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  • 2014 Audi R8 Prices, Lease Payments, Special Offers, and Best Incentives, Huge Selection

    2014 Audi R8
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    2014 Audi R8 Review
    Like superheroes, supercars don’t have a typical life cycle. The Audi R8 might be showing a hint of gray around the edges—but it’s still a looker. Launched initially with a 4.2-liter V-8, a V-10 was added, then a spyder, and, finally, the lightweight, limited-production, and loud R8 GT. Audi has toyed with the idea of an R8 V-12 TDI, and several prototypes of a fully electric R8 e-tron were built.

    Walkaround
    Now the mid-engined supercar has been face-lifted for the first time, and a new top model—the R8 Plus—is scheduled to come to the U.S. in the first quarter of 2013. The lineup now consists of the 4.2 FSI with a 430-hp V-8, the 5.2 FSI powered by a 525-hp V-10, and the R8 5.2 FSI Plus sporting a 550-hp V-10. Compared with the regular V-10, the Plus version gets extra power and torque—it makes 398 lb-ft instead of 391—thanks to modified engine management. No hardware is changed. The additional power helps to make the R8 a bit quicker.More important than the power boost, however, is the weight saving in the Plus model. Compared with the regular V-10, almost 35 pounds of sound insulation are expunged. Racing-style seats mean 45 fewer pounds, ceramic brakes—optional in the lesser versions—shed another 25 pounds, and switching from magnetic ride to conventional suspension damping tosses about 15 additional pounds. What’s more, the R8 Plus is loud; the combination of intake and exhaust sound will send shivers of joy down your spine. Aurally, this is pure Lamborghini territory, which isn’t much of a surprise, since the R8 shares not only its structural components but also its V-10 engine with the Gallardo. With the manual box, 0 to 60 mph takes an estimated 3.5 seconds, and top speed is an ungoverned 198 mph. Audi means business with the R8 Plus, and the fact that you can’t presently get its goods fitted to the 200-pound-heavier R8 Spyder proves it.We are thrilled to report that you can still get the R8—and this includes every engine and body variation—with a six-speed manual transmission operated via a gated shifter. Internally called the ML600, the box is a marvel of precision and aesthetics. Customers here in the U.S. should congratulate themselves; we and the U.K. have the highest manual take rates.

    Summary
    More big news comes in the form of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, internally called the DL800. This box—marketing calls it the S tronic—weighs about 45 more pounds than the manual transmission but provides lightning-quick shifts. It blips the throttle artfully, rarely finds itself out of step, and is objectively fast. In the R8 Plus, it trims the quoted 0-to-60-mph time from 3.6 to 3.3 seconds. Top speed is lower by a fairly insignificant 1 mph.The DL800 entirely replaces the previously offered SL600 (R tronic in Audi-speak), a six-speed automated manual that weighed a mere 10 more pounds than the ML600 but was known for its jerky shifts. Interestingly, Lamborghini keeps the SL600 in its face-lifted Gallardo.



  • 2014 Audi A8 L Nationwide Delivery With Over a Half Million New And Pre-owned Cars Available, Al at Discounted Low Fleet Prices. Huge Selection, All Colors/Options Available (800)851-9000

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    2014 Audi A8 L Review
    A direct-injected 4.2L V8 engine making 372 horsepower and 328 pound-feet of torque is standard on A8 and S8L models. The A8L W12 FSI, to be available later in the model year, gets a direct-injected, 450-hp, 6.3-liter W12 engine. The A8 can get to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds, while the A8L W12 takes just 4.9 seconds. All A8 models come with quattro all-wheel drive, which is calibrated to feel sporty and enhance cornering confidence yet also take on slippery road conditions. The system can send 60 percent of torque to the rear wheels during normal driving, or more to whichever wheels have the best traction. Both models now come with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Audi says that fuel efficiency has been very significantly improved this year, with gains of 12 percent for the W12 model and 15 percent with the V8. Fuel economy ratings are up to 17 mpg city, 27 highway for the V8 models. 

    Walkaround
    The A8 is a very large sedan, but it handles like a smaller, more nimble sport sedan, thanks to its air suspension system, which comes with three modes: Comfort, Dynamic and Auto. Dynamic not only firms up the suspension and steering feel but also makes the accelerator pedal a little more responsive. The new A8 is built on a version of the aluminum Audi Space Frame, which helps keep weight down yet enhances rigidity, for a smooth more refined ride and crisper handling response. A8L models are about five inches longer than the standard-wheelbase A8, with most of that length going to backseat legroom. The A8’s very spacious and luxurious cabin includes supple leather upholstery with trims and inlays that include wood veneers, aluminum and padded leather. The new instrument panel design has an especially wide, flat center console and the shift lever has been modeled after the throttle control on yachts. On the outside, the A8 includes the first full LED lamp system-including high and low headlight beams, parking lamps, and cornering lamps-of any new car. Top driver-assistance technology options include adaptive cruise control (with a stop-and-go function), night vision assistant with pedestrian detection, Audi lane assist and Audi side assist. There’s also a new Audi braking guard system, which warns the driver of obstacles or hazards ahead and will sound a warning and prime the brakes. Automatic emergency braking will even deliver strong braking when it’s determined that a collision is unavoidable to help lessen its severity. Audi Pre Sense also helps reduce the severity of a crash by readying vehicle safety systems, adjusting seats to an ideal position, closing the sunroof and windows, and stiffening the suspension. 

    Summary
    Also included in the new A8 is an upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system, now making 1400 watts and, as Audi puts it, “a theater-like sound experience.” The new navigation system also draws input from Google Maps and has an improved look. To help manage all the onboard technology, Audi has installed a next-generation version of its Multi-Media Interface (MMI). A new MMI Touch function lets you write out letters on a touchpad for entering navigation destinations, enter numbers for radio functions, flip through album covers for the MP3 library, or use it as a pointer for map functions.



