describes the Audi A8 Australia as a “stupendously gratifying” car. So many superlatives!
Hearing from an Australian who actually owns an Audi A8should bring things back to reality. “Audi has thought of everything,” he reports. With this
sedan, you get “luxury and speed all in one.” This class of automobile should elicit hyperbole, especially in light of the six figure fist of dollars price it commands in Australia.
There are two diesel engines available with the regular sedan wheelbase and the long wheelbase variant. The 3.0-litre TDI contains a 6-cylinder turbocharged engine, and the 4.2-litre TDI houses a powerful turbocharged V-8 engine. All models come with an automatic 8-speed Tiprtronic transmission and Audi’s all-wheel Quattro drive. The longer wheelbase sedan includes many of the extras that are optional on the shorter model.
Under the Bonnet
The 3.0-litre TDI generates 184 kW of power with a generous 550 Nm of torque that allows the Audi to catapult from 0 to 100 km in 6.1 seconds. The more powerful 4.2-litre TDI nearly doubles the power of its sibling with 258 kW/800 Nm. It hits 100 km/h in a mere 5.5 seconds.
Combined fuel consumption for the sedan 3.0 TDI is a scant 6.6 litres per 100km and 7.6 litres for the 4.2 TDI. The longer wheelbase had the same
numbers on the 3.0 TDI and 7.8 litres for the 4.2 TDI.
Combined C02 emissions for the base model are 174g for the 3.0 TDI and 199g for the 4.2 TDI. The stretched sedan registered 176g for the smaller engine and 204g for the larger TDI.
Exterior and Style
One 2013 Audi A8 review described the sedan’s body style as “anonymous.” What Audi fails to accomplish by sticking with conventional sedan styling, it
makes up for with a world class interior and German engineering. The new, narrow all LED headlamps are a nice touch, and the 2013 model sports a massive chrome grille that gives the car prestige shine.
Interior and Comfort
Audi excels with the sumptuous details available for this flagship saloon’s interior. An abundance of wood grains and leather speak prestige, and standard comfort features like 7-way automatic adjusting leather bucket seats cushion you in luxury. The ample cabin in the base model sedan is stretched with the long wheelbase to allow boot space with an “ahh” factor. Available options allow you to indulge every executive whim.
Drivers will enjoy the standard MMI navigation system complete with Google Earth maps and Bluetooth, smartphone and USB connectivity.
Unfortunately, the Audi is short on cargo space compared to some luxury sedans, but does offer ample passenger room.
On the Road
Audi combines dynamics and comfort with its adaptive air suspension system and automatically adjusts to Australia’s various road conditions. This is combined with adaptive damping sensors on the body and axle which provide feedback to the system. The result is a smooth ride that absorbs the unexpected.
Concerns with large sedans often center on cornering abilities. Audi’s Quattro drive and traction control grip the bitumen with accuracy and helps prevent steering difficulties. However, the A8 is not as agile as a sports sedan. if you value nimbleness over cargo and boot space, you should consider a smaller cross-over vehicle.
The Audi A8 Australiais equipped with Audi pre sense basic, which pretensions seatbelts, closes the sunroof and windows and activates the hazard
warning system. A full set of front and rear air bags, automatic headrests, ABS brakes, and stability and traction control provide additional security.
Driver assistance is optional and includes front and rear sensors that monitor traffic, blind spots, and changes in driver behavior.
Value for the Money
With the 2013 A8, Audi made a concerted attempt to lower the price point from 2012. This brought the Audi A8 price below that of competing BMW and Mercedes Benz base model sedans.
Audi A8 Manufacturer’s Price:
Audi A8 4.2 TDI Reg.WB: $196,722
Audi A8 3.0 TDI Reg.WB: $162,009
Audi A8 4.2 TDI LongWB: $204,954
Audi A8 3.0 TDI LongWB: $171,163
The BMW 730d and Mercedes Benz S350 Blue TEC vie for king of the road status with the A8. The BMW 730d is the only diesel variant available, so the longer wheelbase model is not available with a diesel engine. All-wheel drive is not standard on the BMW, and it costs about $14K more than the Audi. On the plus side, the 730d claims to get an amazing 5.6L/100km combined fuel economy compared to the Audi’s 6.6L. One BMW review commented that the BMW interior could not compare with the luxury of the Audi’s.
The Mercedes S350’s look mirrors the conservative appeal of the Audi, but can’t match its famed Quattro drive stickiness and traction control. One S350
review complained about its “meager grip” but boasted about cabin luxury. The Mercedes gets 7.0L/100km combined fuel economy, which can’t beat the Audi, which also burns cleaner with lower C02 emissions. The Mercedes costs about $18K more than the Audi.
If you are looking for a prestige sedan that can master S curve driving and long highway stretches in comfort, the Audi 3.0 TDI or 4.2 TDI is a good bet. Its fuel economy is competitive, and it offers a comfy and exclusive interior that can be super-sized with the longer wheelbase model. Audi’s automated suspension and damping controls ensure a smooth ride, and Quattro drive and traction control will keep you on the tarmac no matter what tantrums the Australian weather throws your way.
About Tim Marsh:
Tim Marsh, author of New Cars Plus’s Car Reviews and Blog, has been covering the car beat for the last 8 years. Tim specialises in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last. Click here to read more about him!
For any more information on the Audi A8, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 020 311. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Audi dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours.