multi-link solid axle that is ideal for transporting heavy loads and has good articulation capability. This combination ensures that the suspension is comfortable and the handling is safe given any permitted load condition.
      With 1632 millimetres at the front and 1625 millimetres at the rear, the X-Class has a wider track than most competitors. This provides the ideal prerequisites for optimum driving stability and higher cornering speeds. At 3150 millimetres, the wheelbase is also longer than many other mid-size pickups. This reduces vibrations during the journey and makes for smooth and reliable straight-running stability. Mercedes-Benz is the only manufacturer in the segment to opt for large, internally vented brake discs on both axles as standard. The front axle has brake discs with a diameter of 32 centimetres and the rear axle with a diameter of 30.8 centimetres. Together they ensure short braking distances, good response times and high thermal capacity.
      The comfort suspension is part of the standard equipment in all European markets. Its ground clearance is 202 millimetres. A 20-millimetre higher suspension is available as an optional extra. The increased ground clearance improves off-road capability even further, including a higher seat position and sharper off-road look. In all markets outside Europe, the X-Class comes with the higher suspension as standard. The safe and comfortable handling typical of a Mercedes is retained despite the higher suspension.
      Engageable or permanent – 4MATIC all-wheel drive for any surface
      Engageable 4MATIC all-wheel drive, which is available on the X 220 d 4MATIC and X 250 d 4MATIC diesel models, masters any terrain. With it, the front wheels can be engaged or disengaged by electric means depending on the surface. As from mid-2018, Mercedes-Benz will also make its pickup available with permanent all-wheel drive. This will ensure that the X-Class delivers maximum performance and traction, even at top speed on roads. The permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive system will only be offered in conjunction with the six-cylinder engine. Off-road, both 4MATIC variants benefit from the same superior assertiveness thanks to the low-range gearing and optional differential lock on the rear axle. All the all-wheel drive models come with Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) on board as standard.
      Excellent off-road characteristics
      Fording depth
      600 mm
      Ground clearance
      Front axle 202 mm
      Rear axle 221 mm for suspension with raised ground clearance
      Angle of approach/departure front/rear
      28.8°/23.8°
      30.1°/25.9° for suspension with raised ground clearance
      Maximum tilt
      49.8°
      49° for suspension with raised ground clearance
      Ramp breakover angle
      20.4°
      22° for suspension with raised ground clearance
      Maximum gradeability
      100%
      Comprehensive range of safety equipment
      Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the X-Class stands out for its exemplary level of safety. The pickup bearing the star comes with a comprehensive array of comfort and safety equipment that is exceptional in this vehicle segment. The X-Class’s high level of occupant protection results from its especially solid car body with a high-strength passenger cell and a structure with a front and rear that can absorb energy through well-aimed deformation. Furthermore, passive safety is provided thanks to standard equipment such as seven airbags and the i-Size attachment system for two child seats. The airbags in the front for driver and front passenger come with a two-stage, deferred triggering mechanism. For active safety, three driver assistance systems are at the ready, simultaneously increasing safety and comfort: Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Sign Assist. Additionally, there are Trailer Stability Assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, emergency call system, cruise control and LED headlamps that deliver the brightest light output in the segment thanks to six LEDs respectively. If required, a 360-Degree Camera is available in addition to a reversing camera. Given this extensive level of equipment, the X-Class perfectly fulfils the requirements placed on a modern family and lifestyle vehicle.
      The first intelligently connected mid-size pickup
      The X-Class is the first mid-size pickup to feature a communications module with an integrated SIM card. This makes it possible to use the extensive Mercedes me connect services and to access the vehicle by smartphone. Thus X-Class drivers in 21 European markets can, for example, call up useful information such as fuel level and tyre pressure, and find out the X-Class's location when it is parked or being driven by someone else. In addition, with the Mercedes me app complete door-to-door navigation is possible. Further Mercedes me connect services include the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system and the standard services Breakdown Management, Accident Recovery and Maintenance Management as well as Remote Vehicle Diagnostics.
      In addition to this, control and display systems – that have already been used successfully in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series – are being introduced in the mid-size pickup segment for the first time: these include the multifunction touchpad and fully integrated COMAND Online multimedia system with hard-disk navigation, LINGUATRONIC voice control and internet access via smartphone. Other than COMAND Online, the proven Audio 20 USB and Audio 20 CD audio systems are also available.