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    2012 Audi Q5 2.0 T

    2012 Audi Q5 Review
    The
    2011 Audi Q5 is now offered with two different engines. A
    211-horsepower, 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is new for
    this year. It joins the existing 270-hp, 3.2-liter V6 in the lineup.
    With the new 4-cylinder engine comes an 8-speed automatic transmission,
    while the V6 remains paired with a 6-speed automatic. Both engines have
    Tiptronic manual control, as well as the quattro all-wheel drive system,
    which sends about 60 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels under
    most driving conditions; on slippery surfaces or for better stability,
    the system will reapportion torque as needed.

    Walkaround
    With
    car-like underpinnings borrowed in part from the Audi A4 sport sedan,
    the Q5 drives and handles much like a sport sedan, despite its tall
    cabin. And the new 2.0-liter model, has a higher peak torque rating than
    the V6, so with the 8-speed transmission it should feel just as quick
    under many conditions. The Q5 is quite compact on the outside-it’s about
    as easy to park as a compact sedan-yet there’s a lot of passenger space
    within. Nice, supportive front seats afford a great view out, with a
    center console that has an adjustable armrest up top, while there’s a
    surprising amount of legroom in back. The back seats in the Q5 slide
    fore and aft to balance the amount of cargo space and legroom, while the
    seatbacks recline; the seats also fold forward to allow a large cargo
    space or, when up, there’s still a pass-through for long objects. The
    Q5’s long wheelbase, in addition to helping maximize passenger space,
    also helps improve ride quality.The Audi Q5 offers a long list of safety
    features that includes electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes
    and hill descent control, with a special off-road mode for the
    electronics that allows a little more slip. The stability control system
    in the Q5 will recognize when the roof rack is loaded and adjust
    accordingly. The Q5 also has the best tow rating in its class-4,400
    pounds. Front side thorax bags, along with head-curtain side bags for
    both rows are all standard. Rear side-thorax bags are available.Leather
    upholstery is standard on the Q5, along with power front seats,
    telescopic steering, keyless entry with an alarm, tri-zone climate
    control, a trip computer and a hard cargo cover along with cargo nets.
    The sound system that’s standard even on the base model is a 10-speaker,
    180-watt system including Sirius Satellite Radio, an auxiliary input
    and an SD card slot, while Bluetooth and an iPod interface are optional.
    Premium Plus models add a power tailgate, heated front seats with
    driver memory, heated folding mirrors, xenon headlamps, LED running
    lamps and a panorama sunroof. Available only with the Premium Plus, as
    options, are a hard-drive-based navigation system that accepts voice
    prompts and includes a rearview camera and HD radio and an amazing
    14-speaker, 505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system.

    Summary
    The
    top Prestige trim is only offered with the V6. It brings a host of
    high-end luxury and tech features including heated washer nozzles, Audi
    side assist and a heated/cooled cupholder. An available Luxury Package
    brings expanded leather trim, while the S Line Package adds flashy
    20-inch wheels, summer performance tires and a special steering wheel
    and shift paddles. The Audi Drive Select system, which adds three
    modes-Comfort, Automatic, Dynamic and Individual-that control the
    suspension, steering, engine/transmission response, is only offered on
    this top-of-the-line model.



  • 2012 Audi Q7 3.0T Premium Order Yours Today! Low Prices Great Lease Rates 1-310-860-8986


    2012 Audi Q7 3.0T

    2012 Audi Q7 Review
    Audi
    has shifted things around under the hood of its Q7 SUV. Gone are the
    3.6-liter V6 and 4.2-liter V8 gasoline engines and in their place is a
    new 3.0-liter V6, which comes in two different states of tune. The base
    engine delivers 272 hp and 295 ft-lb of torque, while the high-output
    variant produces 333 hp and 325 lb-feet. The third powerplant in the Q7
    lineup carries over from last year: a 225-hp, 3.0-liter clean diesel TDI
    V6 with AdBlue to scrub the exhaust of even more particulates before it
    disperses into the air. All Q7 models benefit from Audi’s new 8-speed
    Tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. The high-performance
    gas V6 model comes equipped with adaptive air suspension.

    Walkaround
    The
    Q7 is loaded with safety features such as airbags, TPMS and a crash
    sensor. There are available tech systems to help reduce the likelihood
    of a crash too. Adaptive cruise control monitors the vehicle in front of
    the Q7 and maintains a safe distance. If the car detects that a
    possible crash could happen, it warns the driver and prepares the
    braking system. At 20 mph and up, the side assist system checks the Q7’s
    blind spots and watches the rear of the car for fast-approaching
    vehicles.The Q7 comes in several trim levels, including Premium, Premium
    Plus and S Line Prestige in the gas models, and Premium, Premium Plus
    and Prestige in the diesel. The base level Premium includes LED turn
    signals in the exterior mirrors, 18-inch tires, dual-zone climate
    control, heated front seats, power tailgate, sound system with iPod
    integration, Bluetooth connectivity and rain and light sensors. The
    Premium Plus and S Line Prestige get upgrades such as Bose surround
    sound, driver’s seat memory, a panoramic sunroof, LED daytime running
    lights and xenon headlights and parking assist with rearview camera.
    These trims have a couple of extra options, too such as running boards
    and headlight washers. The S Line also features ventilated front seats,
    4-zone automatic climate control, power tilt/telescopic steering column,
    20-inch wheels, heated headlight washers, adaptive headlights, special S
    Line exterior trim and Audi advanced key.

    Summary
    All
    Q7s have both a cold-weather and warm-weather package available. For
    colder climes, a heated multi-function steering wheel is added, while
    those in warmer areas will appreciate the 4-zone climate control and
    window shades for the side and rear windows. A TDI S Line Package adds
    appearance both inside and out. Popular standalone options include a
    towing package for all trims, a panorama sunroof on Premium models, a
    Bang & Olufsen sound system for Prestige models, and Adaptive Air
    Suspension for a more responsive ride over variable terrain, also
    available on Prestige models.



  • 2011 Audi A8 Export Import Low Prices All Models Options Colors Worldwide Delivery Order Yours Today!

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    2011 Audi A8
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    2011 Audi A8 Review
    From the outside, the 2011 A8 is clearly cut from four-ringed cloth.
    The tail almost completely mimics the rear of the latest A4, and the
    corporate grille is in full effect, even if it has grown from a goatee
    into more of a mini-beard. All four corners share a similar squared-off
    element, and the front quarters, if analyzed closely, hint at the
    upcoming Bentley Mulsanne (some interoffice cribbing, maybe?). The LED
    headlamps are distinctive and can vary the depth of their beams based on
    the proximity of oncoming traffic. Wheel sizes range from 17 inches to
    20.

    Walkaround
    All A8 models get that
    ZF-supplied eight-speed automatic transmission, which really breathes
    new life into the old 4.2, and all have manumatic shifting and paddles
    on the steering wheel. We estimate the A8 will scoot to 60 mph in the
    mid-five-second rangemiddle of the pack in terms of acceleration. But
    what it lacks in outright speed, the A8 makes up for in sporting
    demeanor.

    Summary
    Dynamics, no matter how
    impressive, arent the reason most hedge-fund managers buy these cars;
    rather, the interior is the selling point for them. And the one inside
    this car is fantastic, with not one texture or material taking a tactile
    wrong turn. Elegant wood, leather, and, if so desired, aluminum line
    everything, with a lip that runs the width of the dash and continues
    into the doors serving as a sort of aesthetic calling card. This cabin
    is more attractive than that of the 7-series and cheerier than that of
    the S-class, and there are fewer buttons than inside the Panamera. A
    traditional shift lever gobbles up center-console real estateit looks
    like a sheathed putter peeking out of a golf bagbut operating it is far
    more intuitive than using BMWs quirky joystick-style selector.



  • 2012 Audi A7 Sportback Call 1-800-851-9000 or 1-888-861-8080 Low Prices, Lease Payments Worldwide Delivery! Order Yours Today!

    2012 Audi A7
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    2012 Audi A7 Review
    The Audi has released 2012 Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI Quattro. the 2012
    Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI Quattro more ore than a dressed-up,
    next-generation A6. the Audi A7 modular longitudinal architecture with a
    good 20 percent of the A7s body is made from aluminum, which is more
    heavily relied on in the more expensive A8, but most of the A7 is made
    from less costly steel.

    Walkaround
    The
    chassis glides over uneven roads with far more grace than before; this
    is a very comfortable car, with none of the harshness and forced
    sportiness that characterizes many other Audi models. the 114.7-inch
    wheelbase, up almost three inches over the previous A6s, definitely
    helps in keeping body motions controlled and the cabin serene. But
    whereas the 2012 Audi A7 Sportback can be considered a big car, at least
    in Europe, it doesnt mind being pushed through the corners. This is
    especially true for those versions equipped with the Quattro
    all-wheel-drive system, which feeds 60 percent of torque to the rear
    wheels as a default; as much as 70 percent can be shunted to the front
    and 85 percent to the rear. All U.S.-bound A7s will have Quattro. The
    300-hp 3.0 TFSI is the same engine found in the current A6 and S4it
    makes 310 hp in the former, 333 in the latterand it remains great in the
    2012 Audi A7 Sportback. Despite its misleading TFSI moniker, this V-6
    is supercharged with a Roots-type blower. Its smooth and responsive and
    delivers excellent performance, or so says Audi. the company claims an
    A7 thus equipped can achieve 62 mph in 5.6 secondswe estimate that to be
    about rightand the top speed is governed at the customary 155 mph. In
    Europe, the 3.0 mates to a seven-speed wet dual-clutch gearbox, but well
    get the same ZF-supplied eight-speed automatic found in the A8. the
    seven-speeder executes quick shifts, but the exhaust sound is subdued;
    this is clearly a luxury car with sportiness playing second
    fiddlealthough it is, as noted, plenty capable.the most popular engine
    in Europe likely will be the 245-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 TDI Quattro (its the
    same engine as in the front-wheel-drive version we sampled, but it made a
    weaker 204 hp there).

    Summary
    There also
    is an entry-level gasoline engine that is a naturally aspirated 204-hp,
    2.8-liter V-6. the best engine is yet to come: a 4.0-liter turbocharged
    V-8 that will be available in the upcoming S7 and mated to the
    seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox. the S7 will arrive after the
    S8 sometime late in 2011.Speaking of U.S. models, expect them here next
    year, the 2012 Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI Quattro priced somewhere
    between $50,000 and $60,000.



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    2011 Audi S4 Premium Plus Review
    The 2011 Audi S4 is a performance focused vehicle with a price tag to match. With a base MSRP of $46,600, this car is less your typical daily driver and more your head turning power house. The 3.0 liter engine produces an impressive 333 horsepower with 325 foot pounds of torque, aided by a supercharger. With all this power, the 2011 Audi S4 still manages to give its driver a fuel economy of 27 mpg on the highway, a 26% improvement over the previous year. Transmission and Handling of the 2011 Audi S4The S4 is available in both 6 speed manual transmissions and 7 speed auto-shift manual transmissions, both of which come with overdrive. The S4 features all wheel drive with independent front and rear multi-link suspension with anti-roll bar. Available options include an electro-mechanical limited slip differential, ride control, and adaptive suspension for maximum vehicle stability and control. As for steering, the S4 comes standard with rack and pinion steering with hydraulic speed sensitive power-assisted steering so the driver always feels in control of the vehicle and yet receives greater assistance at ultra low speeds for ease in parking and similar applications.The 7 speed S-Tronic transmission will also allow drivers to choose between comfort, auto, or dynamic modes to enhance the entire driving and handling experience. These modes will vary the speed shifting response, the speed-sensitive steering, and the response of the throttle. It is also worth noting that the S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission can be driven either as a manual via paddles or an automatic, so driving experience can change in an instant given the mood of the driver.A Look Under the HoodA supercharged 3.0 liter V6 engine that produces 333 horsepower and still meets all EPA emissions regulations is something special. The S4 operates on gasoline, however does require premium grade. Although the S4 is capable of 27 mpg on the highway, the combined estimated fuel economy is about 21 mpg, which could be considered poor by some. Keep in mind, however, that for the power this engine puts out, the fuel economy really isn’t that bad considering.

    Walkaround
    To put it bluntly, the S4 is a darn good-looking vehicle. A chrome grill, rocker panel extensions, and sleek curves make this four door sedan a car anyone would be proud to be seen in. The general styling hasn’t changed much in keeping with previous years, but Audi has made the new S4 somewhat lighter, weighing in at about 3,847 pounds compared to the 3,984 pounds of the 2010 model. Competitive vehicles include the BMW M3, the Cadillac CTS-V, the Lexus IS-F, and the Mercedes C63 AMG.Interior Options and Safety FeaturesLeather sport seats with heated power front seats and driver and passenger lumbar support make riding in the S4 both stylish and comfortable. Navigation and premium sound systems are available for upgrade, as well as 19″ wheels and a rear back up camera with parking sensors. Programmable memory seats are available for more than one driver, and a DVD player can be added for entertainment.In terms of safety, the S4 features 4 wheel anti-lock brakes, front, side, and curtain airbags, tire pressure monitoring, rear child locks, and rear LATCH provisions for child seats to name a few. To date, the 2011 Audi S4 has no crash safety ratings available as they have not yet been performed.

    Summary
    Overall, the new S4 is a well performing vehicle with pretty good fuel economy for its class. To be behind the wheel is to feel prestigious and there is no doubt one will receive many looks of appreciation from others wishing they had the same car.



  • 2009 Audi Q5 Are Here At Low Fleet Prices Now $399/mo $35,975 Worldwide Delivery 1-888-861-8080




    2009 Audi Q5 Premium

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    2009 Audi Q5 Review
    The Audi Q5 is a multi-talent for sport, leisure-time and family activities. As an option, Audi offers the rear bench seat plus, which slides 100 millimeters (3.94 inches) lengthwise to provide a load-through facility. The front passengers seat can be outfitted with a folding backrest for transportation of long objects such as surfboards. Numerous practical storage compartments, drink holders, bottle holders and onboard power outlets are supplied ex works. On request, Audi even offers a climate-controlled drink holder to keep drinks hot or cold. The optional storage package features another clever detail as well an attachment point in the passenger-side footwell to which various storage fixtures can be attached.

    Features and Options
    The Audi Q5 comes standard with an electromechanical parking brake, an intelligent chip key, a climate control system and a display screen in the instrument cluster depicting, among other things, the recommended ideal gear for efficient driving in the given situation. A large, central monitor is part of the standard equipment as well. When an onboard navigation system is added, many of the controls are shifted to the MMI panel on the center console. This is the next generation of the best operating system on the market with even more intuitive graphics and control via the large rotary pushbutton. Additional high-tech extras for the Audi Q5 include the advanced key for keyless access to the vehicle, a tire pressure monitoring system, the large panoramic glass sunroof with additional tilting function, the triple-zone climate control system, sun blinds for the rear side windows, the dynamic cornering light system known as Audi adaptive light, an electric tailgate and a swiveling trailer hitch. The high-beam assistant automatically switches between the high and low beams. On request, the front seats can be electrically adjusted, heated and ventilated Audi offers the extras from the luxury class in its new performance SUV here as well.

    Walkaround
    The Audi Q5 is rolling off the production line in three engine variants one gasoline engine and two TDI units. All of the engines are direct-injection models with a turbocharger characterized by outstanding performance, hefty propulsive power and cultivated running while at the same time offering impressive fuel efficiency. At 2.81 meters (9.22 feet), the wheelbase is the longest in its segment creating a roomy interior on board the Audi Q5. The vehicle comfortably accommodates five persons in ergonomically designed seats that can be flexibly arranged. The backrests for the rear seats are angle-adjustable and especially easy to fold down by activating the remote release lever in the luggage compartment. This compartment, offering access to a second storage area under the floor, then expands from 540 to 1,560 liters (19.07 to 55.09 cubic feet) in volume. Optional extras include a rail mounting kit for luggage, a net partition and a luggage compartment liner.

    Summary
    The new Audi Q5 combines the dynamism of a sports sedan with highly variable interior and versatile options for leisure-time and family use. Strong and efficient engines, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and agile running gear have been brought together to create a superior technology package for both on- and off-road driving. Highlights such as the innovative seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and the Audi drive select control system are proof of Audis Vorsprung durch Technik. The sportiest SUV in its class is dynamic, multifunctional and comfortable.



