As the BMW 7-Series ages and the latest-gen Mercedes-Benz S-Class continues its first year of sale, Audi will attempt to stake its ground in the high-end luxury sedan segment with a refreshed 2015 Audi A8.
We saw the refreshed Audi A8 at the 2014 Detroit auto show, where we got our first in-person look at some of the technical and aesthetic changes. Visually there are no huge alterations, although the front end gets more pronounced character lines, new full-LED Matrix headlights, and a revised lower lip. Around the rear there are new taillights and sporty, trapezoidal twin exhaust tips.
The base 2015 Audi A8 3.0T, now costing $78,295 including destination, has gone up $2300 in price, but it gets the same 333-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine as its predecessor. The long-wheelbase A8 L 3.0T now costs $82,295, which is $2600 more than the outgoing model. For the A8 L TDI model and its 3.0-liter turbo V-6, which makes 240 hp and a hefty 406 lb-ft of torque, price has also increased $2600 to $85,995.
You’ll get 15 more hp than last year out of the 2015 Audi A8 4.0T, which grows its output to 435 hp from the turbo 4.0-liter V-8. The added muscle will cost $2500 more than in the 2014 A8 4.0T, now totaling $87,295. Long-wheelbase V-8 models add a $4000 premium. This model most directly competes with the Mercedes-Benz S550, although the Audi is less powerful and costs substantially less. $93,825 is the starting price for the S550, which benefits from a 455-hp, 4.7-liter twin-turbo V-8 making 516 lb-ft of torque.
Both the Audi S8 and A8 L W12 keep their respective 520-hp twin-turbo V-8 and 500-hp V-12 engines, although both prices experience similar hikes. The S8 will total $115,795, while the twelve-cylinder rings in at $138,795. Standard on the W-12 model will be a new intelligent cylinder control to help with the previously 16-MPG combined rating.
Part of the added cost can be attributed to the 2015 Audi A8’s new range of safety tech, such as active lane assist, pedestrian detection, head-up display, park assist and blind-spot warning. While perhaps more austere in character than the S-Class, the A8 is making big strides toward equaling its German rival in the number of modern safety features available.
The 2015 Audi A8 hits showrooms this summer.