AUDI

AUDI A8 DIESEL SALOON 50 TDI Quattro S Line 4dr Tiptronic

Fuel

FuelDiesel

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph5.9s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2191 g/km

This MK4 model Audi A8 faces some tough rivals, but there's an argument that it's as good as any of its competitors, even Mercedes' mighty S-Class. It's smarter, larger and more sophisticated and claims to be the first production car in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving.

THE BETTER PART OF DISCRETION

Audi's A8 has long been the big saloon to choose if discretion and understatement work for you. Is that still the case? Jonathan Crouch looks at what's on offer from the fourth generation version.

Ten Second Review

This MK4 model Audi A8 faces some tough rivals, but there's an argument that it's as good as any of its competitors, even Mercedes' mighty S-Class. It's smarter, larger and more sophisticated and claims to be the first production car in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving.

Background

Audi is used to winning. It's got extremely good at it, continuing to push technological boundaries wherever it can to stay a step ahead of its rivals. And the best place to see Vorsprung Durch Teknic at work? Well it has to be here doesn't it, with the brand's top A8 large luxury saloon, further improved in this fourth generation form. It's hard to remember now, but prior to this A8's original launch back in 1994, Audi wasn't really considered a fully-fledged prestigious brand. Its cars generally languished in the corner of your local Volkswagen dealer's showroom and appealed to those who couldn't quite stretch to the products of the smarter German makers. The first generation A8 changed all of that, a car the like of which the luxury segment had never seen before. Aluminium spaceframe technology from NASA. 4WD quattro technology from the World Rally Championship. And exquisite standards of build quality that redefined what boardroom buyers could expect from a European luxury car. At a stroke, it put posh rivals on the back foot - and Audi has never looked back since. The second and third generation A8 saloon merely perfected the recipe, but this MK4 model claims to have taken a real step forward once again. Has it? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

The array of engines you get in the latest A8 is pretty mouth-watering. While it's true that the oily bits have been tweaked rather than offering anything overwhelmingly novel, they were good to begin with and have just got better. There are two extensively re-engineered V6 turbo engines: a 3.0 TDI and a 3.0 TFSI. The 50 TDI diesel develops 286PS, and the 55 TFSI petrol version 340PS. A 60 TFSIe quattro PHEV variant is also offered, this derivative mating a 3.0 TFSI petrol engine with an electric motor to achieve a 449PS output and 700Nm of torque. The other option is the S8, which uses a 420PS 4.0-litre petrol V8. This time round, dynamic all-wheel steering complements the standard quattro permanent all-wheel drive system and buyers also get Audi AI active suspension, a fully active suspension set-up. Depending on the driver's wishes and the driving situation, it is capable of raising or lowering each wheel separately with electric actuators. This newfound latitude enables it to deliver the polished ride comfort of a classic luxury saloon and the taut, composed agility of a more driver-oriented performance car in equal measure. It's clever. It's an Audi. What else did you expect?

Design and Build

This fourth generation A8 signalled the beginning of a new design era for the entire brand. The front end with its wide, upright Singleframe grille and the fluid, muscular body both aim to convey power, elegance, sophistication and modernity. As before, two bodystyles are available, the 5.17-metre 'standard' version and the A8 L, which has a 13cm-longer wheelbase. Space is often considered to be the ultimate luxury, and compared to its predecessor this MK4 A8 has grown substantially in length in both body styles. Occupants can also now relax in even more sublime surroundings, with every detail radiating superlative bespoke quality - from the perforation in the seat upholstery to the electrically opening and closing shutters on the air vents. The most sought-after seat in the new Audi flagship model could quite possibly be the rear left - the optional relaxation seat in the A8 L that comes with four different adjustment options and a footrest. In this seat, the passenger can warm and massage the soles of their feet on a unit with multiple settings incorporated into the back of the front-passenger seat. Up-front, the instrument panel is largely free of buttons and switches. At its centre is a 10.1-inch touchscreen display which, when off, blends almost invisibly into the high-gloss black surround thanks to its black-panel look.

Market and Model

Prices start at just over £70,000 and range up to around £103,000. A major draw this time round is the automated driving technology that Audi has built in. The Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 37mph on major roads where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways. The system is activated using the AI button on the centre console. The traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking. The driver no longer needs to monitor the car permanently and can even switch to watching the on-board TV. As soon as the system reaches its limits, it calls on the driver to take back control of the task of driving. Whether this wil be permitted by UK legislation is yet to be determined but from a technical perspective, the traffic jam pilot is revolutionary. And there's more. The Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot autonomously steer the A8 into and out of a parking space or a garage, while the manoeuvre is monitored by the driver. The driver does not need to be sitting in the car - he or she can start the appropriate system from their smartphone using the new myAudi app. It broadcasts a live feed of the parking manoeuvre taken from the car's 360-degree cameras onto the owner's handheld device for easy monitoring.

