KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
The Audi A8 is a full-size premium luxury sedan loaded to the brim with the company's latest technological advances. More than just a showcase for Audi design and engineering, the A8 serves two masters: The driver and the chauffeured. Every bit the equal of such makes as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS, the A8 appeals to those who have the cash, but might prefer not to flaunt it quite so much. The A8's subtle styling is alluring without being flashy, a traditional design that stands the test of time long after other cars have become dated. Offered in regular or extended wheelbase versions, and with a choice of a new V8 or the proven W12 engine, the A8 is all about style, sophistication and success.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you need a car as impressive to look at as it is to drive, the A8 will fit you like a glove. If you spend most of your time in the rear seats, you'll love the elegant Audi interior and numerous features that make doing business on the road a pleasant task.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you like the edgy, crisp styling of the BMW 7 Series or the new Lexus LS, you may find the Audi's subtle exterior too tame. The advanced Multi Media Interface (MMI) functions in a manner similar to BMW's iDrive, but it may be too complicated for some drivers.
What's Significant About This Car?
The A8 receives a new Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) 4.2-liter V8 good for 350 horsepower. The standard Bose Surround Sound audio receives a boost in power and an MP3-compatible CD changer, while a new Bang & Olufsen premium audio unit is made optional.
Power for the big A8 comes from a muscular 350-horsepower FSI 4.2-liter V8. This engine is plenty strong and can move the A8 with ease, and there is no shortage of performance anywhere within the legal speed range. You'll find the handling to be unsurpassed in this league, and the quattro all-wheel-drive system can be singled out as a major contributor to the A8's hunkered-down cornering ability.
Hideaway Navigation Screen
When not in use, the navigation screen is concealed behind a rotating wood panel.
Front and Rear Independent DVD Option
The front and rear monitors can work independently of each other, so you can select different information or entertainment for each screen's viewers.
For many, the A8's interior is unsurpassed in both treatment and amenities. A number of interior trim packages add a choice of red, cognac or cream-yellow leather with black piping, and matching wood accents with contrasting wood inlays accompany each color. The driver is treated to a handsome dash with full instrumentation, steering wheel-mounted controls for audio, transmission and cruise control and a folding LCD screen for the MMI and navigation features. Rear-seat passengers enjoy unparalleled legroom and can opt for power adjustable heated seats, a center pass-through refrigerator and DVD entertainment.
Other luxury cars have loyal followers and so does the A8. The A8's exterior styling is somewhat low-key, with no radical or bold departures from previous Audi design themes. We think the A8 is quite handsome and very reserveda car that appeals to your sense of taste rather than vanity. That being said, the A8 does offer a few options to make it stand out, features such as the massive 20-inch chrome wheels and a Sport Package.
Notable Standard Equipment
The A8 has self-leveling bi-xenon headlamps, quattro all-wheel drive, keyless entry, side- and head-curtain airbags for the front and rear passengers, a front passenger knee airbag, 16-way power seats, dual-zone climate control, a 12-speaker Bose Surround Sound audio system, navigation, a tire pressure monitor, rain-sensing wipers and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Notable Optional Equipment
The A8 can be equipped with a 450-horsepower W12 engine, rear-seat DVD/video monitors, massaging seats, remote start, power trunk-close assist, a three-spoke wood steering wheel, Bang & Olufsen audio, power rear sunshade, sport suspension with 20-inch wheels, rearview backup camera, leather-covered rear console and rear air conditioning.
Under the Hood
The A8 offers two excellent engine options. The standard V8 is smooth, powerful and surprisingly easy on fuel. Audi does not attempt to excessively mute the sound of its engines, allowing just enough growl into the passenger compartment to remind the driver of what's under the hood. Those who opt for the W12 (so named because of the arrangement of the cylinders, which are in two cleverly overlapping "Vees," for a "W" cross-section) will definitely experience a step up in performance, but will also add more than $50,000 to the A8's price tag.
350 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25
450 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
428 lb.-ft of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21
The Audi A8 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $69,620. The long-wheelbase A8 L is $73,620, while the W12 model is $121,770. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows consumers are buying the A8 and A8 L at, or just above, MSRP. In 2006, the A8 L W12 was fetching as much as $10,000 over dealer invoice. The A8 is expected to retain a good resale value over time, just a few percentage points below the BMW 750i, but nearly 10 points higher than the Jaguar XJ. The A8 L W12 posts slightly lower marks, better than the BMW 760Li, but not as favorable as the Mercedes-Benz S600.