2013 Audi A8 Preview

Jeff Youngs | Apr 29, 2013
  • New V-6 and V-8 engines introduced for 2013
  • Lower starting price than 2012 model
  • Up to 500 horsepower available in a 12-cylinder engine
  • Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) is standard, with rear sport differential optional
  • Drive has 40/60 front/rear torque split


The Audi A8 is a full-size luxury sedan with an aluminum chassis, now in its fourth generation of production. The 2013 Audi A8 features the maker's proprietary Quattro AWD system, and is offered in five trim levels, including standard- and long-wheelbase (L) versions and top-of-the-line A8 L W12. The A8 is based on the Volkswagen Group MLB platform, and competes mainly with the BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Exterior Features

The A8 is available in 10 colors, and features Audi's Singleframe grille, which has angled corners and horizontal chrome struts, plus a rear with squared corners that emphasize the vehicle's wide stance. Nineteen-inch wheels are standard equipment on all but the W12 model, which is fitted with 20-inch wheels. Audi adaptive xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights are standard. The L 3.0T trim includes power soft-closing doors and a power trunk, Audi Drive Select, and Audi Adaptive Air Suspension; the 4.0T and L 4.0T trims upgrade the wheels and tires and add trapezoidal exhaust outlets. The L W12 trim includes a panoramic sunroof, dynamic steering, a camera assist package that provides a 360-degree view, and full LED headlight technology.

Interior Features

The 2013 Audi A8 features leather upholstery, available in black, grey, brown, and two shades of beige. The vehicle seats up to 5 passengers and offers 13.2 cubic feet of trunk space. The base A8 4.2 and A8 4.2 L both feature leather seats, heated power front seats, navigation system, Audi's proprietary Multi Media Interface (MMI) touch-screen system, Bluetooth connectivity, and a Bose sound system. The L 3.0T trim adds 4-zone automatic climate control; the 4.0T features active noise cancellation, via sound waves sent through the speakers. The L 4.0T adds a Warm Weather package, more leather trim, Audi Advanced Key, and upgraded decorative inlays. The A8 L W12 comes with upgraded leather upholstery; heated steering wheel; and heated, massaging rear seats. The L W12 offers upgraded 4-zone automatic climate control and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Optional Features

Many different option packages are available at different trim levels. The Comfort package includes heated and ventilated massaging front seats with 22 adjustments; the same package is available for the rear seat. The Sport Design package includes special Valcona leather, ventilated 22-way front seats, wood inlays, and a 20-inch wheel and tire upgrade. The Sport Plus package adds higher-performanc tires, wheels, suspension, and steering, along with a rear sports differential. The Cold Weather package provides additional heaters for the rear seat and steering wheel, as well as a ski bag and a rear-seat pass-through to accommodate long objects. The Driver Assistance package adds safety features. Also available are a 1,400-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System featuring Dolby Digital 5.1 technology and noise compensation technology. Dual-pane acoustic break-resistant glass provides extra sound insulation and added protection against theft; a solar sunroof ventilates the interior when the car is parked. Headliners are available in black cloth, or in light or black Alcantara. Three types of wood inlays are offered.

Under the Hood

All 2013 A8s come standard with Audi's Quattro AWD and an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The 3.0-liter TFSI V-6 engine provides 333 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. The all-new, twin-turbocharged Audi V-8 engine generates 420 horsepower and 444 lb.-ft. of torque from 4.0 liters of displacement. The start/stop efficiency system can turn off the engine at a standstill, while Audi Cylinder on Demand engine efficiency technology shuts down half the cylinders when cruising on the open road. The reengineered W12 engine produces 500 horsepower and 463 lb.-ft. of torque.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Audi A8 are:

  • A8 with V-6 engine: 18/28/21 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • A8 with V-8 engine: 17/28/21 mpg
  • A8 L with V-8 engine: 16/26/19 mpg
  • A8 L W12: 13/21/16 mpg


Standard safety features on the 2013 Audi A8 include anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, front-seat and rear-seat side air bags, front knee air bags, and side curtain air bags. Many other safety features are optional. The available adaptive cruise control's radar sensor detects impending impact.

As of this writing, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the crashworthiness of the 2013 A8.


The A8 is the showcase for the full range of Audi's technological enhancements, including upgrades to the drivetrain, suspension, seats, entertainment/information system, and climate control. The optional solar sunroof harnesses the sun's energy to keep the car's interior cool when parked.
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