Audi A8 (2010–2017)

Model History

December 2009

All-new Audi A8 opened for orders

For first deliveries in spring 2010 at OTR prices from £54,760 to £66,240. Highlights include all-LED headlights, new touch screen Multi Media Interface (MMI) incorporating new ‘anticipatory’ satellite navigation with night vision, Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system with optional sports differential. Three enhanced FSI and TDI engines with more power and torque and economy improvements of up to 22 per cent, mated to new eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and latest generation quattro all-wheel-drive with asymmetric torque distribution.

All 2010 A8 models feature energy recuperation technology; 3.0 TDI versions also include engine start-stop function. The 3.0-litre V6 TDI with 250PS and 550Nm of torque (up from 233PS and 450Nm), the 4.2-litre V8 TDI with 350PS and 800Nm (up from 326PS and 650Nm) and the 4.2-litre V8 FSI with 372PS and 445Nm (up from 350PS and 440Nm).

The upgraded 4.2-litre FSI benefits from a 13 per cent improvement in fuel economy, taking its combined figure to 29.7mpg and dropping CO2 output to 219g/km. The equivalent V8 TDI gets a 19 per cent boost to 37.2mpg with CO2 emissions down to 199g/km, while the 3.0-litre TDI moves to the top of the luxury saloon class in economy terms with a 22 per cent economy hike to 42.8mpg with CO2 of 174g/km.

During 2010, an even more economy and emissions-focused version of the 3.0-litre TDI unit will be added. Driving the front wheels only, it will combine a 204PS power peak with 47.1mpg economy on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of just 159g/km.

New Audi A8 SE Models

4.2 FSI quattro 372PS 8-speed tiptronic £61,640.00

3.0 TDI quattro 250PS 8-speed tiptronic £54,760.00

4.2 TDI quattro 350PS 8-speed tiptronic £63,690.00

SE Executive specification will carry a premium of £2,550 in each case. SE Executive features include electrically operated boot closing, the Audi Parking System Advanced with rear parking camera and larger 19-inch wheels in place of the 18-inch design fitted to SE models.

March 2010

Audi presented an A8 hybrid as a technology concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Its two engines – a 2.0 TFSI and an electric power unit – develop a combined total of 245PS and deliver 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft) of torque, enabling them to provide the confident driving performance of a large six-cylinder engine. And combined with the advantages of electric power, the consistent downsizing also pays substantial benefits in fuel economy – up to 45.6mpg is possible, corresponding to a CO2 value of 144 grams per km.

The Audi A8 hybrid utilizes a parallel hybrid system – a highly efficient principle that avoids any unnecessary friction and power losses. Interposed between the four-cylinder petrol engine, which delivers 211PS, and the eight-speed tiptronic is a powerful electric motor. It develops 45PS of power and a very ample 211 Nm (155.63 lb-ft) of torque. The two power units together develop a system power of 180 kW and 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft). This enables the Audi A8 hybrid to accelerate in 7.6 seconds from zero to 62mph and to achieve a top speed of 146mph.

The A8 concept car is a full hybrid. This means that it can be propelled by either the gasoline engine or the electric motor alone – or by the combined power of both. During coasting or braking, the electric motor acts as a generator that converts kinetic into electric energy and recharges the battery. The hybrid drive can propel the car on electric power alone at up to 40mph with a range of over two kilometers – enough for urban stop-and-go traffic.

April 2010

All-new W12 FSI engine and 130mm of extra length incorporated at the rear enable flagship Audi saloon to set even higher luxury standards. Long wheelbase versions of Audi luxury saloon open for order in late July 2010 for first deliveries in December 2010 - OTR prices expected to start from around £58,000.

3.0-litre TDI (250PS), 4.2-litre TDI (350PS), 4.2-litre FSI (372PS) and 6.3-litre W12 FSI (500PS) power

130mm increase in wheelbase length, body length extended by the same amount and all incorporated at the rear to maximize passenger comfort. Additional equipment includes heated outer rear seats, sunroof, deluxe four-zone climate control and electric rear and side window blinds

Additional 130mm of wheelbase and body length concentrated at the rear to provide more passenger accommodation. Making its world public debut at the Beijing Motor Show (April 27-May 2). Priced from around £58,000, the new Audi A8 L will also be further refined by an extensively reworked version of the twelve cylinder W12 petrol engine offering further improved power and efficiency.