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    The Audi A8 is a big luxury sedan designed to challenge the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. In beats them in some areas and in others it offers an individualistic alternative. It many respects, the Audi A8 has raised the bar for performance.Three versions are available. The standard A8 features a 4.2-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission that deliver instant throttle response, while quattro all-wheel drive and an adaptable air suspension provide an excellent balance between handling and ride quality. The A8 offers a supreme sense of control with Gibraltar-like stability, benefits of its lightweight, highly Aluminum Space Frame that bonds the car into one cohesive unit.The cabin is elegant and comfortable, and tops the class in finish quality. Audi’s Multi-Media Interface, or MMI, integrate controls for various features and electronic systems into a big knob. It’s a little easier to learn than BMW’s iDrive, but it isn’t easy. There is a learning curve and sometimes we find ourselves having to work harder to perform simple functions and wonder whether this is progress or burdensome technology.The A8 L rides on a stretched wheelbase that provides more room and comfort for rear-seat passengers, not that the standard-length model is cramped.New for 2007, both V8 models get a 20-hp boost to 350 horsepower, while improving fuel economy by one mile per gallon to an EPA-rated 18/25 mpg City/Highway.The A8 L W12 features a 12-cylinder engine and a whopping 450 horsepower. It’s the only 12-cylinder sedan from Germany’s big three luxury brands with all-wheel drive.The Audi S8, new for 2007, is powered by a 5.2-liter V10 and comes with a firmer suspension, faster steering, and bigger brakes. The S8 is distinguished by special trim and equipment inside and out. The S8 is perfect for triple digit speeds on wide-open highways and would be an excellent choice for a cross country race. It’s also a good selection for getting away from enemy agents, for those in that line of work, particularly in bad weather. For driving through the neighborhood or in stop-and-go traffic, however, we found it suffers from an overly sensitive throttle that makes smooth takeoffs a bit too challenging.Audi A8 retail at a lower price point than comparable Mercedes and BMW models.

    Model Lineup
    The 2007 Audi A8 is available in four variations: the A8 4.2 ($68,900); A8 L 4.2 ($72,900); A8 L W12 ($119,350); and the S8 5.2 ($92,000). All come with Audi quattro all-wheel drive.The A8 4.2 rides on a 115.9-inch wheelbase, while the A8 L adds 5.1 inches in both wheelbase and overall length. Both are powered by a 4.2-liter V8 rated at 350 horsepower and come with a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual shift control. Both models come loaded with all the luxury features you’d expect at this price point. The air conditioning uses temperature, moisture, and infrared sensors to demist the windows before they can even think about fogging. The parking brake is operated by a switch.The A8 L W12 rides on the 121-inch wheelbase and is powered by the 450-hp W12 engine. It comes with ultra-luxury amenities such as power sunshades for the rear windows; heated power-adjustable rear seats; and leather upholstery on the door panels, console and dashboard. The A8 L W12 also comes standard with a full-length rear-seat center console, housing elaborate climate controls and seat adjustments, plus a dual-screen entertainment system; this limits seating capacity to four, though the rear center console can be deleted at no cost in favor of a three-place bench seat.The S8 rides on the standard 115.9-inch wheelbase, and features a high-performance 5.2-liter V10 rated at 450 hp. The air suspension is firmer, the brakes are larger and the steering is quicker. Extra bright trim and 20-inch wheels contribute to a distinctive look outside; while inside are sport seats upholstered in two-tone leather, darker wood or carbon fiber trim with aluminum accents, and white-on-gray italic gauge faces.Option packages for the A8 and A8 L include a Sport Package ($2,800) with firmer suspension settings, 19-inch wheels with P255/40R19 summer performance or all-season tires, and a multi-function leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with shift paddles. A similar package is available with 275/35ZR20 performance tires on 20-inch wheels ($4,000). A 14-speaker, 1000-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system custom-tailored to the Audi’s interior acoustics ($6,300) is available. A Premium Package ($4,400) includes Advanced Key, heated front and rear seats, electric rear sunshade, manual side sunshades, power trunk open/close, power door-close assists, Advanced Parking System with rearview camera, and rear vanity mirrors.Options for the A8 and A8L include adaptive cruise control ($2,100), which uses radar to maintain a prescribed distance from traffic ahead; Sirius Satellite Radio ($550); four-spoke wood and leather multifunction steering wheel ($690); a solar-powered