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Car reviews - Audi - A8 - 4.2 TDI sedan


Audi's flagship A8 oil-burner is more than a match for its fellow German luxo-sedans

24 Jun 2011

WITH only a handful destined for Australia each year, the A8 will never figure prominently on most buyers’ radar, especially when the incredibly rapid V8 diesel kicks off from $234,500. But for the privileged few who can afford it, the Audi sedan flagship presents an intriguing fusion of design, quality and technology, in a package that is now at the very least the equal of its Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus rivals. This luxury limo’s time has arrived.

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Model release date: 1 February 2011 to 1 April 2014

Previous model

A8 sedan range

Released: Aug 2003
Ended: Aug 2010
Family Tree: A8

HANDSOME, exquisitely built and beautifully detailed, the A8 has long appealed to a somewhat different buyer to a BMW 7 Series or Benz S-class. The third-generation model continued with its predecessor’s advanced aluminium body and space-frame construction, which reduced weight but added complexity.

Initial models were V8 petrol engined versions in 206kW/360Nm 3.7-litre and 246kW/430Nm 4.2-litre direct-injection FSI guises, featuring a six-speed automatic gearbox driving all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system. Longer wheelbase choices were offered from 2004 (the A8 L). From mid 2005 the D4’s neat and simple face was replaced with the brasher, brand-wide ‘single frame’ grille while from July 2006 a 240kW/650Nm 4.2L V8 TDI turbo-diesel brought real-world economy to the wealthy. Front-drive debuted in this series in the form of the 191kW/330Nm A8 L 3.2L V6 FSI petrol with a CVT gearbox in November 2006, while the petrol V6 was also paired with the quattro system and the six-speed auto in the regular-sized 3.2 quattro version. Almost two years later Audi also introduced a 171kW/450Nm 3.0L V6 TDI in the long wheelbase body, to try and skim some of the limousine hire market that BMW’s 7 Series had traded so successfully in.

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