CHANGES FOR 2014:

-TDI diesel engine
-Power door closers and power trunk (with hands-free release) and intelligent keyless entry standard on short-wheelbase A8
-front and rear park assist and backup camera standard on short-wheelbase A8
-Side assist standard on S8 and W12
-Driver assistance package available on A8

Just a year after adding three new engines to its big A8 sedan, Audi has another new powerplant for 2014: a 3.0L TDI diesel engine, marking the first time this range-topping four-door has been offered with a diesel in North America. The 240-hp diesel can be had in short- and long-wheelbase form, as can the 333-hp supercharged 3.0L V6 and 420-hp turbocharged 4.0L V8. There’s also a 520-hp version of that V8, exclusive to the short-wheelbase-only S8, and a 500-hp, 6.3L W12 goes into the model named for that engine’s unconventional cylinder arrangement; it’s sold in long-wheelbase-form only. This isn’t a showy car—it can be argued it looks too much like the compact A4—but it’s a superb luxury sedan in just about every respect.

A8 3.0 and TDI models in short-wheelbase form come with 19-inch wheels, dark walnut brown and brushed aluminum inlays, adaptive air suspension, dynamic steering, steerable Xenon headlights, sunroof, power open/close trunk with hands-free release, power-assisted soft-close doors, heated and auto-dimming outside mirrors with electric folding function, four-zone climate control, heated leather steering wheel with shift paddles and electric tilt and telescope adjustment, leather seats, 14-way adjustable front seats with four-way lumbar and memory, heated front and rear seats, electric sunshades for rear and rear side windows, auto-dimming interior mirror with compass, navigation with MMI controller, 14-speaker Bose stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth, music interface, colour driver information display, Homelink, intellgient keyless entry, front and rear park assist, top-view camera, cruise control, side assist with Audi rear pre-sense, Audi drive select and ambient interior lighting.

4.0T trim adds upgraded leather upholstery, 18-way sport front seats with ventilation and massage functions.

Long-wheelbase models add a panoramic sunroof, and rear-seat reading lights and vanity mirrors.

S8 models gets 21-inch wheels, carbon atlas and brushed aluminum interior trim, adaptive sport S air suspension, sport rear differential, dynamic steering, S-specific bumpers, LED headlights with highbeam assist, sunroof, power trunk with hands-free open function, power-assist door closers, auto-dimming, heated and electrically-folding outside mirrors with aluminum housings, four-zone automatic climate control, heated leather steering wheel with shift paddles and electric tilt and telescope adjustment, carbon atlas gearshift, valcona leather seats, ventilated 18-way sport front seats with lumbar adjustment, memory and massage function, heated front and rear seats, electric sunshades for rear and rear side windows, auto-dimming interior mirror with compass, navigation with MMI controller, 14-speaker Bose stereo with satellite radio, Bluetooth, music interface, colour driver information display, Homelink, intelligent keyless entry, front and rear park assist, top-view camera, cruise control, side assist with Audi rear pre-sense, Audi drive select and interior ambient lighting package.

At the top of the range is the W12, a much different car than the S8, but with many of the same features. Notable additions include a panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable rear seats with four-way power lumbar, ventilation and massage functions, rear seat controls for front passenger seat adjustment, full leather interior, Bang & Olufsen 19-speaker stereo, rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, side assist, lane assist and pre-sense plus and night vision system.

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