2019 Audi A8 Won't Have Level 3 Autonomous Tech In The US

Technology

US pricing has also been announced for Audi's new flagship sedan.

Audi made a big deal about the new A8 being the first production model to feature Level 3 semi-autonomous driving tech when it debuted in LA last year. Using a combination of a laser scanner, radar sensors, a front camera and ultrasonic sensors, the A8’s highly-touted Traffic Jam Pilot enables the A8 to drive itself at speeds of up to 37.3 mph on freeways and highways. Unlike Tesla’s Autpilot, the driver doesn’t need to keep their hands on the wheel but must be able to retake control if required.

Unfortunately, if you were looking forward to enjoying some hands-free driving in the A8 we’re afraid you’re out of luck because the semi-autonomous tech won’t be offered in the US. According to Roadshow, Traffic Jam Pilot won’t be available in America due to “infrastructural and consumer issues” as well as a “quagmire of legal” problems. To be fair, Audi has always been clear the technology will only be rolled out in markets where national regulations permit it, but the flagship sedan has still lost one of its main unique selling points. Instead, the US-spec Audi A8 will feature a hands-on Level 2 adaptive cruise control system with steering, acceleration and full braking support.

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Audi has also announced how much the new flagship sedan will cost when it goes on sale in the US. Arriving in dealerships later this fall, the 2019 Audi A8 starts at $83,800 excluding destination and delivery fees, making it $1,300 more expensive than the 2018 model. For that price, the A8 is very generously equipped. Standard equipment includes adaptive air suspension, leather upholstery and 18-way power front seats. Inside, you also get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and the latest version of Audi's MMI infotainment system. This includes two screens: a 10.3-inch screen providing quick views at maps and audio, and a 8.6-inch lower screen that lets you change the climate control settings and seat features.

At launch, the A8 will be offered exclusively with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine sending 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. 0-62 mph takes 5.7 seconds before the luxury sedan hits a top speed of 155 mph. According to Roadshow, a V8 version of the A8 will also be rolled out next summer, though it’s unclear if the publication is referring to the S8, which is expected to use a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with around 530 hp, or a new V8-powered mainstream A8.

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