NEW FOR 2015:
Audi’s flagship sedan moves into 2015 with styling updates conceived to “underscore its positioning as the driver’s luxury sedan through changes that communicate a wider stance and more dynamic look.” In other words, the company’s designers changed a few things to freshen a car last redesigned in 2011. Whether the changes make the car look better (it was already very handsome) remains subjective, but significantly lower prices versus the 2014 model certainly make it more attractive.
Otherwise, the A8 (and high-performance S8 variant) remain the same, with five engines and two wheelbase lengths from which to choose. The A8 begins as the 3.0 TFSI, with a 3.0L supercharged V6 making 333 hp and 326 lb-ft of torque. Up from that is a 3.0L turbodiesel V6 with 240 hp and 406 lb-ft in the TDI model; a 4.0L turbocharged V8 is specified in the 4.0 TFSI, with 435 hp and 444 lb-ft, and a 6.3L W12 comes with 500 hp and 461 lb-ft. The S8 gets a 4.0L turbocharged V8, tuned here for 520 hp and 481 lb-ft.
TFSI (3.0 and 4.0) and TDI models can be had in either short or long wheelbase; W12 cars only come in LWB form, and the S8 comes exclusively as a shorty.
Standard kit in 3.0 TFSI trim includes 19-inch wheels, adaptive Xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, headlight washers, LED taillights, sunroof, power trunk with movement-activated opening, power-assisted door closers, mirror-mounted turn signal repeaters, four-zone automatic climate control, Valetta leather seats, 14-way front power seats with four-way lumbar and memory, heated front and rear seats, load-through provision, power sunshades for rear side windows and rear window, auto-dimming rearview mirror, navigation, 14-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, Audi music interface, colour driver information display, garage door opener, automatic wipers and headlights, intelligent keyless entry, front and rear park assist, top-view camera, cruise control, Audi pre-sense rear and side assist, Audi drive select, electric-folding side mirrors, heated steering wheel with electric tilt and telescopic adjustment, and Audi MMI Touch with handwriting recognition.
TDI and 4.0 TFSI trims add LED headlights.
Long-wheelbase models add a panoramic sunroof, and rear-seat reading lights and vanity mirrors.
W12 trim includes 20-inch wheels, ventilated front seats with massage function, full-leather package, head-up display, Alcantara headliner, outboard rear seats with lumbar, ventilation and power adjustment, 18-way power front seats, rear-seat entertainment system, active lane assist, adaptive cruise with stop and go, night vision assistant, and acoustic and break-resistant dual-pane glass.
The S8 gets 21-inch wheels, but otherwise largely echoes the 4.0 TFSI in its spec list.