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2015 Audi A8

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/5/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The refreshed 2015 Audi A8 gains an updated front fascia, a new selection of 20-inch wheels, four new optional inlays, and redesigned headlights. S8 models are available with a new interior accent option: Vermont Brown with Carbon Twill inlays. The night vision assistant now comes with animal detection. Models equipped with the turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 are now rated at 435 hp, up from 420 hp.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Audi A8 is a full-size luxury sedan sold with five engine choices, two wheelbases, and standard all-wheel-drive. A diesel-powered TDI model is also offered on long-wheelbase variants alongside a high-performance S8.

Overview

There are five engines available in the 2015 Audi A8 and all are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Model: A8 3.0T and A8 L 3.0T
Engine and Transmission: Supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 – eight-speed automatic
Power: 333 hp/325 lb-ft of torque
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 19/29 mpg city/highway

Model: A8 L TDI
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V-6 – eight-speed automatic
Power: 240 hp/428 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 24/36 mpg

Model: A8 4.0T and A8 L 4.0T
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 – eight-speed automatic
Power: 435 hp/444 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 18/30 mpg (A8 4.0T), 18/29 mpg (A8 L 4.0T)

Model: S8
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 – eight-speed automatic
Power: 520 hp/481 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 17/27 mpg

Model: A8 L W12
Engine and Transmission: 6.3-liter W-12 – eight-speed automatic
Power: 500 hp/463 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 14/22 mpg

Performance is a strong point in the 2015 Audi A8 regardless of engine choice with strong acceleration particularly in the high-performance S8. Driving dynamics are also impressive for such a large car thanks to the car’s adaptive air suspension and the excellent all-wheel-drive system, which gives it a lot of grip. Its light weight and all-aluminum construction makes it feel “light on its feet, responding well to steering inputs and staying planted through corners.” At its limits, however, the car has a tendency to understeer due to most of its weight being in front while the electric power steering—like in most Audis—doesn’t have a lot of feel or give a lot feedback to the driver.

As you'd expect in a flagship luxury sedan, the 2015 A8's interior quality is top-notch with a lavishly appointed cabin made with high-grade materials, including soft leather and accents such as real wood and metal pieces. Tech features are also numerous and include a navigation system, Bang & Olufsen sound system, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, top view camera, and full LED headlights.

The NHTSA and IIHS have not crash tested the 2015 Audi A8.

What We Think

The 2015 Audi A8 remains an excellent full-size luxury sedan with an impeccable interior, superb driving dynamics and an available diesel engine. In a comparison test against the BMW Alpina B7, the A8’s high-performance variant, the S8, won due to the car’s ability to do everything well from carving up twisty canyon roads to keeping its occupants comfortable on a long drive. The available diesel engine also makes it one of the most fuel-efficient full-size luxury sedans but doesn’t sacrifice performance with TDI models able to sprint to 60 mph in less than six seconds while maintaining its excellent handling thanks to its all-wheel-drive system and well-tuned suspension.

You’ll Like

  • Available diesel engine
  • Excellent driving dynamics that don’t come at the cost of comfort
  • Impeccable interior

You Won’t Like

  • Numb steering feel
  • Nose heavy and prone to understeering at its limits

Key Competitors

  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • BMW 7 Series
  • Lexus LS
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Maserati Quattroporte

Rating

4 star

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