sunroof panel ($790) that blows cooling air through the car while it is parked (and replaces the standard glass sunroof); front seat massage and ventilation ($1,500); rear-seat electric lumbar adjustment ($350); dual rear-seat climate control ($600); a ski sack ($175); 19-inch wheels with all-season tires ($1,900); and, for the A8 L only, personal refrigerator ($1,500) in the trunk accessible through the rear-seat armrest. Special paint-and-leather combinations are available ($11,500).A8 L W12 options are limited to the adaptive cruise control, solar roof panel, four-spoke multi-function steering wheel ($200), Bang & Olufsen stereo, refrigerator, full-leather upgrade ($3,900), and 20-inch wheels ($3,200).S8 offers the Premium Package ($3,900) with powered rear and manual side sunshades, Advanced Key, power opening and closing trunk, power assists to gently close the doors, heated rear seats, and Advance Park System with rear-view camera. Most of the stand-alone luxury options offered on the standard-wheelbase A8 are available on the S8 for the same prices. Carbon-fiber interior trim ($550) is available.Safety features on all A8 models includes 10 air bags. In a crash, computers quickly determine which dual-threshold, dual-stage air bags to deploy, how quickly to deploy them, and how intensely they should be deployed. The A8 comes with excellent seat belts. Be sure all your passengers wear their seat belts because they are critical to providing protection in a crash.Elegant. That’s how we’d describe the A8 in a word, but elegant in a forceful fashion that’s not at all prissy. The A8’s distinct wedge shape features a short front overhang, a low hood-line and a high, powerful tail. The shoulder line rises to the rear, creating the impression of a crouched beast ready to spring. The A8 is expressive in an understated Audi way, and people will know you mean business when you fill their mirrors.A8 L models are five inches longer than the standard A8 and S8. (L stands for long-wheelbase.) Inside the car, those 5.1 inches translate entirely into increased rear-seat legroom. Choose the A8 over the A8 L if squeezing into tight parking spots is more important than a vast rear seating area, remembering that the standard A8’s rear accommodatio
    ns are quite expansive by typical sedan standards.At 115.9 inches, the standard A8 is fractionally longer in wheelbase than a Cadillac DTS. The A8 L is essentially the same length overall as a Mercedes S-Class and BMW 750i. The A8 L wheelbase stretches 121.0 inches, which leaves it 3.6 inches short of the long-wheelbase Mercedes and 2.2 inches short of the long-wheelbase BMW. Other things being equal, a longer wheelbase offers more passenger room and increased stability at speed, but is less maneuverable in tight parking lots. The Audi is an inch wider than the Mercedes-Benz and comparable to the BMW.All the doors open extra wide, making it easier to get in and out. The flush, lever-style outside handles are attractive, but we find them harder to use than the type you can put your hand through, such as those on a Mercedes.Standard on A8 4.2s are five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels with 255/45HR18 all-season tires; these provide excellent handling and ride comfort and superb grip in the wet. The optional 19- and 20-inch wheels and tires more aggressively fill the wheel wells and provide a surprisingly smooth ride in spite of their short sidewalls. The A8 L W12 gets the 19-inch wheel/tire package standard; with 20-inch wheels available and 18-inchers (which offer the best ride) offered as a no-cost option.All models feature a tall, vertical grille that connects Audi’s familiar horizontally split grilles over the front bumper, emphasized with a chrome surround.The rear of the A8 models feature taillights that fit flush with the clean rear design. Turn signals use LED technology and feature side repeater lamps to signal your intentions to drivers alongside. Dual exhaust pokes from below the beautifully integrated rear bumper.The S8 has a bolder front end, with a bright finish emphasizing the vertical elements of the family grille; and a honeycomb texture for the air intakes on either side of it. A red-and-black S8 badge is offset to the lower right. Sharp-eyed Audi-watchers might notice additional S8 badges on the front fenders and front brake calipers, as well as unique aluminum-look trim on the side mirrors and door handles. Subtle, too, are the S8’s integrated deck-lid spoiler and light-reflecting panel in its rear apron; not so subtle are its four oval exhaust tips.The aluminum space frame saves about 300 pounds compared to a conventional steel frame, allowing more features without overburdening the car with weight. An A8 L 4.2 weighs 150 pounds less than a BMW 750Li and only 23 pounds more than a Mercedes-Benz S550, neither of which have all-wheel drive. The A8 benefits from a highly rigid structure, which means less flex, and the A8 feels as if it’s milled from a single block of bar-stock aluminum. A rigid structure is the key to a smooth ride quality and sharp handling.