Cost of Ownership

All the conventional A8 engines operate in conjunction with a belt alternator starter, which is the nerve centre of the 48-volt electrical system. This mild hybrid technology enables the car to coast with the engine switched off, and to restart smoothly. It also has an extended start/stop function and an energy recovery output of up to 12kW. The combined effect of these measures is to improve efficiency substantially. Let's get to the WLTP figures. The 50 TDI diesel delivers up to 40.9mpg on the combined cycle and up to 180g/km of CO2. The 55 TFSI petrol version manages up to 28.8mpg and 223g/km. For ultimate efficiency though, you'll want to talk to your Audi Centre about the A8 60 TFSIe quattro version, which uses a powerful plug-in petrol/electric hybrid drivetrain. Its 3.0 TFSI engine and powerful electric motor achieve 449PS of system power and 700Nm and there's a lithium-ion battery that stores enough power for about 28 miles of electric driving. The 60 TFSIe PHEV manages up to 113mpg and up to 57g/km. Depreciation in this sector is traditionally severe, especially where the more expensive models are concerned, but Audi residuals are usually strong.

Summary

This fourth generation A8 is an impressive achievement. Every car in this segment is. As it should be, this is a showcase for Audi's best and most advanced engineering, aluminium construction and quattro all-wheel-drive now joined by astonishingly clever industry-leading automated driving technologies. Add in classier design and a range of engines that are pokier yet cleaner and more frugal and you've a formidable luxury saloon. But is it one that you can bond with, a luxury conveyance you'll love as well as admire? The answer depends upon the owner of course. Some may still see this A8 as being a little remote compared to a wood-panelled Jaguar, a status-conscious Mercedes or a proudly opulent BMW. I'm guessing though, that a significant number of boardroom buyers might now find this Audi a surprisingly complete all-round choice. Hugely capable, innovative and beautifully built, this is the car that rivals always feared Audi would build. And if you're in this market, it's one you need to try.

  • Electric front windows
  • Heated rear window
  • Privacy glass
  • Electric rear windows with isolation switch
  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • Acoustic double glazing
  • Heat insulating glass in side and rear windows

  • Front brake discs, callipers painted black
  • Rear brake discs, callipers painted black
  • Electromechanical parking brake
  • Anti-lock Brake System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Electronic Stability Programme
  • Electronic Differential Lock + traction control
  • Anti-slip regulation traction control

  • Front/rear floor mats

  • Adaptive air suspension

  • Audi phone box with wireless charging
  • Audi wireless smartphone interface
  • Audi connect safety and service (e-call)

  • Adaptive cruise control with speed limiter
  • Lane departure warning including emergency assist
  • Camera based traffic sign recognition
  • Audi parking system plus with front and rear sensors
  • Audi drive select
  • Electro - mechanical power assisted steering
  • Rear view camera

  • Power door closure
  • Remote fuel filler release
  • Power operated tailgate
  • Operating buttons in black, glass look with haptic feedback including extended aluminium look

  • Audi virtual cockpit
  • MMI navigation plus with MMI touch + Twin touch screens with haptic feedback
  • 'Lights On' Remainder warning buzzer
  • Head up Display
  • Service interval indicator
  • Colour driver's information system display

  • Reverse activated kerb-view adjustment on passenger's door mirror
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Body colour exterior mirror housings
  • Electrically adjustable heated folding + automatically dimming exterior mirrors with memory function and integrated LED indicators

  • Dark matt brushed aluminium lower inlays

  • 48V Mild hybrid technology
  • Diesel particulate filter
  • 24 litre AdBlue tank

  • Audi music interface
  • USB connection
  • DAB digital radio module
  • DVD System
  • Audi sound system
  • Premium MMI radio plus

  • Sport exterior styling
  • Sports bumpers
  • Body colour side protection with aluminium trim strips
  • Audi space frame
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Side skirts

  • Automatic headlight control system
  • LED daytime running lights
  • High beam assist
  • LED brake lights
  • HD matrix healights with LED rear lights + dynamic rear indicators

  • Electric auxiliary air heater
  • 2 zone automatic air conditioning
  • Dust/pollen filters