The 130mm increase takes the length of the new A8 L to 5,267mm, and the wheelbase has grown by the same amount to 3,122mm. Lightweight aluminium employed for all elements bar the safety boosting high strength steel B pillars ensures that the extended Audi Space Frame (ASF) body, like its standard wheelbase counterpart, weighs around 40 per cent less than an all-steel equivalent.

Choice of four engines - the 3.0-litre TDI (250PS), the 4.2-litre TDI (350PS), the 4.2-litre FSI (372PS) and, exclusively for the long wheelbase model, the W12, which in its latest application has been bored out from 6.0-litres to 6.3-litres, and incorporates FSI direct petrol injection in the interest of optimum economy and emissions control. Maximum power has increased by 50PS over the previous version to 500PS, and the 45Nm higher torque peak of 625 Nm arrives at 3,250 rpm.

February 2011

'Stretch' LWB version of A8 reraches UK. Available from £60,010 OTR, the five-strong A8 L range incorporates an additional 130mm of wheelbase and body length to provide even more exceptional passenger accommodation. It is also further refined by a 6.3-litre, twelve cylinder W12 flagship model that is exclusive to the long wheelbase line-up.

Like the ‘standard wheelbase’ A8, the lengthened luxury saloon is crafted predominantly from aluminium in the interest of efficiency, comfort and driving agility. This approach reduces weight by around 40 per cent compared with an all-steel equivalent, and provides the very best operating conditions for the five engines that power the range - the 3.0-litre TDI (250PS), the 4.2-litre TDI (350PS), the supercharged 3.0-litre TFSI (290PS), the 4.2-litre FSI (372PS) and the heavily reworked W12. This remarkably refined twelve cylinder powerhouse has been bored out from 6.0-litres to 6.3-litres, and is now bolstered by FSI direct petrol injection for improved economy and emissions control. Maximum power has increased by 50PS over the previous version to 500PS, and the 45Nm higher torque peak of 625Nm arrives at 3,250 rpm.

As a result, the A8 L W12 can power to 62mph in just 4.7 seconds, and cruise serenely, where conditions allow, at a governed top speed of 155mph. And with the help of FSI technology, fuel economy belies these figures, with up to 22.8mpg achievable according to the combined cycle test – an improvement of around 9 per cent over the outgoing model which results in CO 2 output of 290g/km.

Thanks to its advanced adaptive air springs, lightweight suspension and latest generation quattro all-wheel-drive, the long-wheelbase Audi A8 manages to combine the polished ride refinement expected of a luxury car with handling poise and agility that would normally characterize performance saloons from one or two classes below.

The full extra length of the A8 L benefits rear-seat passengers, who are able to enter even more easily through wider doors which, in the W12 version, feature power assisted closure. Rear passenger comfort is also further improved by standard seat heating, an upgraded climate control system which enables precise temperature modulation in the two rear ‘zones’ and electrically operated rear window and side window blinds. In the W12, comfort is taken to even greater extremes by replacing the standard rear seat arrangement with two individual sculpted rear seats which can be heated and feature fore/aft adjustable bases and angle adjustable backrests.

March 2011

Audi has developed an A8 long wheelbase model with a next generation mobile broadband communication technology that is faster than current 3G systems. This has been engineered to feature broadband internet with long-term evolution (LTE) technology. LTE technology offers data transfer speeds of up to 100Mbps, which is similar to a fixed-line broadband connection. This means passengers in the prototype can use the LTE broadband connection to stream music, high-definition videos and other data on up to six computer or mobile phone devices with ease. Current 3G connections can only offer data transfer speeds of around 14.4Mbps.

Developed in collaboration with communications pioneer Alcatel-Lucent, the car’s mobile broadband connection is a fourth generation (‘4G’) technology that is hotly-tipped to replace the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and the Universal Mobile Telecommunications Standard (UMTS) systems that underpin 3G. LTE allows data to be transferred faster than conventional 3G-technology and modern digital subscriber line (DSL) connections – wired landline broadband. LTE can also cope with large numbers of users streaming data, even at peak times, because of its extra bandwidth.

August 2011

Audi announces that there will be an A8 Hybrid. The luxury saloon combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder TFSI petrol engine with electric motor for zero emissions driving and in excess of 44mpg.

