Audi has finally revealed its facelifted flagship sedan in both its standard A8 guise and high performance S8. While the design is no longer a surprise for those of you who saw yesterday’s leaked photos, the facelifted Audi A8 also comes with more powerful and efficient engines, new assistance systems and the much trumpeted Matrix LED headlights.
Although the styling updates are not radical, they manage to improve the overall look of the car. The redesigned headlights and taillights are the most obvious changes, bringing a more contemporary look to the A8 – especially the intricate Matrix LED headlamps, which are available as optional equipment (LED headlights are standard for all V8 models).
More discrete changes include the engine hood, singleframe grille and front bumper which are more sculptured than before. The redesigned LED tail lamps are flatter than before and feature new chrome trim strips.
On the inside, changes are restricted to a new range of choices for seat coverings, inlays and colors, with new additions including the woods Fine grain poplar brown-silver and Fine grain-ash brown-gold natural as well as the leather Unikat. As before, the list of optional extras is almost endless, from ventilated front seats with massage function, to a leather-covered center console for the A8 L (long wheelbase model) and relaxation seat with power footrest. Also available are a four-zone automatic air conditioning and power-assisted closing for the doors.
More significant changes have taken place under the hood, with the 2014 A8 engines gaining power and efficiency upgrades. The 3.0 TFSI now has 310 PS (306hp, +20hp), while the 4.0 TFSI churns out 435PS (429hp, +9hp). The diesels are also more powerful – the 3.0 TDI Clean Diesel now has 258 PS (254hp, +4hp), while the 4.2 TDI Clean Diesel delivers 385 PS (380hp, +30hp) and an impressive 850 Nm (626 lb-ft) of torque (+50 Nm/36 lb-ft).
All engines are Euro 6-compliant, with the most economical engine being the 3.0 TDI, which averages 5.9 l/100 km (39.9 US mpg). Audi says performance has also improved with most engines, with the 4.0 TFSI quattro model sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds.
These four variants aside, the A8’s three additional models remain technically unchanged. There’s the range-topping A8 L W12 quattro powered by the 6.3-liter W12 gasoline engine developing 500 PS (494hp), the high-performance S8 powered by a modified version of the 4.0 TFSI unit delivering 520PS (510hp) and the A8 Hybrid that combines a 2.0 TFSI engine and electric motor to produce a system output of 245 PS (242hp) and system torque of 480 Nm (354 lb-ft). The all-wheel-drive S8 remains the fastest of the lot, sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. All engines are mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox.
The 2014 Audi A8 will arrive in German dealerships in November following the Frankfurt Motor Show premiere, with prices starting from €74,500 ($99,920). Sales around the world will follow shortly after.
By Dan Mihalascu