2013 Audi A8 L 3.0T Rocky Mountain Review By Dan Poler
By Dan Poler
Rocky Mountain Bureau
The Auto Channel
…all told, Audi’s A8 is quite an amazing car – far outside the realm of the ordinary and everyday
Audi’s luxury flagship A8 has been in its current form since the 2011 model year, with only minor updates since. 2013 brings a replacement for the venerable 4.2-liter V8, with the base engine option now being Audi’s TFSI 3.0-liter V6 – yes, you read that right, a V6 in the A8. More about that in a moment.
Our tester came to us in “L” configuration, meaning a shade over five inches longer than the non-“L” A8. That extra five inches translates to much-appreciated additional legroom for rear seat occupants.
The A8’s nose is strikingly beautiful, with a tall grill of horizontal chrome elements surrounded by Audi’s now-signature LED running lights. Unfortunately, the rest of the body, while attractive and unmistakably Audi, doesn’t keep up with this aggressive bow, leaving it feeling just a bit … blah.
Inside the attractive cabin, creature comforts abound. The A8 features options squarely aimed at occupant comfort – things like an eye-poppingly expensive but fantastic-sounding Bang and Olufsen sound system with 19 speakers, including front speakers which pop up out of the console when the vehicle starts to focus sound appropriately. Double sunroof? Of course, other vehicles have full-roof-length glass. But how many open, both front AND back, complete with separate controls for rear seat occupants? Power window shades? Yup. Massage seats? But of course! Friends, if you’ve never driven down the highway with motors in the seatback kneading the every knot out of your shoulders and lower back, we do suggest you try it should the opportunity present itself.
As an additional bonus for our rear seat passengers, the tester featured Audi’s rear seat comfort package, providing adjustable rear seats and two separate climate control zones for rear seat passengers. The rear seats recline quite comfortably, making long trips comfortable for everyone. Between this much-appreciated option and the additional legroom afforded by the “L” model, it’s possible that the A8 may have one of the most comfortable rear seats available on the market today –even for passengers north of six feet tall.
As we discovered in our recent review of Audi’s S5, much as purists may decry the loss of the V8, you won’t miss it – the 333 HP V6 is remarkable – although you must, you can opt for a new 4.0-liter V8 as an option. Audi’s exclusive aluminum frame and body panels for the A8 help to keep weight down and more than make up for the loss of two cylinders. Additionally, The V6 managed a respectable 22 MPG in combined city/highway driving.
Driving the A8 is a treat – as long as you don’t look back from the driver’s seat toward the distant rear seats, it’s quite easy to forget you’re not in a vehicle much smaller. The vehicle loves to be flung around corners – with just a hint of lean – and the Quattro all-wheel drive inspired confidence in every condition we could find to throw at it. The 8-speed automatic is silky-smooth, and steering is responsive with great response and feedback.
All told, Audi’s A8 is quite an amazing car – far outside the realm of the ordinary and everyday, and there are few comparisons that can be made – few vehicles can claim to offer this blend of comfort, performance, and luxury. This combination does carry a hefty pricetag, with our tester topping out north of $106,000 – with more than $33,000 in options alone – not many will make this sort of investment, but if you can, we wholeheartedly recommend the A8.
2013 Audi A8 L 3.0T Base Price: $72,200.00 Price as Tested: $106,545.00 Engine Type: V6 with TFSI direct injection Engine Size: 3.0 liter Horsepower: 333 Torque (lb-ft): 325 Transmission: 8-speed automatic with Tiptronic Wheelbase / Length (in): 122.9 / 207.4 Curb Weight: 4,376 lb. Pounds per HP: 13.14 Fuel Capacity (gal): 23.8 Fuel Requirement: Premium Unleaded Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1; 265/40YR20 Brakes: Ventilated Disc Suspension, front/rear: Multi-link / Multi-link Drivetrain: Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with electronic differential lock EPA Fuel Economy - MPG city / highway / observed: 17 / 28 / 22 Base Trim Price: $78,500.00
Options and Charges
Audi Design Selection Package: $4,000.00 (Valcona leather, brushed aluminum inlay, snow white alcantara headliner, fine grain ash natural balsamic brown upper inlay, snow white seat stitching and piping)
Comfort package: $2,000.00 (22-way climate comfort front seats w/ massage, wood decorative inlays on front seatbacks)
Cold weather package: $800.00 (heated 4-spoke multifunction steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear seat pass-through with ski bag
Full leather package: $7,100.00
Bang and Olufsen® Advanced Sound System: $6,300.00
Rear seat comfort package: $2,000.00
LED headlights: $1,600.00
Panorama sunroof: $1,300.00
20” 10-spoke alloy wheels & summer tires: $1,200.00
6 CD/DVD changer: $600.00
Dual pane glass: $600.00
Credit for two-zone climate control: $(350.00)
Price as tested: $106,545.00