  • Leather gearknob
  • Passenger footwell storage net
  • Door pockets with bottle holder
  • Centre console with cupholders
  • Roof mounted sunglasses holder
  • Height/reach electric steering column with easy exit function
  • Comfort centre armrest
  • Door armrest with storage
  • Glove compartment cooling
  • Valcona leather upholstery with front sports seats in diamond quilted with S logo

  • Reading lights

  • LED ambient interior lighting pack - A8
  • High gloss styling pack - A8
  • Connect package plus - A8

  • Audi pre sense front
  • Seatbelt reminder + electric contact in buckle + advanced safety equipment
  • Audi pre sense basic
  • Front and rear side airbags with head airbag system
  • Tyre pressure warning light
  • Extended pedestrian protection measures
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Driver/Front Passenger airbags
  • 3 point seatbelts on all rear seats
  • Active front headrest system
  • Rear child proof door locks
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit

  • Electric front seats with memory function
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear headrests
  • Electric adj front seatbelt height + memory
  • Climate controlled seats
  • 4 way electric lumbar support for driver and front passenger
  • Isofix child seat mounting points on outer rear seats
  • 3 seat rear bench with centre armrest

  • Anti-theft wheel bolts and wheel loosening detection
  • Anti theft alarm tow away protection
  • Advanced key
  • Locking wheel bolts
  • Remote central locking

  • Quattro all wheel drive with self locking centre differential
  • 8 speed transmission with hill hold assist

  • Driver and front passenger side sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors

  • CO2 (g/km): 158
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 191
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 195
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 191
  • HC: N

  • Engine Code: 4N204A
  • CC: 2967
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Cylinder Layout: V6
  • Number of Valves: 24
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 42.2
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 52.3
  • EC Combined (mpg): 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 38.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 38.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 37.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 7.5

  • Generation Mark: 4
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 286
  • Badge Engine CC: 3.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • AdBlue: True
  • Coin Series: S Line
  • Coin Description: TDI Quattro
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 47E
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - BHP: 286
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.9
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Engine Power - KW: 210
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3500
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 443
  • Engine Torque - NM: 600
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2250
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 61.2

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Tyre Size Front: 255/45 R19
  • Wheel Style: 15 SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 255/45 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Length: 5172
  • Width: N
  • Wheelbase: 2998
  • Width (including mirrors): 2130
  • Height: N
  • Height (including roof rails): 1473

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 505
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.5
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1975
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2690
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 72
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2300
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 715

  • Upper inlays in Eucalyptus natural grey brown: £450
  • Fine grain ash natural grey brown upper inlay: Included
  • Walnut dark brown upper inlay: £450

  • 82 litre fuel tank: £110
  • 72 litre fuel tank: Included

  • Audi exclusive paint: £3,400
  • Metallic paint: Included
  • Pearlescent paint: £0
  • Solid paint: £0
  • Panoramic sunroof: £1,650

  • Jack and tool kit: £0
  • Black cloth headlining: Included
  • Twin spoke leather multifunction steering wheel with gearshift paddles: Included
  • Electric sunblinds for rear window and rear door windows: £1,000
  • Load through hatch: £215
  • Heated twin spoke leather multifunction steering wheel with gearshift paddles: £250

  • Leather Pack - A8: £1,025
  • Chauffeur pack - A8: £2,600
  • Alcantara black headlining pack - A8: £1,225
  • City assist pack - A8: £1,375
  • Alcantara pastel silver headlining pack - A8: £1,225
  • Alcantara pearl beige headlining pack - A8: £1,225
  • Extended leather pack - A8: £2,450

  • Metallic - Glacier white: £0
  • Metallic - Monsoon grey: £0
  • Metallic - Floret silver: £0
  • Metallic - Mythos black: £0
  • Metallic - Moonlight Blue: £0
  • Metallic - Terra grey: £0
  • Metallic - Navarra blue: £0
  • Metallic - Vesuvius grey: £0
  • Metallic - Seville red: £0

  • Pearl - Daytona grey: £0

  • Solid - Brilliant black: £0

  • Audi Exclusive - Custom: £3,400

  • Towbar with electric swivel function: £1,325

  • Valcona leather - Black + front sports seats: £0
  • Valcona leather - Merlot red + front sports seats: £0
  • Valcona leather - Nutmeg brown + front sports seats: £0
  • Valcona leather - Saiga beige + front sports seats: £0
  • Valcona leather - Sard brown black + front sports seats: £0

  • 19" 15 spoke design cast alloy wheels: Included
  • 20" 5 arm turbine design audi sport cast aluminium diamond turned finish alloy wheels in magnesium look: £2,050
  • 20" 10 spoke Y design alloy wheels: £1,250

  • Space saver spare wheel: £210
  • Tyre repair kit: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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