A year after Volkswagen‘s twelve-cylinder Phaeton, the range-topping Audi A8L 6.0 finally arrives here. Audi uses the same W-12 engine as VW (and Bentley, in the Continental GT), but it makes more power and torque in the A8 than in the Phaeton: 450 hp and 428 lb-ft. Both use the same four-wheel-drive system. The aluminum spaceframe Audi is half a ton lighter than the pavement-crushing VW, which helps make the A8L 6.0 much more of a driver’s car. Of course, passengers are well treated, too, particularly in the individual rear seats (they’re a no-cost option). At an estimated $115,000, the A8L 6.0 costs roughly $20,000 more than its VW sibling.
ON SALE: December 2005
PRICE: $115,000 (est.)
ENGINE: 450-hp, 6.0-liter W-12
BOTTOM LINE: The Audi at the top of the mountain.