    Interior Features
    The Audi A8 comes loaded with features, and each model is comfortable and luxurious. Interior design is clean and classic. A choice of leathers and wood trims ensures a touch of individuality. Handsome Valcona leather seat upholstery comes standard, with attractive Alcantara (suede-like) door inserts. Walnut, sycamore, and birch woods are used to warm the interior. A swath of aluminum around the dash and doors brightens the interior. The mix of wood and metal is pleasing and adds a sporting flair. In total, the A8 cabin is handsome and remarkably rich in appearance. Audi is known for high-quality, well-designed interiors and the A8 lives up to this.The A8 seats are supportive and comfortable and adjust 16 ways. A memory feature keeps all the settings for four different drivers (or moods), including climate controls. Front and rear seats can be heated and ventilated. The center console provides generous storage, and the electroluminescent instrument panel adjusts brightness automatically according to ambient light. The four-spoke, leather-covered steering wheel with a hub fashioned to replicate the shape of the grille.In the A8 L W12, virtually every surface that isn’t carpeted is covered with leather, save the top of the dash and headliner, which is made of Alcantara. Order the Full Leather Upgrade and the dash gets covered in leather, too, as well as the whole of the inner door panels, instead of just an insert. The double stitching on the seats in contrasting colors is really wonderful.The S8 gets special seats upholstered in two-tone Valcona leather with contrasting stitching; or in all black if that’s what you prefer. The wood trim in the S8 is an almost-black Gray Birch, which contrasts more sharply with the aluminum-look highlights. Carbon fiber trim is optional. The S8 comes with a three-spoke steering wheel wrapped in gray leather. Instruments are white-on-gray with italic figures.A seven-inch color screen in the top-center of the dash of all models displays Audi’s Multi-Media Interface, or MMI. Four buttons and a dial on the center console do the adjusting. This system is designed to consolidate interior functions into one control center, giving the driver lots of options without filling the dash with buttons. Audi’s MMI features a shallower menu structure than BMW’s iDrive, meaning you don’t have to burrow as deeply through a maze of menus to get to the adjustment you want. Audi did not incorporate the climate controls into this system, however, and this is a good thing. Heating and air conditioning have traditional controls mounted high on the center stack, so you don’t have to call up a menu to change the fan speed. You simply twist a dial. Occasionally, we twisted this when we really wanted to turn down the radio, but we learned. The MMI screen matches the look of the controls, and a Return button takes you back to where you were, like the Back button on a Web browser.Virtually everyone we’ve spoken too, from auto reviewers to consumers, rates Audi’s MMI better than BMW’s iDrive. But some rate the Audi system only minutely better, and don’t like it much at all. Or, easiest of all, Jaguar’s elegant and traditional controls. The point? Designing controls to manage the ever-increasing number of performance, entertainment and communications systems in luxury cars traveling at high speeds remains a young, inexact science. This systems take some time to learn and, at times, we found the technology overwhelming and distracting.Beyond finish quality, attention to detail is one of Audi’s greatest assets. A secondary heater in the A8 is designed to heat up the rear cabin quickly. Ambient lighting in the interior allows control of mood in the cabin. Mood lighting is good. One small demerit is the power door that hides the MMI when the car is shut off operates closes in a jerky fashion.The A8 is quiet underway. The cabin is well insulated (the W12 features double-pane side glass), and conversation is easy at any speed, even in the nosiest ambient conditions. There’s no wind noise in this car and the ventilation system was acoustically tuned to make the climate control as quiet as possible, even when the fan is at full blast.The standard audio system uses Bose noise compensation technology just like those fancy headphones you see people wearing on the plane. It works terrifically well. Essentially, a microphone samples the sound and sends out sound waves to cancel out undesirable noise. The 12-speaker stereo sounds fantastic, with crisp bass and clear highs. An equalizer matched to the car’s equipment and trim specification takes into account changes to interior acoustics caused by the choice of upholstery. A four-way diversity antenna aids AM/FM reception, and a list of all radio stations that can be received in a given region appears at the touch of an MMI button, though we frequently turned it the wrong way. The six-disc CD changer is in the glove box, and we found this inconvenient; ejecting a CD was a chore that distracted our attention from the road. We’d prefer a single in-dash CD player to this. Sirius Satellite Radio is available, offering cross country access to CNN, Fox News and other news and entertainment programming. Turn the system on and the silk-dome tweeters automatically
    extend from the instrument panel into their ideal positions. Expect people to ask what they do.OnStar telematics comes standard, offering operators who can give directions around the clock and provide myriad other types of information and services. Those operators will send help to your location should an airbag deploy. They can pinpoint the location of the car if it’s stolen or unlock the doors remotely if you’ve locked the keys inside.Rear seats in the A8 are designed to be comfortable for the 85th percentile in height, and even tall passengers aren’t likely to complain. Rear passengers have lots of controls available to them, including optional power lumbar support and optional rear-seat dual climate control. There’s also a fold-down center armrest with a pass-through to the trunk.Rear seats in the A8 L are much more spacious, with acres of legroom. In the A8 L W12, a full console with more elaborate climate and seat-adjustment switches splits the rear seats. A rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens in the back of the front headrests comes standard in the W12, which includes a six-DVD changer, remote control, one set of headphones, two AV and two headphone jacks in the center console. This rear console eliminates space for one passenger, but it pumps up the club-room ambience. (A three-place bench can be specified instead.) The A8 L falls short of the long-wheelbase 7 Series in rear-seat head and leg room, but not by much. The A8 L rear doors are long, allowing easy access to the rear seat.The trunk is big and deep. The trunk is the same size on the A8 and A8 L. At 14.6 cubic feet it is significantly smaller than the cavernous luggage compartments of the BMW 7 Series (18.0 cubic feet) and Mercedes-Benz S-Class (19.7). Still, the Audi provides sufficient room for at least two tournament-grade golf bags or a couple of weeks worth of groceries. The trunk houses a full-size spare tire.We found the coat hooks inadequate for picking up a big load of dry cleaning, however.The effort of operating an A8 is reduced by technology. A Soft Close feature automatically sucks the side doors shut from a partially latched position. Optional Advanced Key eliminates the labor of turning the ignition key or even having to pull it out of your pocket, briefcase or purse, allowing the doors to be opened and the A8 to start with a button as long as the coded key fob is within a certain proximity. We’re not sure intelligent keys are a feature we have to have and often find them more trouble than they are worth. However, our car had the standard key and we had trouble finding the ignition switch one night as it was not illuminated.

