New For 2013

As with the A6 and the A7, the arrival of an S version of the A8 makes the headlines here. But there is other powertrain news as well, with the addition of a supercharged V-6 that brings down the point of entry for the A8 and the replacement of the 4.2-liter V-8 with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter unit.


Since its debut in 1997, every A8 has been a study in proportions, and the current one is no different. Its interior is similarly elegant and modern. Like its predecessors, the newest A8 sedan features aluminum construction, and as a result, it’s among the lightest offerings in its class. Less flab aids the car’s athleticism and fuel economy. Speaking of the latter, there’s a new, supercharged V-6 powering the base version, and it lowers the cost of entry for the A8 by some $7000. The 3.0T, as it’s known, is available in standard- and long-wheelbase forms. Next up is a new V-8, which, at 4.0 liters, is slightly smaller than before but more than makes up for it with two turbochargers. It, too, is available in both body sizes. More-sporting drivers will want to know about the new S8. It uses the same 4.0-liter turbo V-8 but is tuned up to 520 hp—enough to zip this sport sedan writ large from 0 to 60 mph in fewer than four seconds. Then there’s the W12 and its stonking 6.3-liter twelve-cylinder engine and six-figure price. The W12 is available only with the long wheelbase. All-wheel drive is standard across the lineup. So is a polished eight-speed automatic with a boat-themed shifter that is, unfortunately, cumbersome to use. But that’s about the only cumbersome aspect of Audi’s high-tech flagship.


Front, front and rear side, and side curtain air bags; traction and stability control; and ABS are standard. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, a rearview camera, a corner-view camera, adaptive headlights, and Audi Pre Sense Plus are available.

You’ll like:

  • Relatively light weight
  • Good fuel economy (V-6)
  • High-tech, stylish interiors

You won’t like:

  • No diesel or hybrid
  • Smallish trunk

Key Competitors For The 2013 Audi A8

  • BMW 7-series
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Lexus LS
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Sum Up

The aluminum flagship.

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