Right in the sales figures.
Someone in the Mercedes boardroom must have been listening to motivational speeches on their work playlist because it wasn’t too long ago the emboldened company decided to release a slew of CUVs, four-door coupes, and AMG models to fill every imaginable gap. The flagship S-Class, a car with a recipe that hasn’t been altered much because Mercedes didn’t want to mess with sales numbers, got a body change too. A coupe, long wheelbase, armored car, limousine and ultra-luxury variant exist and will soon be joined by a cabriolet.
Meanwhile Audi and BMW have left the flagship range with only standard and long wheelbase versions. Audi, sick of being behind the curve, may change this for its A8 sedan. The company’s new technical head, Dr. Stefan Knirsch, admitted that the German brand is currently discussing the possibility of more A8 variants. He told Auto Express, “We are thinking about it, the success of the extra-long version of the S-Class has got us wondering about whether there could be a business case for that in the future.” This train of thought is evidenced by the Audi A8 limousine that surfaced a few weeks ago Thing is, Audi confirmed that this XXL long wheelbase A8 is a one-off for a customer paying what is likely too much money for the car.
As evidenced by Mercedes, going down this path can mean a lot of things. A longer A8 is the obvious first choice, and this could possibly be a car that competes with the $190,000 Mercedes-Maybach S600. Another confirmed addition is the inclusion of Level 3 automation, which would give the car semi-autonomous capabilities like that of Tesla. Unfortunately for lovers of the BMW X6 M, Knirsch mentioned that no RS version of the Q7 would hit the market. It remains to be seen whether or not this move would bring Bentley and Rolls Royce buyers to Audi, but we’d like to see some of the styling from the A9 Prologue Concept to make it to the A8 if an ultra-luxury Audi wants to be taken seriously.