Contact us for full library access on: 0330 0020 227 or click here

Audi A8

The independent definitive Audi A8 video review
How will you view?

This is a sample, showing 30 seconds of each section.

    THE BETTER PART OF DISCRETION (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Audi's A8 has long been the big saloon to choose if discretion and understatement work for you. Is that still the case? Jonathan Crouch looks at what's on offer from the fourth generation version.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 51

    This MK4 model Audi A8 faces some tough rivals, but there's an argument that it's as good as any of its competitors, even Mercedes' mighty S-Class. It's smarter, larger and more sophisticated and claims to be the first production car in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving.

    Backgroundword count: 214

    Audi is used to winning. It's got extremely good at it, continuing to push technological boundaries wherever it can to stay a step ahead of its rivals. And the best place to see Vorsprung Durch Teknic at work? Well it has to be here doesn't it, with the brand's top A8 large luxury saloon, further improved in this fourth generation form. It's hard to remember now, but prior to this A8's original launch back in 1994, Audi wasn't really considered a fully-fledged prestigious brand. Its cars generally languished in the corner of your local Volkswagen dealer's showroom and appealed to those who couldn't quite stretch to the products of the smarter German makers. The first generation A8 changed all of that, a car the like of which the luxury segment had never seen before. Aluminium spaceframe technology from NASA. 4WD quattro technology from the World Rally Championship. And exquisite standards of build quality that redefined what boardroom buyers could expect from a European luxury car. At a stroke, it put posh rivals on the back foot - and Audi has never looked back since. The second and third generation A8 saloon merely perfected the recipe, but this MK4 model claims to have taken a real step forward once again. Has it? Let's find out.

    Driving Experienceword count: 210

    The array of engines you get in the latest A8 is pretty mouth-watering. While it's true that the oily bits have been tweaked rather than offering anything overwhelmingly novel, they were good to begin with and have just got better. There are two extensively re-engineered V6 turbo engines: a 3.0 TDI and a 3.0 TFSI. The diesel develops 286PS, and the petrol version 340PS. There's also an eight-cylinder TDI - a 4.0-litre with 435PS - and as before, the exclusive top engine version is the W12 with a displacement of 6.0 litres. An e-tron quattro variant has also been developed, this derivative mating a 3.0 TFSI petrol engine with an electric motor to achieve a 449PS output and 700Nm of torque. This time round, dynamic all-wheel steering complements the standard quattro permanent all-wheel drive system and buyers also get Audi AI active suspension, a fully active suspension set-up. Depending on the driver's wishes and the driving situation, it is capable of raising or lowering each wheel separately with electric actuators. This newfound latitude enables it to deliver the polished ride comfort of a classic luxury saloon and the taut, composed agility of a more driver-oriented performance car in equal measure. It's clever. It's an Audi. What else did you expect?

    To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-60 mph (s):

    6

    0

    Combined mpg:

    50

    0

    CO2 (g/km):

    150

    Insurance group:

    40

    50

    Max Speed (mph):

    155

    0

    Price:

    68000

    105000

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

    Performance
    70%
    Handling
    70%
    Comfort
    80%
    Space
    80%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

    Subscriber? Login here

    Mobile
    Narrow
    Narrower
    Normal
    Wide