The 2015 Audi A8 is a full-size luxury sedan offered in regular-wheelbase (A8) and long-wheelbase (A8 L) variations. In Europe, the new A8 is offered with a wide range of powertrains, most of which will also be available in the U.S. market.
New styling gives the A8 the appearance of a redesigned car, especially the newly stretched A8 L model, but the luxury sedan's underlying Audi Space Frame aluminum architecture is essentially the same design as the current A8. New LED headlights are optional for the 2015 A8, and in Europe, the car is offered with new Matrix LED headlights that automatically adapt illumination to traffic conditions and which use predictive route and road condition data from the navigation system to adjust lighting to driving conditions.
Audi is offering new upholstery and trim choices for the new A8, as well as new colors. Buyers seeking a more exclusive interior treatment can consult the Audi Design range of exclusive cabin appointments.
The list of options for the A8 is extensive. Depending on the model selected, the 2015 A8 can be fitted with aluminum wheel designs ranging up to 21 inches in diameter, Active Noise Cancellation, a performance-tuned Adaptive Air Suspension, Dynamic Steering technology, sports rear differential, and carbon ceramic brakes.
Inside, the A8 is available with a 4-zone automatic climate control system, ventilated front and rear seats, massaging front and rear seats, individual rear seats with power adjustment, and a rear relaxation seat design with a footrest. More options are listed below in the Safety and Technology sections.
Under the Hood
In Europe, the 2015 Audi A8 is offered with seven different powertrains, not all of which will be offered in the United States. Those unconfirmed for American shores include the A8 Hybrid's 245-horsepower gas-electric powertrain, which combines a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor, Lithium-ion battery, and front-wheel drive. The A8 4.2 TDI, which employs a turbo-diesel V-8 engine generating 627 lb.-ft. of torque, is also likely to be a no-show in the United States.
Confirmed for the United States are the 3.0 TDI, 3.0T, 4.0T, S8, and the W12 models, all equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission and Quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
The 3.0 TDI is claimed to be more efficient than the current diesel thanks to a 10% reduction in internal friction, and the Euro-spec model's horsepower rating climbs from 240 to 258. The 3.0T is equipped with a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, currently rated to provide American drivers with 333 horsepower.
The Audi A8 4.0T and S8 models have a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 engine. Audi Cylinder On Demand (COD) technology helps to conserve fuel by shutting off half of the cylinders when the engine isn't working very hard. In the 4.0T model, this engine generates 435 horsepower and delivers 60 mph in about 4.4 seconds, according to Audi. The S8 is more powerful, generating 520 horsepower and accelerating to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds.
At the top of the lineup, the Audi A8 W12 is equipped with a 12-cylinder engine producing 500 horsepower. It is also equipped with COD in order to help conserve fuel under certain driving conditions.
The new Audi A8 receives several new safety features for 2015. Audi Active Lane Assist can help the car remain in its lane by automatically steering the car back on course. Audi also upgrades the A8's Audi Pre-Sense and Night Vision Assistant systems for 2015, and continues to offer Audi Side Assist and an adaptive cruise control system with Stop & Go functionality.
In addition to an optional Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, the 2015 Audi A8 will be available with a rear-seat entertainment system featuring dual display screens and Bluetooth-linked headphones. Audi Connect is also optional, turning the A8 into a Wi-Fi hotspot and providing traffic information, Google Earth imagery, and Google Street View imagery for the car's navigation system.
A new Head-Up Display debuts with the new A8, and Audi is also offering a Park Assist with a 360 Display that can automatically steer the A8 into a parking space while the driver operates the pedals and transmission.