By Joe Santos - Updated Date: 6/4/2012
Audi flies under the radar in every segment that it competes because the subtle elegance of all of their models belies what's on the inside and under the hood. One grand example of this is the 2012 Audi A8 sedan, which competes with the likes of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS, Jaguar XJ and the BMW 7 Series. The Audi A8 faintly edges its way into the luxury sedan group by offering a host of tech-savvy luxuries and potent engine choices. There are two A8 models to choose from – normal (A8) and long-wheelbase (A8L) – as well as the specialized, sportier 2013 S8 (coming this fall) that boasts a new twin-turbocharged V8 engine.You'll Like This Car If...
The Audi A8's interior provides a more tactile feel over its competitors. With real aluminum trim pieces, and available walnut inlays and Valcona leather, the A8 puts the premium in "premium luxury."You May Not Like This Car If...
While a 500-horsepower W12 engine is more than enough to scoot the A8 to freeway speeds in less than 5 seconds, the overall driving feel of the car is not as visceral as the BMW 7 Series.What's New for 2012
For the 2012 model year, the Audi A8 is available with a selection of new interior packages as well as Audi connect with Google Earth-view maps. The high-performance 2013 S8 variant differs itself from the rest of the A8 sedans by offering sporty interior touches and a new twin-turbo V8 engine, which replaces the V10 that was offered in the previous S8.Driving It Driving Impressions
The 2012 Audi A8 offers a fine balance between a luxury cruiser and sports car when driven. The adaptive air suspension provides an overall comfortable ride but isn't afraid to get the job done when pushed hard into a tight corner. And having enough is never a concern considering the potent V8 and W12 engine choices. However, we've also spent a deliciously good deal of time behind the wheel of the 2013 S8, which has a stiffer suspension setup than the A8 and a twin-turbo V8 under the hood. With 520 horsepower on tap, precise steering, Quattro all-wheel drive, and an 8-speed transmission with well-spaced gear ratios, the S8 felt just at home on a race track as it did on normal city roads.Favorite Features
Audi's MMI touch can easily be considered one of the best driver-to-car interfaces on the market. In order to select a destination or queue up an alphabetical category in your song collection, just draw the characters with your finger on the touch-pad.
TWIN-TURBO 4.0-LITER V8 ENGINE
Luxury sport-sedan enthusiasts will celebrate in fall of 2012 when the 2013 Audi S8 arrives. The S8 roars to life with an all-new twin-turbo V8 that is a work of art. With 520 horsepower on tap, it's enough to get the 4,300-pound car to 60 mph in less than five seconds.