Detroit, Michigan – Audi sold a record 158,061 vehicles in the U.S. during 2013, and with the introduction of the 2015 Audi A8 at the Detroit auto show (the car was already revealed for Europeans at the Frankfurt auto show), it hopes to sell a few more this year. As the company struggles to put the critically acclaimed Audi A8 luxury sedan on the same sales plateau as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi’s flagship sedan gets a refreshed appearance, a bit more power, and a range of active safety electronics. It goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
At the same time, the fourth generation of the critically acclaimed Audi A8 continues unchanged at heart with its all-aluminum chassis, all-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic transmission and a range of engines that mix mpg and mph in many different proportions. In addition the standard 2015 A8 will be continue to be supplemented by a performance-oriented Audi S8 model.
A few new wrinkles for the face of the Audi A8
The 2015 Audi A8 wears a new face, only this one has more character lines. And in the luxury car business, this is a good thing, as the current generation of this car has looked a little bland compared to not only its predecessor but also the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
A new array of LED headlights complement a newly creased hood , while the grille seems to float over the lower air intake, which stretches seamlessly across the span of the front bumper with its new aero splitter. Altogether these changes not only add visual interest but also make the car look a bit wider, improving its stance to the eye.
At the rear, you’ll find a similarly wider, more dynamic appearance thanks to new taillights. The standard A8 gets new, twin trapezoidal exhaust tips.
The 2015 Audi S8 looks sportier thanks to larger air intakes in the front fascia, plus less chrome detailing, while rocker sill extensions and a rear aero diffuser increase the car’s seriousness quotient. The S8 has four oval exhaust tips, and an optional sport exhaust system enables you to turn up the volume and hear what the S8’s twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 has to offer.
Make your choice, mpg or mph
As before the 2015 Audi A8 will continue to offer a broad range of engine choices so you can tailor your luxury car experience to sense or sensibility.
If fuel economy is what you’re after, then the 2015 Audi A8L’s turbocharged 3.0-lliter V-6 diesel gives you 240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque to deliver 24 mpg City/36 mpg Highway. The 2015 Audi A8 TFSI’s supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 gives you 333 hp, and delivers 18 mpg City/28 mpg Highway.
You begin the staircase to mph with the 2015 A8 4.0T with its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, which has increased in output by 15 hp to 435 hp. Things get serious with the 2015 Audi A8L W12 and its muscle-bound, 500-hp 6.3-liter V-12, although now cylinder deactivation helps coax better mpg from this engine. At the very top of the food chain lies with the 2015 Audi S8 with a twin-turbo 4.0 V-8 that makes 520 hp.
Also the package under the hood for all A8s now includes electric-assist steering, which helps make possible the introduction of the Audi A8 Hybrid in Europe, although this car isn’t currently scheduled to come to the U.S.
The electron will make you safe
As with the new Mercedes-Benz s-Class introduced in 2013, the refreshed Audi A8 now has an enhanced complement of active safety features.
These new safety features include active lane assist, which tugs the steering to bring the car back into its lane if it drifts unintentionally across the lane markings. Also there are night-vision pedestrian detection and a fully featured head-up display. Blind-spot warning also continues as part of the A8 package.
In addition, you’ll also be able to ensure the safety of parked cars, since optional park assist will be available to steer the A8 into a parking slot.
It’s a luxury car, remember?
The 2015 Audi A8‘s list of options now includes 22-way adjustable front seats (sounds like an ergonomic puzzle in the making to us), and rear seats with five (!) different massage functions. Heating and ventilation are naturally part of the program, too.
Perhaps more important, additional acoustic insulation makes the cabin within the aluminum chassis fractionally quieter, and the trunk packaging has been altered to improve utility.
Even the 2015 Audi S8 gets more luxury, as the interior design features a new alternative with brown leather upholstery trimmed with copper-color carbon accents.
Audi hopes that these changes will create a significant uptick in A8 sales, which reached 6,300 units in the U.S. during 2013. An all-new generation of the A8 is in the works, of course, but this car is still about three years away.