2002 Audi A8

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Key Specs

of the 2002 Audi A8. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    21 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    310-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

2002 Audi A8 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Built largely of aluminum, Audi’s flagship sedan gains a Symphony II stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer for 2002. The Porsche-developed Tiptronic five-speed-automatic transmission adds a Sport mode that can hold each gear longer while accelerating. Manual gear selection can be achieved by using rocker switches on the steering wheel. An improved lateral-skid control system called Electronic Stabilization Program is installed and incorporates Brake Assist. New options include a tire-pressure monitor and a communication system called Audi Telematics by OnStar.

The full-size sedan comes in two sizes: the regular A8 and the stretched A8 L, which rides a longer wheelbase. Both use a 310-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 engine and drive Audi’s permanently engaged quattro all-wheel-drive system. Side-impact airbags are mounted in all four doors, and curtain-type airbags deploy along the side windows during a side-impact collision.

A high-performance S8 sedan joined the lineup in the spring of 2001 and comes fitted with a 360-hp version of the V-8 power plant.

Exterior
All Audi sedans bear a family resemblance, but the A8 is the largest model in the lineup. In standard form, the A8 rides a 113.4-inch wheelbase and measures 198.2 inches long — about 6 inches longer than the midsize A6. The A8 L sedan is a little more than 5 inches longer than the regular A8 in both wheelbase and body length, stretching 118.5 and 203.3 inches, respectively. Most of that extra le...
Vehicle Overview
Built largely of aluminum, Audi’s flagship sedan gains a Symphony II stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer for 2002. The Porsche-developed Tiptronic five-speed-automatic transmission adds a Sport mode that can hold each gear longer while accelerating. Manual gear selection can be achieved by using rocker switches on the steering wheel. An improved lateral-skid control system called Electronic Stabilization Program is installed and incorporates Brake Assist. New options include a tire-pressure monitor and a communication system called Audi Telematics by OnStar.

The full-size sedan comes in two sizes: the regular A8 and the stretched A8 L, which rides a longer wheelbase. Both use a 310-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 engine and drive Audi’s permanently engaged quattro all-wheel-drive system. Side-impact airbags are mounted in all four doors, and curtain-type airbags deploy along the side windows during a side-impact collision.

A high-performance S8 sedan joined the lineup in the spring of 2001 and comes fitted with a 360-hp version of the V-8 power plant.

Exterior
All Audi sedans bear a family resemblance, but the A8 is the largest model in the lineup. In standard form, the A8 rides a 113.4-inch wheelbase and measures 198.2 inches long — about 6 inches longer than the midsize A6. The A8 L sedan is a little more than 5 inches longer than the regular A8 in both wheelbase and body length, stretching 118.5 and 203.3 inches, respectively. Most of that extra length shows up in the rear doors. Both versions are 79 inches wide and 56.6 inches tall.

Most A8 body and suspension parts, as well as its skeletonlike frame, are made of aluminum. Audi claims that this makes the sedan 300 to 500 pounds lighter, stronger and more fuel efficient than rivals that are built mainly of steel.

Interior
The A8 L sedan’s interior differs mainly in rear legroom, which is nearly 3 inches greater than that in the base model. As a result, backseat passengers in the A8 L luxuriate in limousinelike accommodations. Standard leather upholstery comes in a choice of five colors. Two decorative wood inlay types are available: burled walnut or polished sycamore.

Steering-wheel controls can operate the audio system, Tiptronic automatic transmission and cellular phone. The steering column has power tilt and telescoping features. Power front windows have one-touch up/down operation. A Premium comfort option package includes heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a power rear sunshade.

Under the Hood
Generating 310 hp, the A8’s 4.2-liter V-8 engine works with a Porsche-derived Tiptronic five-speed-automatic transmission and Audi’s permanently engaged quattro all-wheel-drive system. This transmission permits manually selected gear changes using controls mounted on the steering wheel. Audi claims a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of 6.7 seconds. A 360-hp version of the 4.2-liter V-8 with higher compression goes into the high-performance S8 sedan.

Safety
The A8 leads the league in airbags with a total of eight. Beyond the required front airbags for the driver and front passenger, four door-mounted side-impact airbags protect the occupants of outboard seating positions. Two curtain-type airbags drop from the roof lining and deploy along the side windows in both the front and back during a side collision.

Antilock brakes are standard, and an emergency inside trunk release handle has been installed. An optional Parktronic sonar system detects obstacles to the front and rear of the vehicle while parking it.

Driving Impressions
The A8 possesses just about every posh comfort and convenience feature that a reasonable person could want, and it delivers a thoroughly luxurious experience. Though it’s not a flashy automobile, the A8 is a superlative, subtly sophisticated road car that aims to please its fortunate driver.

Performance is brisk and assertive, and the ride is close to blissful; the A8’s handling is highly adept. Quattro all-wheel-drive handling gives Audi’s largest model a leg up on its rear-drive rival, the newly redesigned BMW 7 Series, when the pavement becomes slick. This Audi feels lighter than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and tops the elegant rear-drive Jaguar XJ for surefooted highway behavior.

Space inside is huge — more so in the long-wheelbase A8 L — and the interior is filled with handsome wood and leather. Passing and merging are accomplished without a worry as the energetic V-8 responds forcefully. Automatic-transmission upshifts are gentle, and downshifts are prompt and positive.

The A8 is exceptionally easy to drive. Once you get accustomed to the sedan’s abundant dimensions, the A8 is highly stable on the highway and maintains its composure through quick curves. The suspension reacts to any sort of pavement assault, which minimizes distraction to the car’s occupants even when rough spots occur. Engine noise is satisfyingly muted, but road sounds emerge on certain surfaces and noise is not absent.

In general, the controls are excellent, but some aren’t located in the most convenient spots. Visibility is good, except for thick B-pillars that limit the view over the driver’s left shoulder. Seats are comfortable and supportive, despite rather short bottoms. The A8’s trunk is huge and easy to load. All told, the sedan feels solid and tight with terrific panel fit, as if created from a single block of aluminum.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide;
Posted on 4/15/02

Latest 2002 A8 Stories

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2002 Audi A8 currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Audi A8 has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The A8 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker