While looking more compact than its predecessor, the A8 is touting the longest and widest standard wheelbase in its class and even with the quattro, Audi was able to keep the weight down with an aluminum body. Powering the A8 is a powerful 4.2L V8 engine that produces 372 horsepower paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission (with sport mode and shift knob). With this pairing, while less horsepower than the competitors, the A8 manages to do more with less, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds (in the ballpark of competition). Drivers will also be pleased with this engine/transmission pairing as the 8-speed transmission allows for low RPMs at high speeds, keeping this luxury sport sedan’s mileage reasonable at 17 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
In true Audi style, the A8’s interior is gorgeous and futuristic. High quality leather, wooden accents, and suede compliment the ever-evolving technology features in the vehicle. The most notable feature is probably the MMI (Multimedia Interface) system. The MMI has a neat new feature for those who have grown tired of the rotary dial or have yet to master it: the touch pad. The touch pad recognizes writing with the finger tip (though knob is still available) for easy navigation through the entertainment system. Tied for second is probably the impressive stereo system option ($6,300) with tweeters that pop out of the dash and the 22-way power adjustable driver’s seat.
Even with the classy, appealing design, sporty drive, and luxury features, the Audi A8 still starts lower than the likes of the 7 Series and S-Class with a base MSRP of $78,050 and an as-tested price of $93,525 (compared to the starting prices for the 7 Series $82,500 and S-Class’ $91,000) so if you’re in the market for a luxury sedan, the A8 is definitely worth a test drive.