      First pickup with Live Traffic Information
      Transferring traffic information in real time is a further highlight of intelligent connectivity thanks to the communications module with an integrated SIM card. In conjunction with an account in the Mercedes me portal, and within Europe, the COMAND Online navigation system can show the beginning and length of a traffic jam on a map to within 100 metres of the exact position and compute a dynamic route with shorter travel times. The potential loss of time is taken into account automatically in real time for the arrival time displayed by COMAND Online navigation. The system also provides a 3D view with three-dimensional urban models, making orientation in unfamiliar city centres easier. Moreover, special personal destinations can be saved or imported via SD card, and four alternate routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation.
      In conjunction with the optional Garmin® MAP PILOT system, in most European countries the Audio 20 CD also becomes a fully-fledged navigation system with Live Traffic Information. With both systems, X-Class drivers benefit from early information about disturbances such as traffic jams, increased traffic volumes or other possible delays along the route, allowing them to adjust their route planning in good time. The relevant pre-installation for the Garmin® MAP PILOT is likewise available as an option.
      Portfolio expansion in production cooperation with Renault-Nissan
      With the X-Class, Mercedes-Benz Vans is expanding its portfolio to a fourth model series and is closing the gap between commercial vehicles and passenger cars. As such, the pickup marks another milestone in the growth strategy "Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global".
      The pickup with the star is being manufactured in a production cooperation with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Production for the markets in Europe, Australia and South Africa will start at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. The X-Class for the Latin American market will roll off the assembly lines at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, starting from 2019. With the pickup, Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance are expanding their strategic cooperation which began seven years ago. This affords Mercedes-Benz fast and cost-efficient entrance to the high-growth segment of mid-size pickups. In addition, both companies benefit from optimal utilisation of the production capacity. Nissan is the second-largest manufacturer of mid-size pickups with a payload of one tonne in the world, and can look back on more than 80 years of experience in producing and marketing these types of vehicles.
    • By William Maley
      The current Audi A8 was one of the oldest models in the flagship class, but this changes as the German automaker revealed the all-new A8 at an event in Barcelona, Spain.

      We have to give Audi some credit for at least trying to make the new A8 look slightly different than the outgoing one. Elements of the 2014 Prologue Concept are present with similar styling in the rear - slightly angled trunk lid and LED taillights with a light bar. The front end features the largest version of Audi's Singleframe grille and headlights equipped with lasers that double the range of the high beams at speeds above 43 MPH. 
      But the big story about the new A8 is the smorgasbord of technology available.
      The virtual cockpit system now comes with a 720P HD screen Audi's updated MMI system doesn't feature any knobs or buttons. Instead, various functions are accessed through the 10.5-inch touchscreen or voice controls. Sound and tactile feedback tells a driver the function is being executed.  Audi claims the A8 is "the first production automobile in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving." (We're sure some competitors will be balking at this exclamation.) Audi AI is an artificial intelligence-based software system that controls the self-driving aspects of the A8. This system is the first production vehicle with SAE Level 3 self-driving tech - a vehicle can take full control of driving the vehicle, but only in specific situations. In this case, Audi AI can take care of accelerating, steering, and braking at speeds below 37.3 MPH.  Audi AI can also maneuver the vehicle into a parking spot or garage space without the driver in the vehicle. All A8s will come with a 48-Volt electrical system - first shown on the SQ7 TDI. This means the A8 will come with an active suspension system that uses an electric motor and various components for each wheel to adjust suspension load. Audi claims this gives the A8 a comfortable ride and sharp handling characteristics. The 48-Volt system also means all A8s will have a mild hybrid system to improve fuel economy. For the European market, the Audi A8 will launch with two turbocharged 3.0L V6 engines (gas and diesel). Down the road, Audi will add 4.0L V8 (gas and diesel), W12, and a e-tron plug-in hybrid to the A8's powertrain lineup. An eight-speed automatic routes power to all four wheels.
      Audi will launch the A8 in Germany this fall with other markets to follow. Pricing will begin at €90,600 (about $103,318) for the standard wheelbase and €94,100 (about $107,310) for the long-wheelbase A8 L.
