So what’s different?
The 2015 Audi A8 emerges a refreshed and reinvigorated luxury sedan, bound with a lineup of all-new engines for 2015 and a few returning favorites. At the bottom of the range is a revised version of Audi’s supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 that now packs 310 horsepower. It’s ostensibly a detuned version of the same engine found under the hood of the Audi S4 that we love.
Next up is the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 that sees duty under the hood of the Audi S6 and V-8 Bentley Continental GT. In the A8, however, it pushes 435 horsepower. And for the first time, the U.S. will have access to a diesel engine in an Audi A8, a turbocharged 3.0-liter with 258 horsepower that nets just under 40 mpg in European testing.
In addition, a top-of-the-line W-12 engine will be making its return with 6.3 liters of displacement and 500 horsepower. And a 520-horsepower version of the twin-turbocharged V-8 will be finding its way under the hood of the S8 sports sedan. All models in the U.S. will have quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Other new features include standard LED headlights on all German-spec V-8 models and up. And for the first time, Audi’s Matrix LED headlights will become available, using a cluster of 25 LEDs per headlight to move beams around as not to blind oncoming drivers without having to switch off high beams. We saw a demonstration of the currently illegal-for-the-U.S. headlights at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Audi is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to strike a compromise to get them certified for sale here.
Other unique features include carbon ceramic brakes available for the V-8 and W-12 models, upgraded interiors, improved active and passive safety systems, lane-keeping assist, a new head-up display, and an improved night vision system.
The new Audi A8 will arrive in German dealerships in November as a 2014 model. However, we won’t be seeing them until early next year as 2015 cars. Look for the 2015 Audi A8 to arrive on our shores for the Los Angeles Auto Show or the Detroit Auto Show this winter.