The Audi flagship model is designed as a highly efficient parallel hybrid. Its 2.0-litre TFSI engine, which has been modified in some areas, generates an output of 211PS and makes a 350 Nm torque peak available between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. The combustion engine works together with a disc-shaped electric motor which generates 40 kW (54 PS) and 210 Nm.

The permanent magnet synchronous motor is mounted in the space usually occupied by the torque converter in front of the modified eight-speed tiptronic transmission. A multi-plate clutch that operates in an oil bath connects or disconnects the electric motor and the TFSI engine, and does so ultra-precisely and gently in all situations. The smooth and fast-shifting hybrid transmission guides the torque to the front wheels, and its wide gear spread contributes to the efficiency of the Audi A8 hybrid.

The short-term system output of 245PS and the system torque of 480 Nm serve to provide impressively strong response. According to the provisional figures generated by early-stage tests, the Audi A8 hybrid will be capable of reaching 62mph from rest in 7.7 seconds and continuing to a top speed of 146mph while returning in excess of 44mpg in the EU combined cycle test, along with CO2 emissions of less than 148 g/km.

The Audi A8 hybrid can drive at up to 62mph purely on electric power and has a range of up to 1.86 miles at a constant 37mph. This gives the driver the choice of three modes: The ‘EV’ setting gives priority to the electric drive, while the ‘D’ option efficiently controls both the engine and the electric motor. The ‘S’ mode and the tiptronic gate place the emphasis on optimal acceleration. The hybrid saloon has five operating states: with the TFSI engine alone, with electric drive only or in hybrid mode; recuperation and boosting are also possible. Two displays show the driver all operating modes in detail.

September 2013

New Audi A8 for 2014

On sale in the UK from January 2014 Length of 5.140mm, wheelbase of 2,990mm, width of 1,950mm and height of 1,460mm remain unchanged, and this also applies to the A8 L models with their additional 13 centimetres of wheelbase and body length added in the interest of rear passenger space.

Built around the lightweight aluminium Audi Space Frame, the almost entirely aluminium body of the new generation A8 has been finessed by subtle resculpting of the bonnet, the single frame grille, the front bumper and the lower edge of the headlight units. At the rear, the design of the LED tail lamps has been revised and the bumper in all models bar the S8 now incorporates two rhomboid tail pipes. New chrome elements, new high gloss black window surrounds and five new colours also mark out the updated car.

The even sleeker new standard and long wheelbase bodies house a choice of seven petrol and TDI engines, the majority of which have been revised to improve performance and efficiency. The supercharged 3.0 TFSI petrol engine is boosted from 290PS to 310PS, the V8 twin-turbo 4.0 TFSI moves from 420PS to 435PS, the highly efficient 3.0 TDI clean diesel increases from 250PS to 258PS and the 4.2 TDI clean diesel gains 35PS, taking it to 385PS. Its already mighty torque output is also increased by 50Nm to a prodigious 850 Nm (626.93 lb-ft).

Paired with quattro all-wheel drive, the 4.0 TFSI now powers the A8 from 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds, but under partial load the Audi cylinder on demand (COD) system deactivates four of its eight cylinders to give priority to fuel economy. The most efficient diesel engine is the 3.0 TDI, which returns up to 47.9 mpg, corresponding to 155 grams of CO2per kilometre. All engines satisfy the Euro 6 standard, helped by friction-reducing measures which reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10 per cent.

The luxuriously equipped Audi A8 L W12 quattro occupies the top rung in the A8 line-up. The short and lightweight engine with its W layout displaces 6.3 litres and produces 500PS. It also boasts best-in-class combined fuel consumption of 24.1 mpg, corresponding to 270 grams CO2per kilometre, thanks in part to a newly adopted version of the cylinder-on-demand system developed especially for this model. At low loads, it deactivates the fuel injection and ignition for six cylinders.

The 520PS S8 fulfils a different brief as the ultimate Audi sports saloon. Its 4.0 TFSI engine blasts it from 0 to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds, yet cylinder on demand technology also renders it capable of up to 28 mpg, corresponding to 235 grams CO2per kilometre.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), a technology that is also employed in the A8 4.0 TFSI quattro, the A8 L W12 quattro and the A8 hybrid, ensures excellent acoustic comfort by using precise antiphase noise to combat intrusive noise in the cabin while cylinders are deactivated. Active engine mounts also dampen vibration.

