Preview: 2015 Audi A8 and S8 Put on Fresh New Designer Suits

2015 audi s8 front led headlight matrix

The wait is over.  The 2015 Audi A8 and S8 are here for all to see.  This is a mid-cycle refresh for the Audi sedan flagship, and Audi made the tweaks to remain competitive against the new 2014 S-Class and the BMW 7-series.  The most obvious exterior update is at the front.  There you will find Audi’s new Matrix LED headlight technology.  Gone are the droopy large LED headlights.  The new Matrix units are more compact and have a nice trapezoidal shape.  This new lighting technology sets a whole new benchmark in technology and innovation.  There are 25 LEDs per headlight segment and each can be turned on/off or dimmed individually.  It means the light beam pattern can be adjusted quickly and in nearly infinite combinations.  These headlights are also smart, as in they are linked to the navigation system and know what type of road you are on and when the next corner is approaching.

audi matrix led headlight technology

The rear also gets a face-lift.  There is a new horizontal chrome crease ties together both tail lights with the rest of the deck lid.  This is a nice touch and also helps to differentiate the big A8 from the A6 and the rest of the Audi family.  The S8 continues to use the quad exhaust pipe arrangement, while other models dual rectangular pipes.  The car’s profile remains mostly unchanged, but the whole look is well integrated and there is enough distinction to tell that this is the face-lifted model.

2015 audi a8 s8 rear tail lights
Audi did not stop with the styling updates.  The engines are now both more powerful and more fuel efficient.  The European model range goes from the 3.0-liter TDI diesel, to the Hybrid, and all the way to the W12 top of the line model. It’s not yet clear whether all of the European engine choices will come over to the United States, but the specifications are impressive.

German A8/S8 engine specifications:

3.0 TSI Supercharged V6 310 hp
4.0 TSI Turbocharged V8 435 hp (up 15 hp)
3.0 TDI Turbocharged diesel V6 258 hp (up 18 hp) 39.87 US MPG
4.2 TDI Turbocharged diesel V8 385 hp / 626 lb-ft
Hybrid 2.0 TSI + Electric motor 245 hp / 354 lb-ft 37.34 US MPG
6.3 FSI W12 500 hp / 463 lb-ft 20.10 US MPG
S8 4.0 TSI Turbocharged V8 520 hp / 481 lb-ft

We currently get all of these engines with the exception of the 4.2-liter TDI and the Hybrid.  It’s interesting to note that Audi turned up the power on the 3.0-liter TDI to 258 horsepower, while improving highway fuel economy number from 36 to 39.87 MPG.  The diesel highway MPG number is actually better than that of the less powerful Hybrid.  The 4.0-liter TSI V8 in the A8 also sees a power increase and makes for a very fast luxury cruiser.

Audi did not mess too much with the already well regarded interior.  You can expect the same well executed interior design and fine luxurious materials.  Of course, you still have the Wifi internet connectivity that brings you Google Earth navigation, Google Street View, news, weather, and much more.

The refreshed A8/S8 go on sale in Germany this November.  The United States release dates and pricing has not yet been announced.

Take a look at how fast the current 20132 Audi S8 is 0-60 mph at a mile above sea level:

Andre Smirnov
Andre Smirnov

Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply ‘going for a drive’.