For the 2013 model year, the Audi A8 is dropping its much-loved standard 4.2-liter V-8 engine that makes 372 horsepower in favor of a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 capable of making 333 horsepower. That’s not really bad news, though.
As a result of a smaller, less-powerful engine, Audi is planning to chop $6,530 off the price of a base A8, having it now start at $73,095, including $895 for destination and handling. Likewise, the long-wheelbase Audi A8 L will receive a $4,180 discount versus the outgoing V-8-powered at $79,395. But it should be noted that the extended version comes with more standard equipment including the Convenience package ($3,000 in the standard model), Extended Leather ($750), and Warm Weather package ($1,700), essentially offsetting almost all the difference between the two models in price.
Showing up at dealerships this month, the 2013 Audi A8′s V-6 engine is expected to net an EPA-rated 17 mpg city/28 mpg highway, 1 mpg less in the city than the bigger, outgoing V-8. Blame it on the “always on” nature of how superchargers work. If that doesn’t float your boat, though, Audi will be debuting a newer, more powerful 4.0-liter V-8 in the fall alongside a more efficient 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V-6 engine. All will feature start-stop technology that turns off the engine at idle to save fuel.
But if those models all seem to be outside your price range, there are other exciting things going on in the four-ring brand. At this weekend’s 24 Hours of LeMans in Le Sarthe, France, Audi plans on debuting a new, high-performance version of the Q5 crossover. At the moment, it is believed to be powered by a diesel engine, limited its chances to come Stateside. But there is also reason to believe Audi could put its supercharged V-6 from the A8 3.0T and S4 into the Q5. An Audi spokesperson confirmed to us that whatever engine it has will not deliver the aforementioned cars’ 333 horsepower.
We’ll report back on what’s under the hood as soon as we know.