At the other end of the spectrum, the overtly efficiency-focused A8 hybrid combines a 2.0 TFSI engine and electric motor to produce a system output of 245PS and system torque of 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft). The lithium-ion battery in the rear enables purely electric driving at up to 62 mph with a range of roughly 1.9 miles. The A8 hybrid returns up to 44.8mpg and emits 147 grams of CO2per kilometre.

The new A8 is equipped as standard with a fast and smooth-shifting, eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission which transmits power to all four wheels via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system in all six, eight and twelve-cylinder versions. A sport differential acting on the rear axle is fitted as standard to the A8 4.2 TDI quattro and the S8 and optional for all other versions bar the hybrids - it distributes power between the rear wheels as required for even greater handling adjustability.

April 2015

2015 New A8 Sport announced

More luxury and lower CO2 for the Audi A8 range and a new Sport specification with an S8 look. The first versions of the updated 2016 Model Year A8 range can be ordered from 28-4-2015 priced from £59,585 OTR, and the new Sport models from June. UK deliveries will start in the summer.

Offered in standard or Long Wheelbase formats, the latest range features a rationalised choice of engines. Long Wheelbase versions will continue to be available with the highly efficient petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain and with the quintessential Audi luxury saloon power source – the 6.3-litre, twelve-cylinder, 500PS W12. Another formidable petrol engine – the 4.0-litre TFSI with Cylinder-on-Demand technology – will also remain at the heart of the 520PS S8, which is available exclusively with the standard wheelbase.

A pair of TDI units powers standard wheelbase versions, and both are also available in conjunction with the Long Wheelbase body. The 3.0-litre V6 TDI benefits from a slight power increase from 258PS to 262PS and a further reduction in CO2 output from an already impressively low 155g/km to 149g/km (in conjunction with 18-inch wheel), equating to a combined economy figure of 49.6mpg. The 4.2-litre V8 TDI retains its prodigious 385PS and 850Nm of torque, enabling it to propel the predominantly aluminium-bodied saloon to 62mph in a mere 4.7 seconds (standard wheelbase) without ruling out the potential for up to 39.2mpg. CO2 output in this version also falls from 194g/km to 189g/km.

The two TDI engines can be complemented by three levels of specification – SE, SE Executive and a new Sport option, which is reserved for standard wheelbase versions and replaces the Sport Executive trim in the outgoing range. Sport models are now more distinctly marked out visually by a new dynamic exterior package featuring front and rear treatments reminiscent of the flagship S8, combined with pronounced ‘S’ style side skirts and 19-inch alloy wheels in a seven-parallel spoke design.

Not surprisingly all three specification levels are lavish, and include features such as Valcona leather upholstery, double glazing and a 180-watt audio system, combined with advanced technology including all-LED headlights, HDD satellite navigation and the fingertip-sensitive MMI Touch infotainment control system.

Over and above the SE equipment, SE Executive versions add features such as the Audi parking system advanced with reversing camera, the advanced key for convenient locking, unlocking and starting without direct key intervention and powered, hands-free bootlid operation. New additions at this level for the 2016 Model Year include powered door closure, comfort front seats with 22-way powered adjustment and memory function and privacy glass for the rear windows.

In addition to a purposeful new look, the exterior specification of the new Sport models also includes new 19-inch seven parallel spoke alloy wheels and state-of-the-art MatrixBeam LED headlights, which use banks of LEDs that can be individually shut off to avoid dazzling oncoming and leading traffic while retaining full beam illumination. Inside, a 600-watt Bose sound system upgrade and Mobile Phone Preparation – High with Audi connect bringing in-car internet-based services and establishing a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot add to the potential for information and entertainment.

Long Wheelbase TDI, Long Wheelbase W12 and S8 models feature their own bespoke and even more all-encompassing equipment lists.

With its lightweight construction, quattro all-wheel-drive and standard four-mode adaptive air suspension the A8 has always been one of the most agile and controllable luxury saloons. A8 4.2 TDI models capitalise on these assets even more fully with the help of an additional sport differential enabling torque transfer between the rear wheels for greater adjustability, and driveability in all A8 models can be further enhanced by options such as a firmer sport version of the air suspension and a dynamic steering system.

What does a Audi A8 (2010 – 2017) cost?

List Price from £74,880
Buy new from £52,418
Contract hire from £594.20 per month