2015 Audi A8 Review

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2015 Audi A8 Overview

Traditionally long on agility, not to mention power, posh and, of course, price, Audi’s legendary A8 full-size luxury sedan is slated to get a couple of further tweaks for 2015. Stuff like slightly redesigned front and rear fascias, some upgraded cabin accent materials and a bunch of added techno-goodies are expected to give this legendary cruiser some extra panache in the ultra-competitive Euro-luxury market.

Once more, trims are expected to remain the base 3.0T, the L 3.0T, the up-powered 4.0T and its L 4.0T counterpart, the potent L W12 and the turbodiesel L TDI. All trims with the L designation sport a 122.9-inch wheelbase, as opposed to the more compact 117.8-inch configuration toted by the non-L versions. Oh, and of course all 2015 Audi A8 iterations return delivered with standard full-time all-wheel drive (AWD), thus retaining the “quattro” designation.

Audi assures us that one of the new perks for all 2015 trims, meantime, is a redesigned trunk alleged to be larger than the 13.2-cubic-foot lunchbox-size boot 2014 versions carry. Further upgrades should also include newly redesigned head- and taillights and a bunch of new safety systems, including some debuting updates to the optional night-vision technology.

In any case, depending on the trim selected, look for 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof and heated power-adjustable mirrors to remain standard outside, with heated power-adjustable front seats, premium leather upholstery, cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, full power accessories and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror inside. Dual-zone climate control, a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors and memory for driver's settings, meantime, are expected to remain bolstered by standard voice-activated, hard-drive-based navigation and Bluetooth hands-free communications, as well as Audi’s MMI electronics interface with Wi-Fi access.

The L 3.0T again adds the standard Warm Weather Package, including 4-zone climate control and rear power sunshades, as well as the Extended Leather Package with upgraded leather accents and piano-black inlays. Finally, the 4.0T and its L counterpart each offer additional noise-cancellation technology. Standard entertainment for all trims except the L W12, meantime, includes a 640-watt premium Bose stereo with 14 speakers, satellite radio and a memory-card slot.

Options choices again depend on the selected trim and remain mostly in package form, including massaging front and rear seats, rear-seat DVD entertainment, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a sport-tuned suspension with limited-slip rear differential, a fixed panoramic sunroof and a head-up display.

Power for the base 2015 A8 3.0T and the L 3.0T again comes from a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that mates with the traditional 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission for 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. With variable valve timing (VVT), this super-blown six-banger should once more get 18 mpg city/28 highway.

The 4.0T and its L 4.0T sibling, meanwhile, get an up-powered version of a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that now puts out 435 hp and 444 lb-ft of torque. Mileage numbers are as yet unavailable for the tweaked turbocharged V8, but new cylinder deactivation technology will shut 4 of the 8 cylinders down at highway speeds to add some miles to every tank.

Potency personified, the A8 L W12 returns toting a 6.3-liter W12 powerplant that is again under the auspices of the 8-speed shiftable automatic. Look for 500 hp and 463 lb-ft of torque out of this monster, with cylinder deactivation helping achieve 13/21. Alas, bear in mind that all non-diesel A8 powerplants require premium gas.

Speaking of diesels, the L TDI, introduced to the 2014 A8 stable, totes a 240-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 that, once more under the charge of the 8-speed shiftable automatic, allows a massive 406 lb-ft of torque. Expect a truly impressive 24/36 from this powerful but precious turbodiesel.

Along with the usual array of airbags, antilock braking (ABS), traction and stability control, rear-collision alert and blind-spot warning, the 2015 A8 has some added optional safety technology that’s new for this year, including a Driver Assist Package that includes active lane assist to prevent lane poaching and an overhead-view camera for help with parallel-parking challenges. Meanwhile, turn-signal-integrated mirrors remain standard aboard all trims, as does secondary collision braking assist, while available adaptive cruise control features pre-collision braking.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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