      Source: Audi
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The new Audi A8: future of the luxury class
      World debut for flagship model at Audi Summit in Barcelona New design language and a pioneering touch operating concept Piloted driving functions to be rolled out in production Audi A8 versions from 2018 Today is where the future begins in the luxury class: The new Audi A8 makes its world debut at the Audi Summit in Barcelona. In its fourth generation, the flagship model again provides the benchmark for Vorsprung durch Technik – with a new design language, an innovative touchscreen operating concept and a systematically electrified drive. The Audi A8 is also the first production automobile in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving. From 2018, Audi will gradually be taking piloted driving functions such as parking pilot, garage pilot and traffic jam pilot into production.

      Doyen of style: the exterior design
      The Audi A8 is stylistically defining – it signals the dawning of a new design era for the entire brand. The front end with the wide, upright Singleframe grille and the fluid, muscular body symbolize sporty elegance, sophistication and progressive status. The new A8 delivers on the promise made by the Audi prologue design study. The luxury sedan possesses a powerful presence – whether in the 5.17 meter (17.0 ft) standard version or the A8 L, which has a 13 centimeter (5.1 in) longer wheelbase.
      The Audi brand is renowned worldwide for sports appeal, lightweight construction and quattro permanent all-wheel drive – and the design of the new A8 conveys these values. The balanced proportions emphasize all four wheels in equal measure. Muscular shapes above the wheel arches give visual expression to the quattro drive. Viewed side-on, the upright front end combined with the gently inclined rear create visual tension. The flagship model proclaims its identity both day and night, drawing on both the striking HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lighting, and the LED light strip combined with OLED technology rear lights. These produce unique light animations as the driver approaches and leaves the car.
      Luxury lounge: the interior
      Freedom is the defining design feature with a new luxury slant. This explains the A8’s resemblance to a lavish, spacious lounge. Compared to the predecessor model, it has grown substantially in length in both body versions.
      The range of equipment and materials is extensive, with every detail radiating superlative bespoke quality – from the perforation in the seat upholstery to the electrically opened and closed shutters on the air vents.
      The classiest seat in the new Audi flagship model is in the rear right – the optional relaxation seat in the A8 L that comes with four different adjustment options and a footrest. In this seat, the passenger can warm and massage the soles of their feet on a unit with multiple settings incorporated into the back of the front-passenger seat. The new comfort head restraints complete the experience. The rear passengers can also control an array of functions such as ambient lighting, the new HD Matrix reading lights and seat massage, plus make private phone calls, via a separate operating unit. The rear seat remote, with its OLED display as large as a smartphone, is a removable unit housed in the center armrest.
      Fingertip response: the controls
      The luxury sedan’s interior deliberately adopts a reductive design; the interior architecture is clear and with a strictly horizontal orientation. Audi carries its high quality standards into the digital age with a radically new operating concept. It does away with the familiar rotary pushbutton and touchpad of the predecessor model. The instrument panel is kept largely clear of buttons and switches. At its center is a 10.1-inch touchscreen display which, when off, blends almost invisibly into the high-gloss black surround thanks to its black-panel look.
      The user interface appears as soon as the car is opened. The driver controls the Infotainment system with fingertip control on the large display. They can use a second touchscreen display on the center tunnel console to access the air conditioning and comfort functions as well as make text inputs. When the driver activates a function in the upper or lower display, they hear and feel a click by way of confirmation. The glass-look operating buttons respond in the same way. The combination of acoustic and tactile feedback along with the use of common touch gestures such as swiping make the new MMI touch response especially safe, intuitive and quick to use.
      The A8 can also engage in intelligent conversation. The driver can activate an array of functions in the automobile using a new, natural form of voice control. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or is delivered from the cloud at LTE speed. The extensive Audi connect range also includes traffic sign recognition and hazard information – innovative car-to-X services that draw on the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
      The extensively optimized navigation is another new feature: It is self-learning, based on the route just driven. This provides the driver with intelligent search suggestions. The map also incorporates highly detailed 3D models of major European cities.
      World premiere: the pilot-driving Audi A8
      The new A8 is the first production automobile to have been developed specially for highly automated driving. The Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 km/h (37.3 mph) on freeways and highways where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways. The system is activated using the AI button on the center console.
