2009 Audi A8 Reviews
Audi's flagship A8 full-size luxury sedan is available in regular- and long-wheelbase (A8 L) form. It competes with the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS 460 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The standard V-8 makes 350 horsepower, and an A8 L W12 sedan with a 450-hp W-12 engine is available.
New for 2009
Premium luxury package discontinued as its features become standard for 2009.
(Skip to details on the: A8 L W12)
A8s feature a version of Audi's distinctive single-frame grille and adaptive headlights, as well as side mirrors with turn-signal lights. The A8 L rides on a 121-inch wheelbase, which is 5.1 inches longer than the base A8. The A8 L's rear doors are 5 inches longer than those on the shorter-wheelbase version for easy entry and exit.
The regular-length A8 has an overall length of 199.3 inches, a width of 74.6 inches and a height of 56.9 inches. It is the shortest in height of its competitors, and its width is comparable. The A8's length is close to that of the BMW and Lexus, but nearly 6 inches shorter than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Five people fit inside the A8 and A8 L. The driver faces a multifunction four-spoke steering wheel. Wood trim extends to the sides of the interior and complements leather upholstery. Power front seats can be equipped with massage, heating and ventilating functions. The Bose surround-sound system includes a CD changer and 12 speakers. A Bang & Olufsen stereo is optional. An optional cold weather package includes a heated leather steering wheel with shift paddles, heated rear seats, and a ski sack with a rear seat pass-thru.
The A8's standard interior features include:
Under the Hood
The A8's V-8 engine mates to a six-speed automatic transmission that permits Tiptronic manual gear selection. The A8's adaptive air-spring suspension permits speed-dependent lowering of the car's body for increased directional stability.
An optional Technology Package features adaptive cruise control, side assist and lane assist. The side assist feature alerts the driver when vehicles are alongside the A8. With Audi's lane assist, the steering wheel vibrates if the A8 nears a painted lane marking and the turn signal hasn't been activated.
Standard safety features include:
The top-of-the-line A8 L W12 features all-wheel drive and a 6.0-liter W-12 engine rated at 450 hp and 428 pounds-feet of torque. The A8 L is also available with the 4.2-liter V-8 that's in the A8. Either engine drives a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. This was the first production car in the world to use LED technology, which uses extremely low power consumption, for its daytime running lights. The A8 L W12 has distinct rocker panels, too.
Audi says the A8 L W12 "accommodates four in supreme luxury." Seating for five is available in the W12 and standard in the A8 L 4.2 models. Standard equipment includes keyless entry and engine start-up, a navigation system, four-zone automatic climate control, a front and rear Parktronic parking system, and electric sunshades for the rear and side windows.
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