We Caught The 2018 Audi A8 Looking Like It Already Needs A Refresh

Spy Shots

Where’d the Audi Prologue Concept go?

Something rather unfortunate has happened to the all-new Audi A8 sedan that (we thought) was first previewed by the Prologue Concept which debuted at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Not that it hasn’t made it to fruition in some form, but unlike the 2006 Chevrolet Camaro Concept (what morphed into the fifth-gen Camaro) or the 2009 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics (what we now know as the i8), the A8 our spy photogs have caught testing doesn't follow the design of the concept very closely.

While moseying about in Sweden, the auto world’s winter testing playground, our spy photographers caught another glimpse of the future flagship sedan, set for debut in the latter part of 2017. These photos give us one more reason to celebrate the close of 2016. There looks to be more Volkswagen and less Prologue Concept in the upcoming A8. Barring the grille, which will hopefully be allowed to shine unencumbered by the horizontal bar impeding on its dominating presence, the car seen here does little to challenge the current styling philosophies of Volkswagen and Audi. For one, the Prologue Concept we saw in LA a few years ago had narrow headlights meant to give the impression of aggression.

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Backing this up were muscle striations on the side panels and hood and strong flowing lines that looked like something coming from Mercedes’ design studio. Things look different here. There's a more traditional rounded shape, a look that we hope is an optical illusion thanks to the camo. We can’t be too disappointed, though, because Audi based the A8 off of the crisp MLB Evo platform, which reduces weight, makes handling a dream, and is shared by the Q7 and Bentley Bentayga. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? MLB Evo is also compatible with alternative powertrains, meaning we can expect to see plug-in hybrid A8s roaming around. If Audi has the will we might even see a full-on EV.

The 2018 Audi A8 will likely make its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. It should pack a suite of semi-autonomous features and even vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems to really stick it to BMW and Mercedes. Adonis or not, there's no denying that the fourth-generation A8 will be a pleasure to drive and a joy to own. We just hope that it looks better than its camouflaged body suggests.

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