      The traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking. The driver no longer needs to monitor the car permanently. They can take their hands off the steering wheel permanently and, depending on the national laws, focus on a different activity that is supported by the car, such as watching the on-board TV. As soon as the system reaches its limits, it calls on the driver to take back control of the task of driving.
      From a technical perspective the traffic jam pilot is revolutionary. During piloted driving, a central driver assistance controller (zFAS) now permanently computes an image of the surroundings by merging the sensor data. As well as the radar sensors, a front camera and the ultrasonic sensors, Audi is the first car manufacturer also to use a laser scanner. The introduction of the Audi AI traffic jam pilot means the statutory framework will need to be clarified in each individual market, along with the country-specific definition of the application and testing of the system. The brand’s high quality standards are equally applicable in the realm of highly automated driving. In addition, a range of approval procedures and their corresponding timescales will need to be observed worldwide. Audi will therefore be adopting a step-by-step approach to the introduction of the traffic jam pilot in production models.
      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 need not be sitting in the car. They start the appropriate system from their smartphone using the new myAudi app. To monitor the parking maneuver, they hold the Audi AI button pressed to watch a live display from the car’s 360 degree cameras on their device.
      New dimension: the suspension
      With a whole package of innovations, the suspension revisits the very limits of what is physically possible. One such innovation is dynamic all-wheel steering, which combines direct, sporty steering with unshakable stability. The steering ratio for the front wheels varies as a function of speed; the rear wheels are turned in or against the direction of steering depending on the speed range. The car’s handling becomes even more dynamic and precise with the sport differential. This actively distributes the drive torque between the rear wheels, complementing the quattro permanent all-wheel drive that is now standard in the new A8.
      The second new technology, Audi AI active suspension, is a fully active suspension system. Depending on the driver’s wishes and the driving situation, it is capable of raising or lowering each wheel separately with electric actuators. This flexibility imparts the driving characteristic with huge latitude – ranging from the smooth ride comfort of a classic luxury sedan to the dynamism of a sports car. In combination with pre sense 360°, the car is raised with lighting speed if there is an impending lateral collision, reducing the potential consequences of the accident for all occupants.
      This highly innovative suspension system obtains the energy it requires from a 48-volt electrical system. Audi now for the first time fits it as the primary electrical system in all model versions of the A8. In conjunction with the advanced air suspension for the A8, the innovative suspension concept delivers an utterly new driving experience.
      Mild hybrid and e-tron: the drives
      The new A8 starts out in the German market with two extensively reengineered V6 turbo engines: a 3.0 TDI and a 3.0 TFSI. The diesel develops 210 kW (286 hp), and the gasoline version 250 kW (340 hp). Two eight-cylinder versions – a 4.0 TDI with 320 kW (435 hp) and a 4.0 TFSI with 338 kW (460 hp) – will follow slightly later. The exclusive top engine version is the W12 with a displacement of 6.0 liters. (These vehicles are not yet on sale. They do not yet have type approval and are therefore not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC.)
      All five engines operate in conjunction with a belt alternator starter (BAS), which is the nerve center of the 48-volt electrical system. This mild hybrid technology (MHEV, mild hybrid electric vehicle) enables the car to coast with the engine switched off, and to restart smoothly. It also has an extended start/stop function and an energy recovery output of up to 12 kW. The combined effect of these measures is to bring down the fuel consumption of the already efficient engines even further – by as much as 0.7 liters (0.2 US gal) per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) in real driving conditions.
      The A8 L e-tron quattro with its powerful plug-in hybrid drive will follow at a later date (This vehicle is not yet on sale. It does not yet have type approval and is therefore not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC.): Its 3.0 TFSI and the powerful electric motor achieve 330 kW (449 hp) of system power and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of system torque. The lithium-ion battery stores enough power for about 50 kilometers (31.1 mi) of electric driving. It can optionally be charged by Audi Wireless Charging. A pad in the garage floor transfers the power inductively to a receiver coil in the automobile with a power output of 3.6 kW.
      The new Audi A8 and A8 L are being built at the Neckarsulm site and will appear on the German market in late fall 2017. The starting price for the A8 is EUR 90,600, with the A8 L starting at EUR 94,100.

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