Team-BHP Scoop: 2014 Audi A8 spotted in India

Audi has begun testing the facelifted version of its flagship luxury saloon, the 2014 A8, in India. A heavily camouflaged test mule of the car was spotted by Team-BHP reader Dhananjay Gupta, on the outskirts of Mumbai. The 2014 Audi A8 luxury saloon facelift is the German luxury car maker's answer to the likes of the facelifted BMW 7-Series and the all-new 2014 Mercedes Benz S-Class car models. The 2014 Audi A8 will be showcased later this year, at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

Even before the show kicks off at Frankfurt, Audi will web launch the facelifted A8 and another unnamed car, on the 21st of August. So, a commercial launch of this car in India is likely to happen by the end of this year or early next year considering the fact that Mercedes Benz India is readying up the all new S-Class for a launch in India shortly. The 2014 Audi A8 is an end-of-life facelift as the all new A8 is slated to arrive in 2016. 

Nevertheless, the 2014 Audi A8 will pack in new technology, to keep up with rivals. The prime distinguishing feature of the Audi A8, in terms of looks and technology, will be the Matrix LED headlamps, that will make their world debut in this luxury saloon. The Matrix LED headlamp technology uses an array of 25 LEDs and 5 reflectors in each headlamp. These LEDs and reflectors will be controlled individually through a computer algorithm that's linked to a camera-based object/vehicle detection system of the car. 

Whenever the camera of the 2014 Audi A8 detects an oncoming vehicle or a pedestrian, one or more LEDs pointing towards the object/vehicle will be dimmed/turned off. Essentially, this feature reduces light intensity to provide optimum visibility to both the Audi A8 driver as well as the oncoming traffic in specific situations. Audi claims that this technology represents a big leap to road safety as it will automate switching between high and low beams adaptive-ly. 

Also, Audi's Matrix LED Headlamp will be linked to the car's navigation system, allowing the headlamps to modulate their light intensity to illuminate upcoming curves on the roads. The Matrix LED headlamp technology will work faster than existing adaptive headlamps (which are connected to steering inputs) as it will use inputs from the navigation system.  Since the satellite navigation system knows the route that the driver wants to take in advance, lighting up curves will become more efficient than before. 

Apart from the Matrix LED headlamp technology, the 2014 Audi A8 gets revised bumpers, front grille, exhaust tips and new tail lamps. Also, the car's infotainment system could be updated given the fact that the Matrix LED technology is linked to the navigation system. Details on other changes to the car are expected to be available closer to the 21st of August, the date on which this luxury saloon will be web launched. 

While Audi does sell the extended wheelbase version of the A8, in the form of the A8L in India, the car continues to be imported into the country through the completely built unit (CBU) route. With both BMW and Mercedes Benz assembling the 7-Series and the S-Class respectively, through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route, it remains to be seen whether Audi will also change its tactic to suit the specific needs of the Indian market. 

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