Audi will unveil a freshened A8 at the Frankfurt auto show this month with more powerful engines, lighter construction, new driver assistance systems and Matrix LED headlight technology.
The reworked sedan will debut in Germany in November at a starting price of 74,500 euros, or about $99,400. U.S. sales begin next year.
Audi says the 4,034-pound curb weight of the short-wheelbase 3.0-liter A8 will be lowest in the large luxury sedan class for all-wheel-drive models. The body is mostly aluminum and weighs just 509 pounds.
Length, wheelbase and height are unchanged on regular models, and the A8L will be 5.12 inches longer than the current version, Audi says.
Design changes include a new grille and a more sculptured hood. The lower edge of the headlights is straighter than before.
Audi will offer headlights with optional Matrix LED technology. The high beam has 25 light-emitting diodes per unit that can be switched on and off or dimmed individually.
Audi says it will offer the A8 in Germany with two gasoline and two diesel engines: the supercharged 3.0 TFSI V-6 with 310 hp; the V-8 twin-turbo 4.0 TFSI with 435 hp; the 3.0 TDI diesel with 258 hp; and the 4.2 TDI diesel, which produces 385 hp. In the United States, Audi also is likely to offer the A8 with the 6.3-liter W-12 producing 500 hp.
The Audi S8 will be powered by a 4.0-liter TSFI V-8 developing 520 hp, good enough for a 0 to 62 mph time of 4.2 seconds and an estimated 23.3 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
The W-12 is expected to get 20.1 mpg thanks to cylinder-on-demand tech designed to deactivate the fuel injection and ignition on six cylinders at lower speeds.
The most efficient engine is the 3.0 TDI diesel, which Audi estimates will achieve 40 mpg.
All A8s come standard with an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and Quattro awd. Audi also offers an optional sport differential for the rear axle, distributing the power between the rear wheels as needed. The sport differential is standard in the S8.