    Driving Impressions
    In the Audi A8, a driver can use the Driver Information Display to set the optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which minds tailgating and maintains a safe, pre-determined distance to the car ahead. The Electronic Stabilization Program can help control the car when the driver can’t. Electronic Brake-force Distribution keeps the car balanced in a panic stop, and Brake Assist slams the binders harder if the driver doesn’t press as hard he or she should. Adaptive Air Suspension keeps the ride smooth and tires planted no matter the surface. There are moisture-sensing wipers, high-intensity headlamps and ten airbags. Yet all these advanced systems, identified by a confusing array of acronyms, don’t mask one crucial point. The A8 can be a complete joy to drive, reminding all but the sensory deprived how pleasant gobbling miles in a big, fast luxury sedan can be.The first impression at the wheel of an A8 is its smoothness. There’s nothing remotely resembling a squeak or rattle, and almost no vibration in the cabin.The A8 can be a thrill to drive. The 4.2-liter V8 delivers powerful acceleration, but its power delivery is sophisticated, not crude. The V8 responds with a muted roar to every poke at the gas pedal. No matter how fast the A8 4.2 is already going, the driver can tap into a deep well of acceleration-producing torque.2007 models get a boost in horsepower, and Audi claims the 350-hp A8 4.2 can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, about 0.4 seconds quicker than the 2006 model. A sub-six-second 0-60 is quick. Top speed is electronically governed at 130 mph. In short, the A8 is fast traffic.The 6.0-liter W12, rated 450 horsepower, is quite remarkable. The A8 L W12 is a blast to gas. Throttle response is immediate, and the 12-cylinder engine delivers acceleration-producing torque in a wide, flexible power band befitting a luxury carmaker’s flagship sedan. The W12 pulls hard up to its 6200-rpm power peak, and it feels like there’s still more power coming when it hits the rev limiter. Moreover, the revs translate to executive-class thrust. Audi reports 0-60 mph times of 5.0 seconds, very quick, indeed, with top speed governed at 130. The W12 is remarkably refined, docile, and tractable, particularly given 450 horsepower, but it does have a hint of an overly sensitive throttle so you might have to recalibrate your foot to avoid lurching from a standstill.The six-speed automatic that comes with either engine shifts up or down according to the driver’s wishes, deftly sensing how quickly and how hard the throttle is mashed. The transmission features what Audi calls DSP (for Dynamic Shift Program), a form of smart software that selects from over 200 possible shifting programs to adjust to any individual’s driving style. Upshifts are silky smooth in full automatic mode; in some instances, downshifts could come quicker, but the reserve of torque in either engine more than compensates for any shift lag. The automatic features Porsche’s Tiptronic system, allowing the driver to slide it into a manually controlled mode. Manual shifting is never necessary, because the transmission is quite responsive in the automatic mode, but it can be fun. Here, however, we lodge a small complaint. Even in manual mode, the transmission will shift up at high rpm, rather than holding the selected gear, which seems to defeat the purpose of giving the driver manual control, but it’s a good thing if you forget to shift.The quattro all-wheel-drive system offers excellent traction in slippery conditions, but also improves stability when cornering, whether under full-throttle acceleration or when the driver lifts off the gas suddenly in the middle of a turn. Quattro also eliminates torque steer, that pulling sensation on the steering wheel that powerful front-drive cars often exhibit under acceleration.An adaptive air suspension is used at all four corners on the A8, and it’s a bit more sophisticated than the rear air shocks that could be inflated on 1970-vintage American station wagons. Four settings are available, selected electronically with the MMI. There are genuine differences in ride and handling with the basic Comfort and Dynamic settings, but neither is uncomfortably firm nor disappointingly mushy.In the Comfort mode, the A8 rides at the normal ride height (120 millimeters or 4.7 inches). “Comfort” might suggest a cushy, mushy ride, but that’s not the case. Even on a narrow, undulating Kentucky backcountry road, we found the suspension well controlled with Comfort selected, yet still smooth, compliant and comfortable. Switching to the Dynamic mode lowers the suspension by 20 mm (about three-quarters of an inch). You might think Dynamic is buckboard firm, but we found it quite comfortable and compliant, though tuned for sporty handling and more aggressive driving. Both modes operate at all speeds, or you can switch to the Automatic mode. Here the system tailors the suspension damping to conditions and the way you’re driving, automatically lowering the car at 75 mph. This is usually the best setting, as the system continuously matches the ride and handling to the situation, and does a good job of it. The ride is smooth and supple, without the slightest sensation of floating or wallowing. Lastly, there is the Lift mode, which raises the suspension 25 mm (about an inch) above the normal ride height. Lift is a good setting for gravel roads, snow, a nasty driveway or an
    abrupt transition, any situation that calls for a raised ride height. Exceed 62 mph in Lift mode and the suspension automatically lowers to the normal ride height.Despite its length and substantial weight, the A8 is impressively agile, and bears up well under aggressive driving. The steering is sharp and precise, providing excellent communication between the tires and the driver. One key to this big sedan’s excellent handling and ride quality is its rigid aluminum space frame. The frame resists flexing and lets the suspension do all the work, which is how it’s supposed to be. That’s why the A8 delivers such a nice balance of fine handling and ride comfort. Driven to the limit in a corner, it understeers a bit, tending to push toward the outside edge of the pavement. To counter this, the driver simply lifts a little from the throttle, and the front tucks in and tracks through the turn. It works beautifully.Turn the wheel sharply at night and cornering lights automatically come on to illuminate the inside of the corner, a nice feature.The brakes are easy to modulate for smooth stops, and powerful enough for repeated hard braking from high speeds without fading. Of course, the A8 has every imaginable braking feature, including electronic brake-force distribution, Brake Assist and ABS. The A8 exhibits very little nose-dive during braking and absolutely no drama in the hardest stops. It simply stops straight and true, allowing the driver to maintain steering control in virtually all circumstances. In an emergency situation, just remember to stand on the brakes, don’t relieve pedal pressure, and look and steer where you want to go.The Differential Lock helps assures stability even while turning under hard acceleration. An electronic stability program (ESP) compares vehicle behavior against driver input, and uses the antilock brakes and traction control to correct a skid or slide. Add quattro all-wheel drive, and the A8 will do everything physically possible to keep you heading where you want to go.The S8 packs a 40-valve V10 with 450 horsepower, same as the W12 but at a significantly higher 7700 rpm. The S8 boasts 398 pound-feet of torque at 3500 vs. the W12’s 428 pound-feet at 4000-4700. Digest those numbers a minute and you’ll see that the V10 is really the performance powerhouse in the A8 series, playing the rogue racer against the W12’s executive express. The shorter wheelbase and 10-cylinder engine save weight, improving acceleration performance: Audi claims 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, with top speed electronically limited to 155 mph. EPA estimated fuel consumption is the same as for the W12: 15/21 mpg City/Highway.The S8 runs with the same six-speed automatic transmission as the A8 and A8 L W12, but it’s programmed for more aggressive action. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel promise full manual control. The final drive ratio in the S8 is significantly shorter than in the other models (about 4.0:1 for the S8, vs. 3.3:1 for other A8s), for snappier throttle response in high gear.S8’s air suspension is adapted from the A8 Sport Package, but the bushings, shock absorbers and air springs are firmer, to reduce roll and pitch. Steering is variable-ratio as in the A8, but geared about 10 percent faster around the straight-ahead position. Ride height is the same as with the Sport suspension, reaching a minimum of 3.7 inches at freeway speeds. Brakes are vented discs, 15.2 inches in front and 13.2 inches in the rear; standard tires are 265/35 on 20-inch wheels. The Bosch 5.7 electronic stability control on the S8 is programmed to interfere later and more briefly, leaving more control in the hands of the driver. It also keeps the disc brakes dry by lightly applying them, just enough to generate heat but not enough for the driver to notice.

    Summary
    The Audi A8 is fast, roomy, luxurious and exceptionally comfortable. It rides like a luxury car, yet it’s taut and handles like a sports sedan. Loaded with innovation, the A8 is a thinking person’s luxury car, more progressive, less traditional than a BMW or Mercedes. It’s elegant but not arrogant, indulgent without being excessive. It’s priced a little lower than comparable sedans from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, yet gives up almost nothing to either. V8, V10, or W12? In Germany, where the autobahn beckons with no speed limit, that would be an easier choice, assuming money is no object. In our land, the advantage of the W12 or the sporty S8 is more image than reality. The price premium for the W12 seems like a lot for image, but it is a wonderful 12-cylinder sedan with all-wheel drive and we think it’s a good choice. We’ll pass on the S8 due to its overly sensitive throttle, however.