Test Drive: 2014 Audi A8 3.0 TDI

Audi A8 2014_Test Drive_01Luxurious, comfortable or sporty. I don’t know which word would describe this car the best, because the new Audi A8 seems to fill all these requirements.

Audi’s flagship received a little facelift for the Model Year 2014. The engine hood, the single-frame grille and the headlights have been redesigned. At the rear, the LED lights have become flatter and are now joined together by a continuous chrome strip. Also noticeable are the two rhomboid tailpipes.

Optionally available for the Audi A8 are the all-new Matrix LED headlights. The high-beam unit of the Matrix LED lights is made of 25 individual segments. The small light-emitting diodes are activated and deactivated, or dimmed, individually according to the road and traffic conditions providing the best possible lighting for every driving situation. Additional features of the new headlights are the intelligent cornering light, new-look daytime running lights and dynamic turn signals.

Although the Audi A8 is a huge car, with the total length of over five meters, it feels surprisingly agile on the road. One important factor is its lightweight construction, called Audi Space Frame (ASF). Except for the B-pillars, the car’s body is made entirely of aluminium. It weighs roughly 40 percent less than a comparable steel construction. Lower weight means better performance, improved fuel efficiency, and the car is also more enjoyable to drive on a curvy road.

Audi A8 engine lineup includes two TFSI gasoline engines and two TDI diesel units. This 3.0 TDI is the most economical variant with an average fuel consumption of 5.9 l/100km (39.87 US mpg). The 3.0 V6 diesel delivers 190 kW (258 hp) and 580 Nm of torque, which is delivered through eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system to all four wheels.

When needed, the three-litre diesel engine provides pretty good performance. The car can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and reach top speed of 250 km/h. On the road, the A8 3.0 TDI is enjoyable to drive thanks to the diesel engine’s huge torque, but for a sportier driving experience, you should choose either the 3.0 TFSI or 4.0 TFSI petrol engine, or perhaps the 4.2 TDI. In addition, the A8 model lineup also includes the A8 hybrid, A8 L W12 quattro and the S8 models.

If you are going to let the chauffeur do the driving and take the rear seat yourself, then you might want to choose the L-version with 13 centimeters longer wheelbase. Audi offers electrically adjustable, individual rear seats as an option for the A8 and the A8 L. The top-of-the-line choice is the relaxation seat with electrically adjustable footrest. Other individual options available for the Audi A8 includes four-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning, panorama glass roof, convenience key with power door closing assist, privacy windows, a cooler and folding tables.

With its little enhancements, the new Audi A8 feels even more tempting than before. However, there is one little problem with the Audi A8. It looks so similar to Audi A6. Without the size difference, these cars would look very much alike. Of course, the Audi A8 offers a little bit more of everything compared to the A6, but you kind of hope that it would also look a bit more different. Just to make a clear step between the executive Audi A6 and the luxury Audi A8.