In a bid to better enable itself to overtake Mercedes-Benz and BMW and become the leading international premium brand, Audi has adjusted the timing of a number of future products, including the next generation of its A8 flagship. The 2010 A8 is being pushed back from a September debut at the Frankfurt auto show, where the launch was originally intended to take place. The car instead will be unveiled some time after December’s Los Angeles auto show; we’ve heard it may happen at an exclusive event in Florida. The Detroit auto show will be the first to host the new A8.
Launching the new A8 away from an auto show will make sure the new car isn't buried among a flurry of international unveilings. Audi wants to play up the design theme, and the aluminum-structured A8 will be another large step forward for the brand, particularly inside the cabin. It will boast, for example, the next-generation MMI system, which will then trickle down to other models.
Audi also doesn't want to kill sales of the current model. The A8 is still selling well in several markets, and a Frankfurt launch might bring orders to a halt before the new A8 arrives in dealerships in the spring of 2010. The A8 is one of the most significant cars for the brand; in Europe and China, the current model is a legitimate alternative to the S-class and the 7-series. Positioned as the sportiest luxury sedan, it was quickly seen as a welcome alternative to former BMW customers alienated by that brand’s polarizing styling and iDrive system.
Keep Reading: Next Audi A8 Pushed Back, Plus Audi Plans for 2010 and Beyond - Car News