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2010 Audi A8 Overview

Understated opulence. That’s the 2010 Audi A8.

The A8 is the flagship full-size luxury sedan for the quad-ring manufacturer, but it doesn’t shout about it. Instead, it has a reserved styling that conceals the vehicle’s power, technology, and luxury like a disarming Mona Lisa smile. The front grille and headlights clearly mark the A8 as an Audi, and its profile lines are both graceful and handsome, but there is no flaunting flash to this $74,500 vehicle. Whether you want to drive it or be chauffered in it, the A8 offers ample performance, comfort, and style with subtle class.

The two available trims are more like size options, with the A8L having a longer wheelbase and therefore even more room in the backseat than the A8 base. The A8L raises MSRP to $78,400. Both sizes seat five comfortably and are built on a chassis similar to the Bentley Continental's. Changes for 2010 are subtractions, as Audi discontinued the S8 high-performance model and the W12 engine.

The A8 is powered by a 4.2-liter FSI V8 that produces 350 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 325 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. It’s mated to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with Dynamic Shift Program and a manual shifting option and gets 16 city/23 highway mpg. The A8 can go from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds, and North American models' top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.

Some critics feel even more power and sporty performance would suit the A8, or at least its price tag. But that is not a universal belief, and many feel the A8 handles as well as, if not better than, rivals in the class like the BMW 7 Series, the Lexus LS 460, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Audi infused the A8 with plenty of technology to aid performance. An aluminum space frame limits the A8's weight to 4,409 pounds, which is still a significant number, but not enough to stop the 325 lb-ft of torque in the V8 to haul the A8 off the line with plenty of acceleration. The full-time quattro all-wheel-drive system not only helps in poor road conditions, it also increases the car’s grip and cornering feel on dry roads. The dual circuit antilock brake system with electronic brake distribution delivers guaranteed stops. The electronic stabilization program coordinates with the AWD, traction control, and brake systems in adverse conditions to automatically maximize driver control. And when the road is dry and you simply want to cruise, the adaptive air suspension system continually adjusts the damping to provide the smoothest possible ride.

Wood inlays, subtle aluminum accents, and Valcona leather upholstery dominate the A8’s calmly elegant interior. The heated front seats are 16-way power adjustable with memory and an electric lumbar support and have an optional ventilation and massage feature. The rear seats are as comfortable and roomy as the front and have an available heating package. With 14.6 cubic feet of trunk space, the A8 has plenty of storage room for suitcases, golf bags, or whatever else you might need on a week's vacation.

The A8 is loaded with gadgets, naturally, and the standard Multi Media Interface helps you control all of the audio, telephone, and vehicle systems with relative ease. Standard features include Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, navigation with voice control, a parking system with rearview camera, an eight-color LCD information display, a universal garage door opener, a Bose 14-speaker surround-sound system, iPod integration, Sirius satellite radio, a 6-CD changer in the glove box, keyless entry, a power sunroof, and power-assisted trunk and door closers.

Optional equipment includes DVD/video monitors, remote start, a heated steering wheel with shift paddles, Alcantara leather headliner, solar sunroof, adaptive cruise control, rear air conditioning, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system, a favorite of audiophiles.


After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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2010 Audi A8 Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2010 Audi A8 against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

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Audi A8 Questions

Why Is My Active Listing Not Showing?

I have an active listing, yet it does not show up when doing a search. What's happening? Thank you, -jose.

How Do I Revive My Dead 2010 Audi A8L?

key sticks in ignition and totally dead. I know how to release the key with the pinhole. I have replaced the battery in the key fob, but there is no recognition of a key. i know that a dead car batt...