The rarified atmosphere of the super luxury sedan segment includes only a handful of inhabitants. The Audi A8 is one of them. This full-size sedan is designed to carry people in as much comfort as a car can, while offering the security of all-wheel drive for snowy or rainy weather.
A long-wheelbase option puts the A8 among the longest cars in this class, adding more than five inches of leg room to the rear seat. Yet Audi’s use of an aluminum frame offsets the extra weight of the extra length and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, so fuel economy figures remain acceptable.
For the 2014 model year, Audi has added a turbodiesel 3-liter V6 to the A8’s other three engines. This 3.0 TDI model provides 240 horsepower and fuel economy that’s among the best in this segment. It’s only available on the long wheelbase.
Audi makes occupant comfort a priority for the A8, hence a long list of high-end interior features that even include soft-close doors and power footrests; a wide range of extras are available as options. Top-quality materials and exquisite craftsmanship combine to create surroundings that are luxurious yet unobtrusive.
Under the Hood
Audi offers a total of four engines for the A8. A supercharged 3-liter V6 offers mileage estimates of 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway on both regular and long wheelbases, while a turbocharged 4-liter comes in at 17 city/28 highway with the regular wheelbase and 16 city/26 highway on the long wheelbase. Both of these engines include the fuel-saving automatic stop/start system and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The A8’s top fuel economy comes from the new 3.0 TDI turbodiesel with estimates of 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, for a combined estimate of 28 mpg.
At the top end of the spectrum, the L W12 12-cylinder engine provides 500 horsepower at the cost of fuel economy that drops to 13 city/21 highway. This long-wheelbase-only engine is paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission.
While providing excellent interior comfort and luxury, the Audi A8 also offers an involved driving experience with its driver-adjustable chassis and engine settings. An available Sport Plus Package also adds sport-tuned air suspension, adaptive steering, and a limited-slip rear differential.
The 3.0T is named for its engine, a supercharged 3-liter V-6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission that is standard in all A8s. As the base model, the 3.0T still offers a long list of upscale standard features, such as heated 12-way-adjustable front seats with driver’s seat memory and a power rear sunshade, along with several option packages that add more luxury, performance and safety items. The Sport Plus Package includes a sport-tuned air suspension, adaptive steering and a limited-slip rear differential. Even at this level, the A8’s interior shows refinement with the use of aluminum and wood trim.
In its features, equipment, and option packages, the 4.0T closely resembles the 3.0T. The difference between the two lies in the power source. Like the 3.0T, the 4.0T is named for its engine, but in this case it’s a twin-turbocharged 4-liter V-8 that produces 420 horsepower. Among available option packages is the Driver Assistance Package which includes a top-view parking-assistance camera; adaptive cruise control; a lane-departure warning system; a deluxe version of Audi’s collision warning and braking system; and automatic high-beam headlights. Also available in the 4.0T is a solar sunroof that powers a ventilation fan for the car’s interior.
Brand new for 2014, the L 3.0 TDI model is equipped with a 3-liter turbodiesel engine that offers fuel economy figures that are among the best in the class. Thanks to its excellent fuel economy estimates of 24 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 28 mpg in combined driving, the TDI-equipped A8 can go up to 800 miles between fill-ups. Although this model is available only on the A8’s long wheelbase, that designation opens it up to more options, such as the Audi Design Selection Package with dual-pane glass and leather upholstery highlighted with unique stitching and piping, Alcantara headliner and additional aluminum and wood interior accents.
While the L 3.0T is similar in equipment to the base 3.0T, this version differs primarily by adding slightly more than 5 inches to the wheelbase. Inside the car, the longer wheelbase translates into nearly 43 inches of rear-seat leg room, as opposed to just under 39 inches in the shorter version. Longer rear doors also make entering and exiting those seats easy to manage. Additional standard features on the L 3.0T include the base 3.0T’s optional Warm Weather Package, the Extended Leather Package and interior inlays in piano black, while other 3.0T options are also available for this long-wheelbase version.
As with the L 3.0T model, the L 4.0T is similar to the base 4.0T with the exception of the long wheelbase and some additional option packages, including the Audi Design Selection Package. Also available for the L 4.0T are several standalone options available to all Audi A8s. These include such high-tech diversions as a rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens mounted in the front-seat headrests and a night-vision camera that detects pedestrians and animals up to 1,000 feet away. For more entertainment, a panoramic sunroof opens up to the sky and a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system provides accompaniment.
At the top of the line, the L W12 model is powered by a 6.3-liter 12-cylinder engine with 500 horsepower. Available only as a long-wheelbase model, the L W12 was designed for the busy executive with a driver. It comes with nearly every standard and optional feature of the previous styles except for a few items such as the solar sunroof, Bang & Olufsen premium sound system and the night-vision camera, all of which are still available options. It also adds a few features not found on other models, such as the rear-seat power footrest and a refrigerator.
Build and price your dream Audi A8 in just a few easy steps.
|Build & Price|
2013 Audi A8$66,885 | 4,010 mi
2013 Audi A8 L$69,888 | 11,885 mi
2012 Audi A8$67,994 | 11,727 mi
2012 Audi A8$69,891 | 6,152 mi
2011 Audi A8$52,981 | 35,001 mi
2011 Audi A8$54,991 | 24,302 mi
2009 Audi A8$39,995 | 41,290 mi
2007 Audi A8$19,999 | 88,607 mi
2004 Audi A8 L$14,991 | 104,960 mi
2001 Audi A8$8,999 | 99,997 mi
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