More powerful engines, new assistance systems and Matrix LED headlights are included in the update, and Audi has improved fuel consumption for each engine option.
So what other goodies has Audi packed into the new models?
Plenty of creature comforts have carried over to the new A8 variants, as you would expect. Front seats feature ventilation and massage, while electronically adjustable, individual rear seats are optional on the A8 and A8 L.
Audi’s MMI control system sits in the centre console, and includes MMI navigation and a touchpad. The driver can draw characters on the pad (MMI touch) to control numerous navigation and multimedia functions.
Choices elsewhere in the cabin mainly concern leather and wood. A continuous leather-covered centre console is optional on the A8 L, and seat coverings, inlays and colours can all be personalised.
Selections include ‘Fine grain poplar brown-silver’ and ‘Fine grain ash brown-gold natural’.
A supercharged 3.0 litre TFSI engine kicks off the petrol range, producing 228kW of power, while the twin-turbo 4.0 litre V8 TFSI engine lifts power to 320kW.
The two diesels are 3.0 litres and 4.2 litres in capacity, producing 190kW and 283kW respectively. The 4.2 litre unit however, produces a colossal 850Nm of torque (up from 800).
Bragging rights for acceleration belong to the 4.0 litre V8 petrol when paired with the quattro all-wheel-drive system which achieves 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, while the 3.0 litre diesel is the most economical with a figure of 5.9 l/100km.
Audi’s cylinder on demand (COD) system shuts down four of the eight cylinders in the V8 when not required, and all engines have received fuel consumption improvements of up to 10 percent.
The A8 Hybrid option is equipped with a 2.0 litre TFSI engine and electric motor combining to produce 180kW and 480Nm. The lithium-ion battery in the rear enables electric-only operation up to 100km/h with a range of roughly three kilometres.
The A8 hybrid consumes on average of 6.3 l/100km, making it slightly thirstier than the 3.0 litre diesel.
A8 L: The A8 L adds a 6.3 litre W12 engine, producing 368kW of power but achieving a respectable 11.7 l/100km. The W12 also features COD cylinder shut-down, easing to six cylinders when the full 12 are not required.
S8: The same 4.0 litre TFSI V8 is fitted to the S8 as the A8, but power is lifted to 380kW. The 0-100km/h improves to 4.2 seconds, while fuel consumption is listed at 10.1 l/100km.
All A8 variants feature Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) when equipped with COD.
This technology filters out the off-beat sound of the engine from entering the cabin while running on fewer than the full eight or 12 cylinders. Active engine mounts assist here too.
All 2014 A8 models come with an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, paired with the quattro all-wheel-drive system. A sports differential for the rear is optional, but standard on S8 and 4.2 litre diesel models.
The Audi “drive select” system, which varies the function of various technology modules, is standard. It controls the adaptive air suspension with adaptive damping, but Audi offers the air suspension with a sporty setup upon request.
Carbon fibre ceramic brakes are optional on V8 models and the A8 L W12 quattro, as is a 20- or 21-inch alloy wheel package.
The 3.0 litre diesel equipped A8 is the lightest, with a curb weight of 1,830kg which Audi claims is a class leader for models with all-wheel-drive.
Length, width and height remain unchanged from the previous A8 model, but the A8 L gains 13cm in both length and wheelbase.
In the German market, LED headlights are standard in all V8 powered models. Buyers can choose to step-up to the new Matrix LED headlights, which feature 25 LEDs per unit.
These can be switched on or off, or dimmed individually, allowing the headlight to react to other road users while providing the maximum amount of light.
New daytime running lights, cornering lights and turn signals also debut on the new A8, and the lighting system can even use data from the sat-nav to predict lighting requirements for the route ahead.
Technology abounds, as you would expect in an A8, with active lane-assist – which makes slight steering corrections to keep the driver within the lane – and 360 degree park-assist new to the 2014 model.
A head-up display is also new, while the night vision system can now recognise large animals as well as pedestrians.
Adaptive cruise control with ‘Stop & Go’ function, an ‘Audi connect’ car phone, Bang and Olufsen multimedia system and rear seat entertainment systems are also available. The integrated UMTS module also allows the A8 to connect to the internet.
While the new Audi A8 range is scheduled to arrive at German dealerships in November, Australia will have to wait until the second quarter of 2014 to see the new flagship model.
TMR spoke with Shaun Cleary from Audi Australia, who confirmed that the 3.0 and 4.2 litre TDI diesel engines will be available in the A8, but no petrol engines at this stage.
In an Australian first for this generation, the new S8 will arrive here at the same time.
Stay tuned to TMR for more Audi A8 news including specifications and pricing for Australia closer to the local launch.