Audi’s luxury flagship – the Audi A8 sedan – has been comprehensively refreshed for 2014. It’s also been joined for the first time by the performance powerhouse S8 model.
Both diesel engines are now Euro 6 compliant, meeting strict emissions and fuel consumption regulations, and the performance Audi S8 model – powered by a petrol V8 – delivers 382kW and 650Nm from its twin-turbo engine.
In Australia, the Audi A8 range is headed by the most popular variant, the A8 3.0 TDI with 190kW and 580Nm, which costs $195,000. All Audi A8 models come standard with the smooth-shifting eight-speed ZF automatic transmission mated to Audi’s Quattro AWD system. The base model car is also available with a long-wheelbase platform – the A8 L 3.0 TDI, priced from $206,900.
The impressive V6 diesel engine consumes a scant 5.9 litres per 100km in SWB form and 6.0L/100km in LWB guise. The SWB A8 sprints from 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds, slightly faster than the LWB model’s 6.1 seconds.
The next step up the model rung features a turbo diesel V8. The Audi A8 4.2 TDI generates 283kW and 850Nm. 0-100km/h comes up in 4.7 seconds, a seriously impressive number for such a large, heavyweight sedan, especially considering the ADR fuel claim of 7.4L/100km. Pricing for the turbo diesel V8 model starts at $249,900.
The new S8 model becomes the flagship of the range – it’s also the most expensive at $279,000. The petrol engine knocks out a 0-100km/h sprint in 4.1-seconds, and thanks to clever technology such as cylinder on demand, the fuel consumption is 9.6L/100km.
As you’d expect, the 2014 Audi A8 is impressively loaded with standard features. These include: Lane Assist, Parking System/Park Assist, Side Assist, 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, Stop & Go function, alarm, folding electric side mirrors, power-operated boot, seat position memory including mirror position, sunroof, metallic or pearl paint, power door closing, LED headlights, high beam assist, Audi Drive Select, tyre pressure monitoring, keyless entry and start and an auto dimming interior rear-view mirror.
It doesn’t end there though. There’s also quad-zone climate control, leather steering wheel with multi functionality, leather trimmed seats in Audi’s signature ‘comfort’ specification, heated and cooled front seats, woodgrain trim, Audi Connect, a 14-speaker Bose audio system with Bluetooth phone connectivity, digital radio capability and satellite navigation.
Entry-level V6 diesel models get 19-inch wheels and adaptive air suspension, while the V8 diesel steps up to 20-inch alloy wheels. LED headlights are standard across the range, but the V8 diesel gets Matrix LED headlights with high beam assist. Digital TV is added to digital radio for the V8 oiler as well as a head-up display, massaging front seats and a Quattro Sport differential.
Step up to the S8 and buyers get 21-inch wheels, adjustable sports suspension, dynamic steering, electric sun shades for the rear windows and S Line exterior trim.
Audi A8 and S8 Pricing
A8 3.0 TDI - $195,000
A8 L 3.0 TDI - $206,900
A8 4.2 TDI - $249,900
S8 4.0 TFSI - $279,000