Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

SEP-OCT 2017

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e new Audi A8 made its world debut this past July at the Audi Summit in Barcelona. This fourth-generation flagship model is the first production automobile in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving. From 2018, Audi will gradually be taking piloted driving functions such as parking pilot, garage pilot and traffic jam pilot into production. e traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking. The driver no longer needs to monitor the car permanently. ey can take their hands off the steering wheel and, depending on the national laws, focus on a different activity that is supported by the car, such as watching the on-board TV. As soon as the system reaches its limits, it calls on the driver to take back control of the task of driving. The Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot steer the A8 independently into and out of a parking space or garage, monitored by the driver. e driver need not be sitting in the car. They start the appropriate system from their smartphone using the new myAudi app. To monitor the parking maneuver, they hold the Audi AI button to watch a live display from the car's 360 degree cameras on their device. Once the maneuver has been completed, the system automatically engages the tiptronic P position and switches off engine and ignition. We asked Marc Lichte, Head of Audi Design since 2014, to share his thoughts on the new design era ushered in for the entire brand with the unveiling of the new Audi R8. How important is the unveiling of the new A8 for Audi design? Marc Lichte: With the world premiere of the Audi A8 in Barcelona, we will have come full circle. From the perspective of a designer, this is a place that stands out because of its special light conditions. Precisely for this reason, this is where we selected the design of our flagship car, together with our Board of Management, three years ago. The A8 is the first production model showing the future design language and, as a result, it fundamentally reflects the progressive face of the brand. Speaking of progressive: how would you define that term? Marc Lichte: At Audi, the design always expresses Vorsprung durch Technik "Advancement through Technology". To me, a progressive solution is one in which I can harmonize form and function within the design. A perfect solution that impresses with its simplicity. With this in mind, what makes the design of the fourth A8 generation stand out? Marc Lichte: It embodies our vision of luxury and prestige. The distinctive body line with the large, upright Singleframe grille, and the balanced emphasis of all four wheels projects the confidence of the luxury sedan outward. On the interior, we elevate the reduction of characteristic aesthetic design features. There will be hardly any buttons or switches here in the new A8. Instead, we have developed an operating concept in which the new touch display is completely integrated into the black panel surface of the interior. is frees up space and is actually revolutionary from the user's perspective. How will the customer experience this free space? Marc Lichte: e new A8 appeals to all of the senses, starting with the shapes and lines of the interior design but also extending to the superbly handcrafted quality of the authentic materials. Added to this is an expansive audio experience as well as the subtle impression left behind by the aroma. All of these forms a harmonious composition in the new A8. Which detail excites you the most? Marc Lichte: e light animation of the A8 is truly unique. When the customer approaches the rear, for example, the light graphics develop across the entire width of the car. is is a first in the industry and an expression of the progressive self-perception. Or to put it another way, it's a moment with which the new A8 will continually be attracting attention. sl INSIGHTS ON DESIGN Marc Lichte, Head of Audi Design talks about the new Audi A8 Written by Andre James 38 slmag.net

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