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1997 Audi A8 Overview

Full-size luxury returns to the Audi lineup as the 1997 A8 replaces the now defunct V8. The Audi A8 sedan includes all the sophistication, creature comforts, and classic engineering already on display in the A4 and A6 sedans, but adds some innovations that help improve on handling and fuel efficiency. Available in either a 32-valve 3.7 V8 at 230-hp or a rocket 4.2 V8 at 300-hp, the 1997 A8 is paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard with the 4.2 V8.

The 1997 A8 is the first sedan in the U.S. to employ an alumnimum frame and exterior panels (Audi Space Frame technology) which is designed to improve responsiveness and raise the fuel economy by reducing the overall weight of the car. As a result, the A8 handles more like a smaller car, and with the propulsive 4.2 V8, acceleration is incredible for such a large car. The quattro feature makes hay of snow and ice and adds to the feeling of security already provided by the standard ABS brakes, anti-slip technology, and independent rear suspension. Another innovation in the A8 is six airbags -- dual front and side and two rear side airbags.

Inside, luxury abounds with characteristic Audi standard features such as leather seats, power front seats, memory features for the driver's seat, mirrors, steering wheel, and headrest, and a power sunroof. Various packages offer heated seats or a solar sunroof that powers an interior fan.

Most owners love the 1997 Audi A8 for its spaciousness and well-planned interior that add to rider comfort. The 4.2 engine is a powerhorse delivering immediate acceleration response and a thrill behind the wheel. Handling and smoothness only improves with speed and some feel it outperforms the comparable BMW 7 series. Quattro grip is outstanding. Low points include high repair costs and unhelpful dealers, and poor fuel economy. The auto tran seems to cause a lot of problems and can be awkward finding the right gear, making owners long for a manual option. Small mirrors that cause blind spots were also mentioned.

Updated by Anonymous

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